Angus stud breeders Donald and Leigh Whyte and Ryan and Sarah Hussey, of Mt Possession Angus, have sold a rising 2-year-old bull for an impressive $88,000.
The bull, called Mt Possession Q53, was sold at an on-farm sale at the Mt Possession Angus stud, at Hakatere Station in the Mid Canterbury high country, on June 14.
The price set a South Island record and was the highest price reached so far nationwide this sale season.
The record set last year was $104,000 for an Angus bull from Turiroa Stud, Wairoa.
"I knew he was a good bull. I wasn't anticipating that sort of money though," Hussey said.
"He's just a really complete package, really. Great phenotype, the data on him is just outstanding right across the board and fantastic temperament."
Mt Possession Q53 was born on Hakatere Station on October 3, 2019.
He had good breed plan data, growth, fertility, carcass traits, pedigree and phenotype (the physical attributes).
"He looks good and is well put together," Hussey said.
"The really pleasing thing about him is he actually by a bull that we bred as part of the stud, out of a cow that we bred as well."
The sire's name is Mt Possession M13; he was born in 2016.
The couples have a 50-50 partnership in the stud, which is run at Hakatere Station, owned by the Whytes.
Hussey, who is also the manager of the sheep and beef side of the station's operation, said the auction - which was their first on-farm bull sale - had been quite a success, with 19 bulls sold out of the 20 up for sale. Lot 5 did not sell, but Hussey was confident he would be picked up.
Overall, the auction averaged $11,200 per bull, but without the record $88,000 sale, that price per bull dropped to around a $7000 each. All starting bids were at $4000.
Quite a few were bidding on him at the start and at least four were still in at $60,000, Hussey said.
And then two in the final bids.
He was bought by Angus stud breeder Max Tweedie, of Hallmark Angus.
Mt Possession Angus was started in 2015, when the Whyte-Hussey partnership bought 26 in-calf cows and eight yearling heifers from Bruce Alexander's Goldwyn Angus Stud dispersal sale at Hunter, near Waimate.
The Mt Possession Angus stud had grown from there, with a programme to increase female numbers.
"We should be calving just on 100 stud cows this year," Hussey said.
The station also had 900 commercial cows.
There were also sheep and deer on the station: Whyte ran the extensive deer operation.
The partners were always on the lookout for other bulls for the stud, which had used imported and New Zealand genetics, Hussey said.
He was grateful for the support at the on-farm sale and to everyone for "showing an interest in what we do".
It was also a great morale booster after the late-May flooding event which had caused fencing and track damage, roads ruined, the bridge to Mt Possession wiped out, and at least one house at the deer farm on Mt Possession flooded by around 60cm (a couple of feet) of water.
However Mr Hussey said those on the station had fared a lot better than others downstream.