Black Dog steer to $8000 amid bullish cattle optimism

Bob GarnantCountryman
With the $8000 top-price led steer are Amanda Cavenagh, Belynda and Jim Quilty, of Elgin Park stud, Landmark auctioneer Tiny Holly, buyer Harvey Beef general manager livestock Kim McDougall and Black Dog Charity Steer promoter Peter Milton.
Camera IconWith the $8000 top-price led steer are Amanda Cavenagh, Belynda and Jim Quilty, of Elgin Park stud, Landmark auctioneer Tiny Holly, buyer Harvey Beef general manager livestock Kim McDougall and Black Dog Charity Steer promoter Peter Milton. Credit: Bob Garnant

Bullish cattle optimism and spirited bidding pushed led steer and heifer prices higher, to a top of $8000, at the IGA Perth Royal Show’s cattle auction last Monday.

All 76 led steers or heifers sold for an average price of $1833, up $44/head on last year.

Royal Agricultural Society of WA president Paul Carter opened the sale, saying this year’s IGA Perth Royal Show’s theme was “celebrate a farmer”.

Returning to the show for more quality cattle, the Forrest family’s Harvey Beef continued to throw its full support behind the public auction showcase which follows suit out of the show’s on-the-hoof judging.

A highlight of the sale also included the Black Dog Charity Steer, which was purchased by Harvey Beef for $8000, with all proceeds going to the Black Dog Ride, which aims to support good mental health.

With the $4800 second top-price led steer are S and C Livestock auctioneer Cam Petricevich, Harvey Beef's Kim McDougall, and Murdoch University handler Rebecca Newcomb.
Camera IconWith the $4800 second top-price led steer are S and C Livestock auctioneer Cam Petricevich, Harvey Beef's Kim McDougall, and Murdoch University handler Rebecca Newcomb. Credit: Bob Garnant

The steer, a 562kg pure Charolais, was kindly donated by Jim and Belynda Quilty of Elgin Park stud, and prepared by Black Dog promoter Peter Milton.

It was earlier judged reserve grand champion from the led steer or heifer competition.

Judge Greg Ball said the steer was a complete package with heaps of muscle, but soft with a nice finish.

Landmark auctioneer Tiny Holly didn’t have to work too hard to demand top price on the steer.

“Ten charity cattle have been sold so far raising $73,000, which brings hope to countless Australians,” he said.

Harvey Beef general manager of livestock Kim McDougall was only too pleased to add to that total with his kind bid of support.

Before the start of the sale, Mr McDougall said he anticipated good-quality cattle and feisty bidding competition and lot one didn’t disappoint.

Leading off the pack was a Murdoch University bred steer, a Gelbvieh/Murray Grey cross, which was earlier judged champion lightweight before being sashed grand champion out of the entire 76 show entries.

Mr Ball said the 384kg steer had tremendous muscle expression through its top-line and also had a very good hind quarter.

“It carried very even fat distribution,” he said.

With the confident S and C Livestock auctioneer Cam Petricevich at the helm, there were no hesitations to bid on the exceptional steer and it was Mr McDougall who secured the $4800 second top-price of the day for the Harvey Beef account.

With those two drawcard cattle lots done and dusted, the other 11 buyers were prepared to step in for their share of the meat pie.

Prices remained buoyant for the six remaining cattle with champion ribbons.

Harvey Beef secured two Charolais cross steers, from two well-known breeders, for $2500 each.

Coles paid $2500 and $2200 for two medium-weight broad ribbon bearers, representing Limousin/Angus cross types and bred by Murdoch.

Avon Valley Beef principal Mark Grant stepped up to the plate, securing the 506kg reserve champion heavyweight for $2200 which was a Limousin/Angus cross, bred by Murdoch University.

The reserve champion lightweight, a Square Meter, was bought by Sebastian Butchers for $1800.

Prices settled to commercial values when eight other lightweight cattle were sold from $1000 to $1700/head.

There were 21 medium-weights that ranged from $1100 to $2300 with the ladder price on a Murdoch Limousin/Angus cross sold to Sebastian Downs.

Finishing off were 17 heavyweights which ranged from $1500 to $2100, with the ladder price for a 476kg Angus cross, bred by Kelmscott Senior High School and sold to Harvey Beef.

Harvey Beef bought a total of 13 cattle for an average price of $2346. Mr McDougall said he selected for overall quality with the appropriate weight coverage and fleshing.

“Animals must meet modern supermarket requirements,” he said. “It was pleasing to see many examples today.”

Mr McDougall said the beef industry was in a good place. “We have seen prices somewhat static, but the drought in the Eastern States is expected to have a positive effect on the WA market,” he said.

Mr McDougall secured eight cattle for Coles for an average price of $1913.

Also securing numbers, Daniel Russell and his brother Justin, of Cow Town Grazing, a new Johnson Meats entity based at Midland, bought 13 head to a top of $2000 and an average price of $1750.

“We were selecting Murray Grey types for their softness,” Daniel said.

Avon Valley Beef secured eight cattle for an average price of $1462.

Mr Ball said he was selecting for good shape carcase and yield.

Mr Petricevich said it was a strong sale from start to finish.

“The overall presentation of cattle from vendors was at an extremely high level,” he said.

“There was an ongoing appreciation for the participation of the agricultural colleges to supply quality cattle, particularly Murdoch’s grand champion effort.

Head of Murdoch’s livestock program Kim Thomas said the top-awarded steer was sired by a Braside Gelbvieh and out of a Monterey blood cow.

Murdoch prepared 16 cattle on a 100-day feed program this year including eight Limousin/Angus cross types, three of which earned broad ribbons, all of which sold to a top of $2500 and average price of $2062.

Other breed types also carried good weight gain in the Murdoch team including a 602kg pure shorthorn heavyweight that sold for $2300. All of the led steers and heifers will be processed with carcase results released on Friday to announce the appropriate on-the-hook champion awards.

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