An­gus records fall

Stud’s dream sale run

Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS - AN­DREA DAVY An­drea.davy@ru­ral­

IT FEELS like you are watch­ing an Adam Gilchrist high­lights reel.

That’s how Mil­lah Mur­rah An­gus owner Ross Thomp­son jok­ingly likened the feel­ing to watch­ing five of his bulls break the an­gus record for 2018 dur­ing his on-prop­erty sale.

De­spite com­ing off the back of a great sale sea­son last year, Mr Thomp­son said this year’s harsher mar­ket con­di­tions meant he had set mod­est pre­dic­tions for his an­nual bull sale.

How­ever, dur­ing the auc­tion a bid­ding war for sale top­per Mil­lah Mur­rah Nugget N266, re­sulted in the Aus­tralian record price for a year­ling bull of any breed to be bro­ken at $54,000.

“That was a feel­ing I wish ev­ery­one could ex­pe­ri­ence,” Mr Thomp­son said.

“I was ner­vous at the start of the sale. But I knew our big-hit­ting bulls would be com­ing in later.

“De­spite where the prices ended up, the auc­tion­eer had to work hard early on. We had 30 good-qual­ity bulls sell for be­tween $8,000 and $10,000. So the sale was more ac­ces­si­ble than it per­haps looks.”

The sale av­er­aged $15,850, which was the sec­ond high­est in an­gus his­tory. It was a price only beaten by Mil­lah Mur­rah’s 2016 sale at $16,348.

Mr Thomp­son was truly chuffed with the re­sults and he wasn’t ashamed for his fam­ily to rel­ish in their suc­cess. He was quick to note good times like th­ese could be once in a life­time.

“The last 364 days feels like we have been liv­ing a high­light reel,” he said. “It’s been ex­cep­tional.” To make things even sweeter, the NSW stud sit­u­ated near Bathurst re­ceived an inch of rain on sale night, mark­ing a solid start to Spring.

Mil­lah Mur­rah An­gus made head­lines in Oc­to­ber last year when Mil­lah Mur­rah Prue M4 sold for $190,000 – break­ing the all-time Aus­tralian record for a beef fe­male.

Mr Thomp­son had tagged Mil­lah Mur­rah Nugget as a bull that would do well this year, based on pre-sale in­ter­est, but was qui­etly hop­ing for around $30,000.

There was a strong show­ing of Queens­land buy­ers at this year’s sale – and it’s in­ter­est­ing to note that Nugget has a Queens­land flavour.

His sire is As­cot Hall­mark H147, a bull owned by Jim and Jackie Wedge of As­cot Cat­tle Co near War­wick.

The two studs have a long-run­ning pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship.

“It started in 2012 when Jim bought PTIC heifers from me,” Mr Thomp­son said.

“One of those heifers, Mil­lah Mur­rah Brenda F123, was in calf with Hall­mark.”

Jim Wedge said Mil­lah Mur­rah ge­net­ics made up a large por­tion of their stud.

Hall­mark is now six years old and has been a cor­ner­stone bull for them.

Mr Wedge ce­mented his fond­ness of Mil­lah Mur­rah cat­tle again this year by buy­ing the high­est sell­ing two-year old, Mil­lah Mur­rah Klooney M176, for $46,000 at the sale.

He said it was par­tic­u­larly rewarding to see Hall­mark’s prog­eny per­form well.

“We had just bought our new bull, which was a big thrill, then the Hall­mark bull came in. It was pretty spe­cial for my­self and Jackie,” he said.

With eyes on his own stud sale, to be held on Septem­ber 21, Mr Wedge noted that Hall­mark would have three full-bred broth­ers and 15 sons up for sale.

It’s about a 20-hour round trip from War­wick to Bathurst, but Mr Wedge said the stud’s strong-qual­ity traits drew them back year after year.

“They have strong ma­ter­nal val­ues, which we like. If you have tremen­dous fe­males you will breed tremen­dous bulls,” he said.

Now the dust has set­tled

from the Mil­lah Mur­rah sale and there is a green tint to their pad­docks, Mr Thomp­son said his fam­ily would this year en­joy a hol­i­day.

All fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing wife Dim­ity and three daugh­ters Mil­lie, Olivia and Twiggy, play a role on the prop­erty.

Dim­ity is a chef by trade and thor­oughly en­joys play­ing host to guests dur­ing auc­tions.

The girls, who are all yet to start high school, help out from time to time (there is never any pres­sure from dad) and al­ways look for­ward to sale day.

Next year will mark a 50-year an­niver­sary for Mil­lah Mur­rah An­gus, which was founded in 1969. But Mr Thomp­son shrugged off this would-be mile­stone. He said their fo­cus would be where it had al­ways been: pro­duc­ing the right type of an­gus.

“First and fore­most I want the cat­tle to look right,” he said.

“I want them to weigh heavy and I want them to be beau­ti­fully mus­cled and struc­tured.

“Our de­mand has been driven be­cause we are pro­duc­ing a spe­cial type of an­gus– they are heavy, three-di­men­sional and full of ca­pac­ity and meat.”

BUY­ERS: Robert and Stephen Gill with Ross Thomp­son, auc­tion­eer Paul Doo­ley and Elders' An­drew Bick­ford after the sale of Mil­lah Mur­rah Nugget. PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

Thomp­son with War­wick LOOK­ING BACK: Ross after their stud As­cot breed­ers Jackie and Jim Wedge bulls from Mil­lah Mur­rah Cat­tle Co se­cured heifers andAn­gus in 2012.

Mil­lah Mur­rah Nugget N266 sold for $54,000, set­ting a new Aus­tralian record price for a year­ling bull of any breed.

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