$180,000 breed record lights-up Glenlands Droughtmasters

Jon Condon, 23/09/2012


Pictured with the new Australian record-priced Droughtmaster bull, Glenlands Prince are Cody Whiteman, Fortrus stud manager and Jason Childs, Glenlands Stud.  Picture: Kent WardA $180,000 breed record price electrified the early stages of the Friday’s Glenlands Droughtmaster bull sale held in the stud’s new showcase selling facility near Bouldercombe, not far from Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

Show team leader and interbreed champion bull from May’s Beef 2012 event in Rockhampton, Glenlands Prince sold for a new breed record price of $180,000 to the rapidly-emerging Droughtmaster seedstock breeder, Fortrus Pastoral Co, Gympie, before a standing-room-only audience.

Prince, a natural poll, is a clean-coated, softer, lower-content style Droughtmaster carrying all Glenlands breeding through sire, G. Kingsley, and dam, G. 30/70, who has produced seven calves in seven years, including five retained heifers.  

He eclipsed the previous $150,000 Droughtmaster record price set by Wolfang Fred-O, set back in 2007.

While easily the highest price paid for any breed in Australia this year, the result was still some way off the all-breeds Australian record bull price. Lancefield Brahmans set back-to-back all-comers records of $240,000 and $300,000 in 2006/07 for horned Grey Brahman bulls sold during the height of the BSE-influenced export beef market boom. Live exports to Indonesia were also rapidly expanding at that time.         

Because of his show career, Glenlands Prince was presented for sale on Friday at the relatively advanced age of 36 months, weighing 1227kg and scanned for an eye muscle area of 152sq cm – the highest ever recorded within the Droughtmaster breed. His scrotal circumference was 40.5cm and had P8/rib fat of 17/11mm. No Breedplan figures were available.

Underbidder was Angus Deane, who operates a small Droughtmaster stud at his extensive western Queensland cattle holding, Malboona, via Corfield.  

The Glenlands sale kicked off at a cracking pace when the second bull into the new sale-ring, Glenlands Pacific, was knocked down for $80,000 to colourful businessman, Michael Brown, Daddamarine Pty Ltd, Boobyjan.  

A number of breed records were smashed along the way:

  • The sale’s bull gross of $1.655 million is a single-vendor sale record for the Droughtmaster breed, and may be surpassed only by the extraordinary 2006 Palgrove Charolais result when 188 bulls grossed $2.145 million, to average $11,412.
  • The average of $9141 for 181 bulls (complete clearance) is a single-vendor Droughtmaster breed sale record
  • 10 led registered bulls averaged $41,800
  • 162 unled registered bulls averaged $7370.

In total, 195 sale lots – including 14 registered females averaging $5200 – grossed $1.728 million.

New owners of the Australian record-priced Droughtmaster bull, Fortrus Pastoral Co, was established near Gympie in southern Queensland by successful businessman, Paul McDonald. Some years ago the McDonald family sold their extensive quarrying, concrete batching and associated businesses to Boral.

Having previously bred a few Droughtmaster cattle on a much smaller scale, the McDonalds have more recently aggregated six smaller properties in the Bell’s Bridge district outside Gympie to form a much larger holding, which is now becoming the Fortrus stud headquarters.

A second larger breeding property further west, which is not yet utilised, will be integrated into the broader seedstock enterprise.

Just months ago, Fortrus made a private paddock purchase of the highly-regarded Angle Zed Droughtmaster stud operated by Bill and Jane Zahnleiter, tracing back to quality Durack bloodlines.

That sale included 150 matable-age registered cows, and some 300 registered cattle in total, giving Fortrus an immediate presence as a large-scale Droughtmaster breeder of the future.   

The brand new, spacious stud selling facility at the Glenlands complex, showcased for the first time to buyers on Friday, is arguably the best privately-owned stud selling facility in Australia. The inaugural sale set speculation in motion that the facility may be made available for bull sales for other vendors, given recent talk about rising fees and charges at the nearby CQLX complex at Gracemere, outside Rockhampton.

  • To view Beef Central’s report of Prince’s interbreed success at Beef 2012 in May, click here.




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