Woonallee Sale Result

27 February 2010

Woonallee keeps on keeping on

In a sale result that can only be described as ‘grand’ in every sense of the word and probably their best ever by principal Tom Baker, the Baker family continued to set the standards for stud beef cattle sales in South Australia with a magnificent result at their 3rd Annual Woonallee Simmental Production sale at Furner. Despite the current fall in prices and confidence in some areas, they defied those trends to achieve a result that exceeded last year.

Buyers attended from every Australian state, plus New Zealand and made up part of the estimated 300 in the gallery.

The 76 registered buyers within the gallery were certainly not disappointed, as the quality of the 43 Simmental and composite bulls and 16 stud females could only be described as outstanding. The Woonallee genetics are having positive impact on the herds that are using them, whether stud or commercial and this obviously keeps people coming back and spreading the word to other breeders.

The success of the Woonallee commercial steers and heifers has also become widely recognised. Pre stud sale, 255 commercial heifers were offered on Auctions Plus. These sold in 5 lines and averaged $572.20/head, or $1.75/kg. The tops were a run of 96 Angus x Simmental heifers weighing in at 347kg and sold for $615/head. Repeat buyers Daryl and Lorraine Cameron, Cann River , Victoria again purchased these impressive heifers for their very successful cross breeding program.

Also as a prelude to the stud sale, Simmental Australia CEO Damian Coffey presented a well deserved life membership to Dale Baker for his years of dedicated breeding, work and leadership in the Simmental breed.

The sale commenced with the 36 Simmental bulls, headed by a terrific Poll bull, Woonallee Dimension. Sired by Barana Yeardleigh and weighing in at 988kg and with an EMA figure of 128, he had attracted a lot of pre-sale interest. In a strong 3 way bidding competition it was eventually Nigel DeVeth, Murphy’s Creek, Queensland , who outlasted the other bidders with a winning bid of $20,000. He hooked into the sale by phone and purchased the bull for his sons Joshua and Jesse, JD Simmental stud. This was the 5th year in 6 that Woonallee has achieved a $20,000 or higher top price.

The DeVeths travelled down a fortnight ago and inspected the cattle, selecting Dimension on his all round quality, his Barana/Woonallee background, plus the fact that he was also polled played a big part in their buying decision. JD Simmentals have had great success with the Barana and Woonallee lines, having purchased 3 heifers last year and later purchased another 2 this year. They will show Dimension for a while before putting him to full time breeding duties.

One of the underbidders on the top lot was regular commercial client James McKay, Egremont, Lucindale. He compensated by then successfully bidding $16,000 for lot 2, the 995kg Woonallee Date Line sired by Woonallee Hadau. This bull was arguably even better than lot 1, but without the polled bonus being sought by some breeders. James paid $12,000 a couple of years back for another top Woonallee bull and is prepared to pay for quality genetics that reward him in his commercial herd. This is the highest price paid for a Woonallee bull by a commercial breeder.

Woonallee Devil, by the same sire, was the youngest bull in the catalogue and also attracted good pre-sale interest. He was supreme Simmental exhibit at the 2009 Adelaide Royal Show and was snapped up by repeat Tasmanian buyers Nathan and Leah Skirving, Rosehill stud, East Sassafras, buying through Roberts Ltd agent Mark Lamprey, Moriarty, Tasmania.

TDC Penola account CS & LJ Wooding went to $8,000 for the massive lot 3, Woonallee Dominant, while Shirley Barker, ‘Bokara’, Mt Barker, SA went to $7,500 for Woonallee Destiny at lot 17. However, it was Scott and Emily Davidson, Morton Simmentals, Lucindale who were the other five figure buyers, paying $10,500 for lot 11, Woonallee Dynamic, another Hadau son weighing in at 994kg.

There were 29 successful bidders on the Simmental bulls with Elders Camperdown A/C Kangaroobie picking up 3 at $5,000, $6,000 and $7,000, being the biggest volume buyers. Elders Strathalbyn agent Darryl Sims purchased 2 at $5,000 and $4,000 for repeat clients MJ & LH Fischer. He then added 2 of the 7 young composite bulls to be the biggest volume bull buyer overall.

Other multiple bull buyers were Glynbrae Pastoral through Landmark Warrnambool (2 at $5,000 and $6,000); Hillcrest Pastoral Co through SAL Naracoorte (2 at $5,000 and $3,500); Jockwar through Landmark Strathalbyn (2 at $4,000 and $4,500), CI & MK Bateman through Elders Millicent (2 at $5,000 each); and Mrs EM Shields, through Terry Dove, Stewart Dove, Colac Vic ($6,000 and the top composite at $4,500).

The 36 Simmental bulls averaged a wonderful $5,833.33 which was up $46 on last year’s great result, while the 7 young Angus Simmental composites sold to $4,500 and averaged $3,071.43.

Two young 2007 drop cows headed a most impressive line of 16 Simmental stud females, followed by the 14 2009 drop heifers. These met very consistent and strong stud competition, going to buyers from all states. The 2 older females sold at $4,000 and $5,500 to JW & MJ Goss, Sheffield , Tasmania and John Deveron, Inverall, NSW respectively; both buyers then adding a young heifer as well.

Howell Contractors, through Landmark Ballarat purchased 2 heifers at $2,000 each to add to their earlier $3,000 bull purchase, but it was repeat buyer Justin Staley, Juraley stud, Yarram, Vic who was the volume buyer, purchasing 3, at $2,500(x2) and $2,750.

However the highlight in the female offering was the first of the 2009 drop heifers, Woonalee Ashante E202, a magnificent young female imbued with success right through her pedigree. She was sired by BHR Draco and was out of a full sister of the legendary BHR Three Sixes. The successful bid of $7,000 came from a Western Australian syndicate of Audrey Weightman, Topweight Grazing Co, Margaret River and the Patterson family, Bulloak Hills Simmentals, Katanning. Both are repeat Woonallee buyers, with Audrey paying the Woonallee record of $30,000 for Woonallee Buddy at the 2007 sale. They will use the heifer in ET breeding within their herds.

The sale was rounded out with a very successful offering of 16 semen lots. These comprised 10 straws /lot from 6 of the top Woonallee sires, giving breeders a wonderful opportunity to invest into the same genetics that are working so well for the Baker family.

Stuart Moeck, Valley Creek Simmentals, Richmond who bought the $10,000 record top Woonallee heifer last year was back again, and buying through Elders Goulburn bid to the top of $350/straw for the first package of the new USA polled bull, Gibby’s Real Deal. His first Woonallee progeny will be on offer next year. The 3 packages in this bull were highly sought, with the other 2 going to B & T Evans through Elders Gympie, Qld at $325/straw and KW Perkins & T Crouch, Chinchilla, Qld at $300/straw. The latter purchasers also added another $130/straw package in the polled Woonallee Tornado on top of a heifer purchase at $2,750.

The volume buyers of semen lots were New Zealanders Tom Sanson, Gold Creek Simmentals, Tekaraka via Gisborne and his father Jim, East Coast Cattle Co. They purchased 4 lots in all, securing both lots in Woonallee Hadau at $1,400 and $1,600, plus both lots in Woonallee Boulder at $1,100 each.

Both bulls are breeding the house down at Woonallee with Hadau having 12 sons in this sale, selling to $16,000 and averaging $5,875; while the 3 Boulder sons all sold at $5,000.

Agents              Elders Ltd

Auctioneers      Ben Finch & Ross Milne




Pictured with Woonallee Dimension, the $20,000 top priced bull at the very successful Woonallee sale are Woonallee principals Lizzy and Tom Baker (front) with children Harry and Olivia; Elders auctioneer Ben Finch and Woonallee stud manager Deon Chester (back). The bull was purchased via phone hook-up by Nigel DeVeth, Murphy’s Creek, Qld for sons Joshua and Jesse DeVeth to improve and expand their JD Simmental stud program.
Pictured with the $7,000 top priced Simmental heifer at the Woonallee sale are Woonallee principals Tom and Lizzy Baker and daughter Olivia, along with joint purchasers Jenna Athens and her parents Brad and Sylvia Patterson, Bulloak Hills Simmentals, Katanning, WA and Audrey Weightman, Topweight Grazing Co, Margaret River, WA.