Strong as a bull: annual sales back in full swing

Crowds gather at the Annual Bull Sales in Clermont. PHOTO: Scarlett Cook

THE LOCAL cattle industry is poised for a boost with the Annual Highlands Droughtmaster Bull Sale kicking off in Clermont last week
Sales Coordinator Jane Barton said the sales, now in their 30th year, could not have run so long without the support of the local community.
“I’ve been doing it a while, I think this is my eighth year,” she said.
“The reason that we are involved is that the sale was actually started by my father-in-law Peter Barton.
“It’s got a strong family history for us, so that kept our heart in it well and truly.
“We’ve always had really great support from the Clermont Community with this sale.
“It’s always remained really strong over the years. With the great support of the Clermont community, it’s allowed the sales to continue quite successfully as everyone brings the same quality of bulls generally.
“There’s that consistency there that people come to expect.”
Mrs Barton said it was good to see the event back in full swing after the complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything just stopped the day before our sale,” she said.
“That was quite a hard year for the sale because people just didn’t know what to do.
“We still had it last year. The bulls sold, but not as well as what they normally would.”
Mrs Barton said she was confident this year’s sales would be a strong performer.
“With the confidence in the beef industry lately and cattle being worth what they’re worth we’re hoping to have an extremely successful sale this year.
“We’re hoping that this year, being our 30th year, that all the stars hopefully have aligned for us and that it should be an absolute cracker.”
A breakfast was hosted this morning, prior to the sale.
“We provided a breakfast for all buyers, which this year is being done by the Queensland Country Women’s Association (CWA) ladies,” Mrs Barton said.
“We reached out to them to see if they’d like to provide the catering. They do a lot of the cattle sales in town so it’s great just to be able to support a local cause such as the CWA.
“All of the ladies are obviously great cooks, so it’s fantastic to be able to be involved with them.”
Judging occurred this morning prior to the sales officially opening.
“We invited all prospective buyers to come and have a look at the bulls on the Thursday afternoon and do a backyard bull walk,” Mrs Barton said.
“We also have a judge who comes around and looks at each pen of bulls when they’re all penned up together and then they walk around and hand out a first, second and third for best pen of bulls.”
In addition to the sales, a meet and greet was held for vendors at the Commercial Hotel in Clermont last night.
“The meet and greets have been quite the social event,” Mrs Barton said.
“It’s been really, really great to have that chance to socialise with the other vendors as we don’t usually get the chance to catch up with each other apart from bull sales,” she said.
“It’s quite lovely.”