The cattle world expected fireworks at the annual Millah Murrah Angus sale on Thursday but nobody was quite prepared for a $280,000 Australian record for a two year old Angus bull.
The new Australian record for an Angus sire broke with absolutely no barriers as bids climbed beyond $200,000 in the blink of an eye.
The sale also saw a $110,000 record for a genuine yearling and a record average of $34,220 for 118 bulls all sold to gross $4 million.
The bull was bought by stud Angus breeder Rodger Pryce, Brooklana via Dorrigo, on the NSW Northern Tablelands, who previously set jaws a wagging four years ago when he successfully bid for Millah Murrah Pue M4 by Coonamble Hector H249 for $190,000 - a record that still stands.
This time his Ray White agent Tim Bayliss masked up and travelled to Goonamurrah, via Bathurst, to make the bid.
Back at Brooklana, Prue now has a son of Paratrooper described by Mr Pryce as better than his record breaking step-brother.
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A lack of Paratrooper semen on the market means that this younger son, promoted by auctioneer Paul Dooley as "better than his father" will step into a ready market and as a result the young sire will go straight into artificial insemination production.
In recent months Mr Pryce has backed away from stud production, selling a third of his cows and keeping the best. Now, with his latest genetic purchase, he intends to capitalise on previous investments in the Angus game.
"I plan on concentrating on the top end of genetics," he said.
Records continued to tumble as the sale rolled on with a new benchmark for genuine yearling bulls set at $110,000 for Millah Murrah Paratrooper R275PV.
Auctioneer Paul Dooley said after knocking down the bull to the Paterson family, Heart Angus, Tamworth, the $110,000 price would be a new record for yearling bulls by about double.
Other amazing prices included Millah Murrah Paratrooper R48, 20 months, from an Abigail that sold for $240,000 and would have been a new record any other day.
The sire was bought by a consortium that included ABS Australia, JT Angus, Woonallee and others involved in Angus breeding.
Bulls sold from Queensland to Western Australia, with bids having no border barriers in this digital age, as well as to repeat clients in the surrounding the NSW Central West. Only a small crowd of masked individuals were present to witness the historic sale, pandemic in the district expanding by the day.
At the close stud principal Ross Thompson expressed absolute delight in being able to share such an experience with his full family, given COVID lockdown orders.
"It is so exciting ... the cattle job." he said, holding back tears. "I believe God leads you down certain paths."
"We're not overly focused on figures. It's about the skin type and the square top and it all comes out in the meat. That's what the old timers told us 50 years ago and they weren't wrong.
"We're so very proud and it's been a pleasure to share this with the girls and have them here. It's been amazing when everything has been haywire ... I've been haywire ... but it's such a wonderful thing to share with you.
"It's just so annoying that we can't stay and celebrate."
The sale was settled by Elders with online activity supported by Elite Livestock, which recorded nearly a thousand viewers, with 267 bidders pushing nearly 70 per cent of the time to spend $586,000 on-line.