'A complete bull, really': Record price paid at Droughtmaster sale

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Western Queensland bull Rondel Whiskey has officially become the most expensive Droughtmaster to be sold at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange near Rockhampton.

The record price of $160,000 was set on the first day of the National Droughtmaster Bull Sale at Gracemere, on September 15.

Savage Barker & Backhouse auctioneer Josh Heck said the sale reflected confidence in the cattle industry and followed this season’s trend.

“The sale has been about $3,000 up on previous years,” he said.

‘Overwhelming’ price for best bull

The bull was sold by Luke Carrington from Rondel Droughtmaster Stud, based 100 kilometres north of Winton.

He said getting the top price was “overwhelming”, but the quality of the 21-month-old was second to none.

“He’s a complete bull really — he’s hard to fault,” Mr Carrington said.

A large bull stands in a paddock surrounded by several other bullsA large bull stands in a paddock surrounded by several other bulls
Rondel Whiskey fetched $160,000 to break the record for a Droughtmaster bull sale at the Gracemere Saleyards in central Queensland.(Supplied: Rondel Droughtmasters)

“He has a good back on him, 142 EMA, a good set of testicles, 39 in the scrotum, and he’s going to be a big bull with a beautiful head and muzzle, and that’s hard to find.”

Rondel Whiskey was purchased by the three-stud syndicate of High Country Droughtmasters, Nindethana Droughtmasters and Glenlands Droughtmasters.

Nindethana Droughtmasters owner Bronwyn Betts said joining forces made the purchase possible.

“The first plan is that we will collect semen from him and we will share that semen,” she said.

Nindethana Droughtmasters is located in Samford Valley, while High Country Droughtmasters and Glenlands Droughtmasters are located in the Brisbane Valley.

Ms Betts said yesterday’s purchase was her first as part of a syndicate and the most expensive bull she had ever bought.

“We certainly have a lot of confidence in the breeder [and] we have great admiration for the cattle,” she said.

‘We’re doing something right’

Getting the top price marked a change of fortune for the Rondel stud.

After enduring the drought, the operation lost 50 to 60 stud breeding cattle and several calves in the 2019 floods.

Mr Carrington said he hoped the good conditions continued.

“We’ve been coming 12 years and this is the highest price we’ve ever got,” he said.

Mr Heck said the outlook was positive for the whole industry.

“We’ve got the best beef in the world, people are paying the most money for it,” he said.

“We are obviously doing something right.”

The National Droughtmaster Bull Sale will finish on Wednesday afternoon.