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Grant and Rachel Simons won the R.B. Murray Trophy for having the heaviest pen of steer calves at the sale at the Balclutha Saleyards last week.
Mr Simons said he was "proud" of the cattle on their 120ha farm in Warepa, about 13km southwest of Balclutha.
"It’s nice to have nice stock."
The couple sold their dairy farm three years ago and fed his beef cattle the same way, hence the heavy steers, he said.
PGG Wrightson head auctioneer Chris Swale said about 730 calves featured at the sale included Charolais steers, which sold for between $910 and $940 each.
Simmental steers from Beresford Farms were the top of the exotics selling for between $950 and $1050 a calf.
"The sale met a good demand — it was a good-sized gallery — I didn’t expect that many people to show up," Mr Swale said.
Beresford Farms owner Warren Burgess, of Puketiro, said the "good strong bench of buyers" was "neat to see".
He sold 125 calves at the sale.
"Being the first sale of the season nobody knew how strong it was going to be but it went well."