Bulls Rocket To $8500 Top At Wirruna

The Land 4th September – Penny Watts

New Zealand bloodlines with excellent calving ease traits pushed prices to $8500 at last week’s Wirruna Poll Hereford on-property sale at Holbrook.
Sons of the New Zealand import, Koanui Rocket, topped the annual sale, where bulls sold for an $8,500 top price and averaged $4048, while heifers sold to a $2500 top and averaged $1786.

Vendors Ian an Diana Locke, offered 51 bulls and heifers bred for market specifications, including five Wirruna stud sires, 12 “muscle” bulls and 26 “growth” bulls, 10 specialist heifer bulls, 6 herd bulls and seven heifers.

Topping the scale was a two year old, 752 kilogram bull, Wirruna Bobbie, which saw plenty of action at the Helmsman sale and was sold to Adelong stud breeders, Paul and Robin Quilty, Sutherland Stud.

While the Quiltys had attended the annual sales for several years this was their first successful Wirruna purchase. The Koanui Rocket son measured a 39 centimeter scrotal circumference and a 200 and 400 day growth rate in the top 15 per cent of the breed.
 Mrs Quilty said they had used Koanui Rocket semen before in their 400 head stud and commercial enterprise, but the bull’s low birthweight and high growth rate figures, would be an addition to their herd.

“We normally breed our own bulls, but weve been looking at the bloodline for quite a while now” she said.

A second Koanui son, Wirruna Bently, sold for $8000 to Henry Bridgewater, Sherwood Pastoral Company, Bungarby, for his commercial breeding enterprise. 
The bull measured in the top one percent of the breed for Marbling and for Grass and Grain fed index.

In the female section, local breeder, Peter Croker, “Ivanhoe”, the Rock, secured Koanui Rocket blood, paying the equal top female price of $2500 for a pregnancy-tested-in-calf, August 2006 drop heifer, Wirruna Cora B5.
Mr Croker said the heifer had a ideal balance of calving ease, growth and carcass traits and was good value as an in calf unit.

South Australian breeders, Mark and Jude Scown, “Markover”, Bordertown, equalled the price, buying Wirruna Last Day B13 as their only purchase.

Other notable buyer included phone bidder, Mark Wootton, Jigsaw Farms, Hamilton, Vic, who secured six bulls for an average $3916 for his commercial operations and Ian Horsley, Gundillawah Pastoral Company, Adelong, who paid a top of $5500 and average of $3937 for four bulls, including two of the “muscle” bulls by Quamby Plains Stockmaster.

The sale was conducted under the Helmsmen system through Atkins marketing Livestock.