(Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from an original version.)
It was – 40 C on Feb. 25 when the Beechinor family prepared for their seventh bull sale.
They never imagined that the pace of their sale would be so hot.
Stefon and Rebecca Beechinor of Bentley, Alta., and partner JNR Farms of Willingdon, Alta., sold a 15-month-old Simmental bull named BLL Kalibre 762E for $275,000 to Christel and Steve Humbke and Ken and Carol Warkentin and of Starwest Farms, who own Starwest Farms and have farms at Calmar, Alta., and Chilliwack, B.C.
This is the highest price paid for a Simmental bull since 1985, when a half interest sold for $150,000.
The bull is unique in that it is a polled full-blood Simmental.
Jerry and Nicole Repka of JNR and Stefon Beechinor bought the bull’s dam, Virginia MS Zaltana, with a bull calf at side at a herd reduction sale from Virgina Cattle of Cremona, Alta. That calf, Kalibre, was a few hours old at the time.
They sold 100 percent of the bull, and the new owners are not offering semen at this time.
The Beechinor family started their herd with full-blood Simmentals and built from there. They own about 275 registered full-blood, black and red purebred Simmentals. They also have a commercial cow herd and grain operation.
The Beechinor Bros. farm organization has generally had high-averaging sales, selling about 60 bulls a year.
As well, a Canadian Angus record was set last month when Rob and Gail Hamilton sold a 14-month-old bull, Alcatraz 60F, for $200,000 at their annual March sale. This year, their sale offering of 139 bulls and females grossed $1.3 million and averaged $9,725.
The high selling bull went to Dave and Lynne Longshore of Bar EL Angus of Stettler, Alta., Cowtrax Angus of Val Marie, Sask., and the Guards of Alcatraz Syndicate of semen investors. The Hamiltons held a half semen interest.
“We knew he was going to be selling for good money, but you can never tell until the sale is over,” said Rob Hamilton.
“We are going to be using him quite heavily in our own herd as well as the people who bought him.”
The Hamiltons are seasoned Angus breeders from Cochrane, Alta., and no strangers to the show or sale ring with numerous national and supreme champions and high selling cattle.
Alcatraz was shown as a calf at Canadian Western Agribition, where it won the Angus division of the President’s Cup all-breeds competition. It was reserve champion overall.
The bull was sired by May-Way Breakout 1310, owned with Six Mile Angus of Fir Mountain, Sask., and Poplar Meadows Angus of Houston, B.C. It was supreme champion at Canadian Western Agribition and Farmfair International in 2015.
The dam is HF Mayflower 191Z, a daughter of HF Tiger 5T, also a past supreme champion.
“We raised Tiger and we have had other headliners in the industry,” Hamilton said.
“We had the feeling this guy could be the next Tiger and it is nice to see other people have confidence in him.…
“The bull has been well known in the United States and Canada since Denver (National Western Stock Show). We had him on display there and he was probably one of the most talked about bulls during Denver. That adds to the hype leading up to the sale.…
“The satisfying part for us is he went to such good Angus breeders.”