South East stud sets new Simmental high

ON THE JOB: Woonallee Simmentals co-proprietor Tom Baker escorts one of the bulls around the sale ring this week. Picture: J.L. "FRED" SMITH

ON THE JOB: Woonallee Simmentals co-proprietor Tom Baker escorts one of the bulls around the sale ring this week. Picture: J.L. “FRED” SMITH

A FURNER beef cattle stud has again set a national record at one of its annual sales this week.

Woonallee Heaven Sent P4 sold on Wednesday for an Australian Black Simmental female record of $30,000.

Owned by the Baker family, Woonallee Simmentals last set a new Australian benchmark just two years ago when its Woonallee Los Angeles bull sold to Queensland interests for $160,000.

Wednesday’s on-site sale produced a solid result with all 54 females of offer selling for an average of $5556.

It is understood the sale-topper was many thousands above the previous high achieved by stud owners Tom and Lizzie Baker.

The 11-month old is reportedly heading to Queensland.

Thursday’s sale at Woonallee was attended by a gathering of 300 but was disrupted by a technological hitch.

Mobile signal coverage was lost from 1pm to thousands of Telstra customers across the South East.

The outage extended to Furner which impacted phone bids so the Woonallee auction was suspended for 20 minutes after four bulls were sold.

The sale was continuing at press time on Thursday.

In all, Woonallee offered 31 traditional bulls, 51 black purebred bulls, nine red purebred bulls and 19 SimAngus bulls at its 12th annual bull sale with over 100 bidders.

Before the start of Thursday’s bidding, Mr Baker addressed the gathering and acknowledged the sponsors, stud workers, agents and all who had worked towards the success of the day.

“Thanks for coming and I know it is tough and dry out there,” Mr Baker said.

“I am proud to stand up here and say we are presenting a really good line of bulls.”

Before picking up the auctioneer’s gavel, Elders agent Ben Finch said it was fitting to pause and knowledge the passing in 2018 of Woonallee co-owner Margaret Baker and retired stock agent Leigh Allan.

The annual Woonallee sale has always attracted buyers from most states of Australia and New Zealand.

Among them were Tasmanian couple Nathan and Leah Skirving who have been to 10 sales and who estimate they have spent $100,000 in this time.

Chinese couple Dongzhu and Lily Xu have operated the Lakeside Simmental stud between Beachport and Robe since 2014 and were looking to again be customers of Woonallee.

The fate of the Millicent saleyards was a talking point among local agents and graziers.

Furner grazier Tony Bateman said he had attended all 12 bull auctions and been a customer at most of them.

Tyson Smith is a sixth-generation grazier at Rendelsham and the family farming enterprise purchases bulls from Woonallee and other studs.

Mr Smith said he was attending his third annual Woonallee sale.

“It is a top day and there is a good presentation of the bulls,” Mr Smith said.