Meet the young hereford bull breaking all kinds of records
A $45,000 bull stole the show and broke all kinds of records at the 71st annual Glen Innes Hereford Bull Sale recently.
Battalion Herefords owner Grant Kneipp said right from the beginning they knew Black Hawk K7 (H) was something special.
Black Hawk beat the Glen Innes sale record by $15,000 and Mr Kneipp's personal record by $30,500.
Mr Kneipp said Black Hawk didn't receive any special treatment and just developed naturally into an easy doing bull.
"We knew he was going to be special at an early age because he had great eye appeal with perfect structure and exceptional carcase attributes," he said.
"He was also backed by a great sire and a terrific dam, a pedigree we knew would deliver. He was also matched equally by the impressive EBV's which resulted in him being the complete package.
"We started advertising him back in December and he was getting a lot of attention.
"We knew he would do well, but we are still in shock at just how well." Battalion Herefords' Black Hawk K7 (H) was purchased by in shares by Franco & Thornleigh Herefords. Semen is already being sort after by numerous studs.
Mr Kneipp said with the general trend of the cattle market being up it's only natural for the bull market to follow.
"Horned herefords sold really well," he said.
"They do cop of bit of flack but they will deliver every day of the week.
"People are really starting to see how well they are doing."
Mr Kneipp said he has been surrounded by Herefords his whole life. "I bought my first stud cow at 14, I was trading under my dad's stud Echo Park Herefords," he said.
"My wife Kylie and I established Battalion Herefords when we started breeding top bulls of our own.
"We buy the best semen we can get our hands on, dad travelled NSW & VIC looking at over 600 bulls to select the sire of Black Hawk.
"It's really easy to do your job if you are passionate about it - you don't always get the biggest reward, but it's always great to see what a bull can do and how they perform for other studs and commercial herds.
Mr Kneipp said breeding bulls is a team effort with his wife Kylie who is also proactive on social media promoting their stud.
"If you don't promote yourself no one is going to do it for you," he said.
"Kylie plays a big role in putting together the advertising and getting videos of the bulls out there.
"Social media opens you up to audiences you couldn't reach before."
The Kneipp's property is near Dundee in Northern New South Wales, just north of Glen Innes.
"It's a beautiful place to live, its high rain fall country and a good place to grow cattle," he said.
"We don't have many acres but we've found breeding bulls is a great way to capitalise on making more money per acre.
"We have 40 stud cows and a small commercial herd which are used as recipient cows for our embryo transfer program and aim to breed between 10 to 15 bulls per year."
He said the annual Glen Innes sale was a great stepping stone for breeders.
"It's close to us and it's run so everyone gets a fair chance. Cataloguing order goes on your average from the year before, so if you do well, your towards the front - this year we started at lot 1 and it paid off.
"We also sell at the Casino White Face Bull Sale which is pretty well renowned.
"We go where people know the good quality bulls are going to be."
While Mr Kneipp said showing bulls is also a great way to showcase what a stud has on offer - they didn't put Black Hawk through the show circuit.
"He was young and we didn't want to overdo him.
"If I kept him for another year I would've loved to see him in the show ring, I think he would've done well in any show."
Mr Kneipp sold four bulls in Glen Innes on Friday for an average of $17,500.
"It's really humbling to be the most successful exhibitor at the longest running multi-vendor sale in Australia," he said.
Mr Kneipp said they strive to breed cattle from the ground up.
"Feet and structure to be at the top of the list, udder and teat shape for the females is imperative," he said.
"Many people think there is an art in the preparation but I am a believer that the best way to prepare the ultimate bull like Black Hawk isn't in the preparation its in the breeding. "Carcase, colour and cosmetics are the three main attributes that make a bull stand out on the day and they either have it or they don't."
The sale, held at the Glen Innes saleyards on July 29, is the longest running multi-vendor bull sale in regional Australia.
A total of 78 horned and polled bulls sold from the 84 offered for an average of $6570 and gross of $512,460.
In the female lots, five sold from six offered for a top of $4500 and average of $2700.
Overall, the sale grossed $526,000 and averaged $6337 - a jump of $1685 on last year's result.
The previous combined top price record of $30,000 was set at the 2015 sale.