A South Canterbury bull with an “impressive” pedigree broke the South Island record Friday, selling for nearly 10 times the average price and breaking the South Island record.
The bull, number 24 R705, is a 2-year-old Angus that sold for $92,500. His value was confirmed by DNA descended from a line of long-growing bulls, including a 13-year-old grandfather.
He grew up on Meadowsley Farm in Fairlee in the Giddings family, with father David at the helm and son George, who was also a general practitioner for neighboring Twysell, on the team.
“We were very excited,” George Giddings said. The family celebrated at the historic Kimbell Pub, where “we were very well taken care of.”
Giddings said their bulls usually sell for about $10,000. In 2020, their record sale price was $35,500 .
The bull was bought by KJ Angus, a breeder from Wairarapa, who said on social media that the competition for his win was “brutal.”
Giddings said the family was lucky to have such a quality herd, but not just luck, but decades of meaningful selection gave them the genetics they have today.
“Dad started it, he bought Angus from Gisborne in the early ’80s … we have a clear idea of what we want.
“They have to be the right size, easy to handle and have positive fat.”
“Being healthy” was important, he said, which meant their bulls not only had the largest proportions, but also had a good quality of life, including ease of walking and the ability to eat grass on their own.
Meadowsley specialized in medium-sized bulls, he said, because they were more environmentally sustainable.
New Zealand Angus breed bulls generally had that reputation, often attracting the attention of Australian breeders.
“The second top prize was from a $23,500 guy from Australia, Jade Park Angus.
“Australia has a large supply of cheap grain that has all sorts of environmental and welfare problems…they [Australians] like our Angus because they can feed themselves.”
The sale of R705 was probably the largest single bull sale on the South Island. According to Giddings, the previous record holder was sold in 2021 for about 88,000 to 89,000. In 2021, Bull was sold on North Island for more than $100,000.
R705 was sold on an online auction platform called YourBid, which the Giddings family developed during the 2020 lockout and which is now used by farmers even in the United Kingdom.
The platform used the Helmsman auction method, meaning bids could be placed over several days and all lots were put up for sale simultaneously with real-time tracking.