Mawarra Ultra Star steals Hereford show (and sale)

Peter and Logan Sykes, Mawarra Genetics, Longford, Vic, buyer Tom Nixon, Devon Court Herefords, Drillham and Peter Godbolt, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Albury, with the $130,000 Mawarra Ultra Star R182. Photo: HEREFORDS AUSTRALIA.

By Fiona Gowers

What a way to celebrate your Hereford stud’s 90th birthday.

Tom Nixon, Devon Court, Drillham, west of Miles, paid an eye-watering $130,000 for a Hereford bull at the Herefords Australia National Show and Sale in Wodonga on Thursday.

Mawarra Ultra Star R182 was sold for a sale record a day after being sashed grand champion bull.

The Sykes family, Mawarra Genetics, Longford, Victoria sold the 24-month-old future sire to Mr Nixon, a return client.

Mr Nixon said the purchase completed his “strategic plan” after buying the bull’s brother for $35,000 at Mawarra’s on-property sale in March.

“It was phenotype and pedigree first with Ultra Star,” he said.

“Breed-leading data sets with top one percent most of the way through with moderate birthweight, calving ease, eye muscle area, fat and intramuscular fat.”

According to Herefords Australia, Ultra Star has BREEDPLAN figures of +123 kilograms for 600-day weight, +27kg for milk, +82kg for carcase weight and +8.6 square centimetres for eye muscle area.

He weighs 1004 kilograms.

“I like this bull because his US sire (Endure 173D) is, I believe, currently one of the best in the world,” Mr Nixon said.

“I’m hanging my hat on the fact that he will give us what we need to breed magnificent front paddock cattle.

“We want muscle, of course, we want fat and carcase weight with big red eyes and good colour.

“He has everything that everyone wants.

“Both Mawarra bulls we bought this year have hit it out of the park with several EBVs (estimated breeding values) in the top five per cent.”

Billed as one of the largest multi-vendor sales in southern Australia, the National Sale catered for 34 vendors from NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, and Queensland.

In all, 102 bulls sold from the 106 offered for a 96pc clearance, gross of $1,611,000 and a record average of $15,794.

In the sale breakdown, a total of 59 junior bulls sold to a top of $35,000 and average of $12,847 while 43 senior bulls sold to a top of $130,000 and average of $19,837.

Stud stock agent Peter Godbolt, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Albury said commercial producers paid $25,000 to $30,000 for bulls while studs operated at the top end.

“Off the back of the weaner sales through January – and in the mountains in March – buyers were getting good money for their calves and were willing to invest in the genetics,” he said.

“It was a credit to the breeders and what they are doing for their commercial clients.

“With a new record top price for Wodonga, it was good to see the breeders getting rewarded for what they do and the Hereford breed getting recognised within the industry.”

Mr Godbolt said online buyers bid on around half the catalogue.