THIS year’s crop of spring bulls has Riddellvue Angus stud principal, Ian Bates, looking confidently to this year’s sale and beyond.
The stud will offer around 30 eighteen-month bulls at its annual on-property spring sale on Thursday October 12.
Buyers will see a catalogue full of bulls who are thriving in the new location at Markwood in the North-East of Victoria, just out of Wangaratta.
Overwhelming feedback from existing and potential clients has created an upbeat “vibe” and generated a lot of confidence about the future of the studs’ Markwood location along with the exciting new genetics coming through the herd said Principal Ian Bates.
His confidence is well founded with the quality throughout this year’s spring catalogue, and the prospect of the first crop of bulls from the “real deal” sire, Reiland Ricochet R952, hitting the sale ring in 2024.
Getting Beef Week 2023 operating in the local area earlier this year was a clear marketing tool proving very successful for the stud, and expected to translate into demand for quality Riddellvue genetics leading into the spring sale.
Riddellvue is coming off some of its best results yet at its October 2022 spring sale, when 22 of the 26 bulls offered sold to a top price of $20,000 – a new record for the stud – and an average of $12,000.
Mr Bates said it was a treat to see the young bulls in such good condition after a challenging season.
He said moving the spring sale back by a month from its traditional September slot to early October had been a boon for the stud and welcomed by existing and new clients.
“The difference in environment is huge, with so much more daylight, more sunshine, no fog – it’s better for my mind so it’s got to be better for the cattle too,” he said.
The past year has been one of the toughest he has experienced but the bulls have got that extra month and have come through the winter a bit bigger and stronger.
Riddellvue’s young bulls are allowed to “do their own thing”.
“We don’t push young bulls and that helps with the longevity of the animal. The proof’s in the pudding, bulls that are pushed too hard just don’t last,” he said.
“I don’t want these young bulls too heavy. They are all going to be the same weight as three-year-old bulls and they will last a lot longer.”
He said all bulls in the catalogue were parent verified and the breeding value numbers this year were the best the stud had achieved.
“I don’t get hung up on numbers, I’m more about structure, longevity, temperament and a bull that looks right. This group of bulls are very well put together and there are some good numbers in there too,” he said.
The stud uses leading genetics out of the US and around Australia in its breeding programs with sons of these AI feature sires in the catalogue; WR Full House, GB Fireball 672, Marlon Brando M304, Coonamble Nic Nat N439 and Chiltern Park Moe M6.
Mr Bates said the rest of the catalogue by his “walking bulls” has produced a “very even” group of bulls.
Looking ahead, Reiland Ricochet R952, purchased from Reiland Angus in 2021, now has his first spring drop calves on the ground and they are looking great said Mr Bates.
“I’m very happy with how he’s going. He’s going to be a real asset to my herd and many herds to come,”.
“This time next year the progeny should be running through the sale ring.”
“Ricochet is what I’m all about. He’s got good numbers right across the board and that’s what I look for. He’s a great looking bull that works cows well – he’s the real deal.”
Riddellvue was thrilled to host more than 50 visitors to the property at Beef Week 2023.
“The vibe was good. The locals were fantastic in welcoming us to the area and the autumn sale went off pretty well for the first sale in a new area – the feedback was overwhelming.”
“Marketing bulls is the game we play, and we’ve got to meet the commercial guy’s needs at a time when they aren’t getting the same level of prices from a couple of years ago.”
“I believe in looking after the commercial blokes. They’re the bread and butter and I don’t want to see a really high average that isn’t realistic for the commercial guys.”
Mr Bates said the stud had come a long way in a relatively short time and that’s down to the quality of the cow herd.
“I’m a cow breeder and I select my genetics based on breeding a good cow herd, if you don’t have a strong cow herd you won’t be putting bulls into a sale.”
The stud is set up for a great future and the team at Riddellvue looks forward to welcoming new and long-term buyers to the first spring sale at Markwood.
The Annual spring on-property auction, interfaced with AuctionsPlus, will be held on Thursday, 12th of October, starting at 1pm with inspections invited from 11am.