Gayndah stud lays down big bucks for a big bull
A GAYNDAH grazier has come home from last month's National Braford Sale at Gracemere with a prize-winning bull, paying what is believed to be the second-highest price ever for a Braford.
Harriett Valley Brafords' Kenny family have been eyeing off 'Little Valley Richard 2976' for around 18 months, since first seeing him in northern New South Wales.
At Gracemere, they pounced, laying down $40,000 to purchase Richard from Doug and Shirley Bennett, who own a stud, Little Valley Brafords, in Casino.
The highest known price for a Braford bull is $45,000 at the 2012 National Braford Sale in Gracemere for 'Carinya Murdock', sold by John and Jackie Amor from Carinya Braford Stud in Dulacca.
Russell Kenny said he was drawn to Richard's "bone structure, weight for age, fertility and eye muscle area.
Eye muscle area "shows how many steaks are in them,” he joked.
"He is quite a good bull.”
Despite the hefty asking price, Mr Kenny said Richard, at 36 months old, has the pedigree to match: the bull was named senior champion bull and then grand champion at the Braford Feature show at Taroom in May.
Despite the outlay, Harriett Valley Brafords still came out in the black after Gracemere: they sold 10 bulls at an average of around $4600, which is "pretty good” for the dry conditions, Mr Kenny said.
Richard will now settle into a life of helping the Kennys breed more stud bulls.
He's "going alright so far,” Mr Kenny said, and is currently acquainting himself with a few heifers.
The Kennys will also sell Richard's semen, after ensuring they have enough preserved in an artificial insemination tank in the unlikely event Richard dies prematurely.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of Harriett Valley selling Braford stud bulls and five generations of Kennys have been involved in the operation.
The family said they hoped to keep the stud going well into the future.
They said they are passionate supporters of the local community, having sponsored campdrafts, the show society, the football club and the jockey club over the years.
Harriett Valley Brafords is also well-known on the North Burnett show circuit, their most successful outing being last year's Mount Perry Show, where their bull, Harriett Valley Quest won senior and grand champion bull, as well as supreme champion of the show.
Aside from selling stud bulls, Harriett Valley Brafords also run about 400 breeders and a commercial cattle operation on their property.
The Kennys have a good working relationship with the Bambling family, who are commercial Braford breeders, with Harriett Valley supplying several Braford bulls over the years.
Mr Kenny said Brafords are good value for money, with the sires of the Bambling weaner steers, which have won the overall champion pen of steers at the Murgon Weaner Sale two years running, being bought at the National Braford Sale at Rockhampton for an average of $4000.