South Island bull sells for $92,500, nearly 10 times the average price, Sinead Gill, Jun 25 2022

A record breaking bull was described as “the star of the show” at the Meadowslea auction on Friday.

A South Canterbury bull with “impressive” ancestry broke a South Island record on Friday, fetching nearly 10 times the average price and breaking a South Island record.

The bull, numbered Lot 24 R705, is a rising 2-year-old Angus who sold for $92,500. His value was backed by DNA, coming from a line of long-living bulls, including a 13-year-old grandfather.

He was raised on Meadowslea farm in Fairlie by the Giddings​ family, with dad, David, at the helm and son, George, who was also a GP for nearby Twizel, on crew.

“We were pretty thrilled all right,” George Giddings​ said. The family celebrated at the historic Kimbell pub where “we were very well looked after”.

Giddings said their bulls usually sold for around $10,000. In 2020, their record sell price was $35,500.

The bull was bought by KayJay Angus​, a breeder in the Wairarapa who said on social media the competition to win him was “fierce”.

Giddings said the family felt lucky to have the quality herd they did, but it wasn’t just luck, rather decades of meaningful selections that gave them the genetics they had today.

From left, George, Harry, Celia and David Giddings of Meadowslea farm.
From left, George, Harry, Celia and David Giddings of Meadowslea farm.

“Dad started it [the breeding], he bought Angus from Gisborne in the early 80s… we’ve got a clear idea of what we want.

“They need to be the right size, easy doing and have positive fat.”

He said “being sound” was important – it meant their bulls didn’t just have the biggest proportions, but had a good quality of life, including ease of walking and being able self-feed on grass.

Meadowslea specialised in medium-frame bulls because they were more environmentally sustainable, he said.

New Zealand’s Angus bulls had that reputation generally, often catching the eyes of Australian breeders.

“The second top prize was from a guy in Australia, for $23,500, Jade Park Angus​.

Bull on sale at Meadowslea farm in 2020.
Bulls on sale at Meadowslea farm in 2020.

“In Australia there is a large supply of cheap grain, which has all sorts of environmental and wellbeing concerns… they [Australian] like our Angus because they can feed themselves.”

The sale of R705 was likely the largest sale of a single bull in the South Island. The previous record holder had been sold in 2021 for around 88-89,000, Giddings said. In 2021, a Bull was sold for over $100,000 in the North Island.