Couple win trophy for calves at first contest

Farmer Cameron Clark, of Owaka, helps his grandson Clay (3) down the back entrance to the auction...
Farmer Cameron Clark, of Owaka, helps his grandson Clay (3) down the back entrance to the auction room at the Owaka Calf Sale at the Balclutha Saleyards. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE
A South Otago couple have taken home a memorial trophy after entering the Owaka Calf Sale for the first time.

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.

About 140 people attended the Owaka Calf Sale at the Balclutha Saleyards on March 18.
About 140 people attended the Owaka Calf Sale at the Balclutha Saleyards on March 18.
The pen of nine Angus cross steers had an average live weight of 386kg.

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."

Beresford Farms owner Steph Burgess, of Puketiro, inspects a pen of her Simmental steers with her...
Beresford Farms owner Steph Burgess, of Puketiro, inspects a pen of her Simmental steers with her granddaughter Charlie MacLean (3), of Balclutha, at the Owaka Calf Sale at the Balclutha Saleyards.
The steers were heavy due to being born in autumn and the cows being fed well.

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.

Grant Simons displays the R.B. Murray Trophy he won for having the heaviest pen of steer calves...
Grant Simons displays the R.B. Murray Trophy he won for having the heaviest pen of steer calves at the sale last week.
More traditional breeds, such as Angus Hereford cross, sold for between $850 and $1040 a calf.

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."

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