Rain brings out the BIG guns


Santa Gertrudis

The majority of Santa Gertrudis bulls sold at the WA Bos Indicus Group (BIG) Bull Sale were the result of good rainfall in some parts of the State’s pastoral regions.

After a nine-year absence from the sale because of drought, Nullarbor pastoralist Donald Hogg bought 12 of the 17 Santa bulls that sold at Narngulu.

Mr Hogg, his son Daniel, brother Neil and sister-in-law Barbara run 2500 Santa-cross Shorthorn breeders on the property.

His station, Kinclaven, has recorded 343mm of rain since January.

“We would not have been buying bulls if the rains didn’t fall this year,” Mr Hogg said.

Elders Esperance agent Bruce McCosh, acting on behalf of Mr Hogg, secured all 12 of the Merryup bulls to a top of $2800.

This year’s average price of $2459 for the 17 Santa bulls sold was well below last year’s $3189 average for nine bulls sold.

The $4200 top-priced Santa, Merryup 9020 (P), was secured by Santa Gertrudis Breeders’ Association general manager Martin Pentecost, of Brisbane, who was buying on behalf of C. and D. Gauld, of Moonganna stud, Drillham, Queensland.

Merryup 9020 (P) was sired by Kendara 4581 and was a classified bull with an excellent sheath and quiet temperament.

Merryup principal Bill Sounness, of Mt Barker, was delighted that his bulls attracted interest from the eastern states and said it was one of his highlights since selling at Narngulu.

Newman pastoralist Barkley Day, of Tangadee station, paid $2600 for a Merryup bull, while two bulls were sold to agriculturalists in Bremer Bay and Jurien Bay.


Most of the money was on the Droughtmaster breed at the WA BIG sale and improved seasonal conditions gave vendors some confidence of better things to come.

Although numbers offered (43) and sold (41) were down on last year’s 61 offered and 56 sold, the average price jumped by $584 per head.

The $5400 top-priced bull, Fieldhouse 37 (P), was secured through Landmark agent Damian Halls, who bought on behalf of account Sawtell, of Bindoon.

Mr Hall said Sawtell was seeking to add more muscle in the form of profitable meat yield into its 300 breeder herd.

Fieldhouse stud principal Ken Mutton was pleased to have a total clearance of all 26 bulls offered, topping the sale averages of all breeds at $3542.

Newman pastoralist Barry Gratte, of Ethel Creek station, bought six bulls, one of which was the $4200 second top-price from the Fieldhouse stud.

Mr Gratte runs about 5000 breeders and his property has received 175mm of rain since January.

“The market for live exports is improving,” he said.

Harry McKeough, of Carey Downs station, Carnarvon, bought the $5000 second top-price bull out of the Fieldhouse catalogue.

Mr McKeough was a first-time buyer at the sale, after purchasing his Carnarvon station 12 months ago.

Volume buyer Les Clarke, of Mt Welcome station, Roebourne, secured eight bulls to a top of $4200 through Primaries agent Shane Flemming.

Tammar Grove stud and Ochre stud also had good results at the sale.

While Ochre sold all seven bulls offered to a top of $3600 to Hill Springs station, Carnarvon, Tammar Grove sold to a top of $3200 twice with one of those bulls sold to Les Parsons, of Cadawanyah Pastoral, Tom Price.


More Brahman bulls were sold than any other breed at the WA BIG sale, with 44 selling for an average price of $2652.

Although the average price represented a $103 reduction per head from last year, it was pleasing for vendors to realise an increase in volume demand for the breed.

Melrose station manager David Broad, of Leonora, bought the $4800 top-price Brahman, Charlesville 1596.

The 18-month-old, red-coated bull was sired by Bizzy Revenge 2187 and will assist Mr Broad in developing an all-Brahman herd.

“Brahmans are survivors,” Mr Broad said.

He also bought two bulls from John Wesley’s Charlesville stud, Southern Cross, and one bull from Reg Teakle’s Oakvale stud, Northampton.

“I judge the bulls by colour and confirmation,” Mr Broad said.

Wendy Pens, of Blue Pools station, Moonyoonooka, bought the $4200 second-top priced bull out of the Charlesville line-up.

Mrs Pens also paid $2800 for an 18-month-old red Canterbury bull.

R.M. Ward, of Millrose station, Wiluna, bought seven bulls to a top of $3800, while Uralla station, Onslow, bought nine to a top of $2900.

Reg Teakle, of Oakvale stud, paid $3000 for a Birrahlee bull and John Wesley, of Charlesville stud, also bought from Sue Patterson’s line-up, paying $2200 for a bull sired by Carinya M56.

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