Bull sale a risk that paid off for local stud

Around 100 people attended the bull sale, which Grant Kneipp wants to be the first of many.
Around 100 people attended the bull sale, which Grant Kneipp wants to be the first of many.

It was a big punt organising Battalion herefords' first ever bull sale during the worst drought in decades.

But owner Grant Kneipp, who combined with Cara Park herefords to put 24 bulls up for sale in the Glen Innes showgrounds yesterday, said it was the inevitable next step.

But it meant a pretty good deal for one buyer, who will likely turn around the day's top price purchase of $12,000 for an immediate profit.

Mr Kneipp said he had around $25,000 worth of international semen orders for the bull, which is the son of his best ever seller, worth $45,000. He agreed he probably could have got more for the beast.

He said he was basically willing to sell for less than its real value, and had no reserve price for any animal on sale.

"We wanted to show faith in our sale and offer our best with an unreserved price," he said.

The priority is to build up the sale as a place you can get a good deal. Grant is philosophical about potentially thousands left on the table: some days the buyer wins, and some day the seller wins, he said.

Starting an annual bull sale during the worst drought in decades is a risky move, but one he wants to build on.

"This is the big move for us where we've stepped out," he said.

"Very few would be brave enough to try it.

"(But) we felt we'd been presenting our cattle and standing them against cattle all over the region. We know our cattle are competitive."

And the sale was a success, by the numbers. Some 100 buyers and spectators fronted up yesterday, with some travelling from South Australia, Victoria and Canada.

Battalion sold 11 of 14 bulls, a clearance rate of 78 per cent at an average price of $5,545. Cara Park also sold a pair of beasts on the day.

Mr Kneipp said it was a good record in the "worst possible year on record for bull sales".