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Record price bull near Benalla

Warrenbayne's Peter and Annick Butterfield’s bull sold for an Australian record $41 000 at their on-site auction.

MONIQUE FREER March 14, 2014 9:19am

Best bull: Peter and Annick Butterfield’s bull Prime Juggernaut J15 sold for an Australian record $41 000 at their on-site auction last month.


A small Warrenbayne farm achieved an Australian record price for the sale of one of its yearling angus bulls last month.

Twelve-month-old bull Prime Juggernaut J15 was sold at Prime Angus Stud’s on-property sale for $41000.

Owner operators Peter and Annick Butterfield said there had been unexpected strong interest in the bull for about a month prior to the sale.

‘‘We knew there’d been a lot of interest but because we’re still relatively unknown we didn’t know if that would translate into a good sale,’’ Mrs Butterfield said.

Prime Juggernaut J15 was ranked number one of about 2500 yearling bulls for sale this autumn on the Long Fed/CAAB index, one of the four standard selection indexes calculated for Australian angus animals.

Mr Butterfield said the bull’s breed plan figures were consistently impressive, particularly its growth rate and calving ease.

‘‘His mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have all been ours and they’ve all been ... produced from high reliability sires,’’ Mr Butterfield said.

‘‘Our breeding strategy has been to maintain growth but increase calving ease.’’

The previous record price paid for a yearling was $37000, sold by Lawsons Angus at Yea in 2012.

Prime Angus Stud has been operating to a small customer base for more than 10 years and this was its first high price sale.

‘‘Before this year our top price was $7700 so it was quite a jump. We hadn’t got stud interest in our bulls before this year,’’ Mrs Butterfield said.

At this year’s on-site auction the farm also sold 29 of its 30 cattle, with prices ranging from $1750 to $10000.

‘‘The sale averaged $4600 and last year it only averaged $2700,’’ Mr Butterfield said.

The Butterfields began dairy farming in 1991, before selling their dairy herd in 2001 and turning their attention to breeding angus cattle.

‘‘We purchased heifers from Te Mania and other leading studs as our foundation females,’’ Mr Butterfield said.

Since beginning their breeding they have held eight on-site auctions of 12-month-old bulls.

‘‘Most people sell bulls at 18 months or two years, so we’re a bit different. The hope there is that they are a bit more affordable for people,’’ Mr Butterfield said.

‘‘A lot of the repeat buyers now say they prefer to buy them young like that because they get a longer life out of them.’’

Prime Juggernaut J15 was purchased by a syndicate that included Anvil Angus in Acheron, Little Meadows Angus in Western Australia, HCH Genetics in Mansfield and Australian Livestock Genetics Investments.

Little Meadows Angus has the walking rights to the bull, while HCH Genetics and Australian Livestock Genetics Investments will look to sell the semen of the top quality bull.

The Butterfields said while they hoped this would help grow the name of the business, they did not expect to see this kind of sale again.

‘‘It’s very unlikely we’d ever have a bull with these sort of numbers again,’’ Mrs Butterfield said.

‘‘You’re probably only as good as your last bull sale.

‘‘Up until this year we’d been pretty invisible, so perhaps this will serve to attract new customers and elevate the concept of yearlings just generally.’’

For more information about Prime Angus Stud visit www.primeangusstud.com.au

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