Unique Bovelder heifer auction draws great interest

15 May 2024

By: Chris Burgess

The Bovelder Cattle Study Group’s national elite heifer auction of open heifers on 1 May at Vrede High Schools’ grounds was a huge success, with a total sell out of all the animals under the hammer of BKB auctioneer Jan Mostert. Dr At Viljoen, one of the founding members of the study group, attended the auction and the gala dinner the previous evening.

The 25 lots of animals consisting of 10 heifers each were select animals from 25 top Bovelder breeders, many of them from the breed’s rugged sourveld heartland around Memel, Vrede and Harrismith.

The selection of the animals made available for the auction was uniquely not done by the breeders themselves but by an independent panel of study group members and fellow farmers.

“For a breeder not to select his own animals for an auction is unique in South Africa. Nowhere else in the country will you gather a group of breeders who choose another guy’s top 10 heifers for an auction,” said Jaco Maritz of Maritz Bovelders, one of the sellers. 

“If you’re looking for good genetics, where else will you get such an opportunity? The animals are beautifully uniform, and as you walk along the pens you wouldn’t say these are different breeders’ animals.”

The most expensive lot of heifers was sold by Willem Cilliers of Wicar Farming, Vrede, to Paul van Niekerk and Charl Theron of Boshoek Bovelders, Memel, for an average price of R32 000. The average price achieved for the 250 top-quality heifers was R20 044.

For Van Niekerk, buyer of the most expensive lot, the auction is an annual highlight. “For us, it’s a great privilege to be able to offer heifers at this unique auction.”

Paul de Bruyn and Richard Haupt of the Bovelder Cattle Study Group, with Deon Stegmann and his team from BKB Frankfort, once again effortlessly overcame logistical challenges to hold the auction with 250 animals on a bare schoolground. From neat mobile pens to ample water and feed for the 250 animals, everything was provided. Apart from generating income for the high school, the auction is a fun gathering of breeders every year.

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