Pamper-free Panda's price perfect for pair

TIM CRONSHAW
Last updated 14:51 23/05/2014
Capethorne Panda, bull
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TOP PRICE: Capethorne Panda was raised on the couple's farm in a no-fuss environment, Greg Chamberlain said.

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Cheviot breeders Greg and Debbie Chamberlain are still pinching themselves after their hereford bull Capethorne Panda 1251 sold for $35,000 at the AgInnovation event in Fielding.

Strong bidding forced up the price, with the Clements family of Northland's Matapouri stud having the final say.

Panda pulled through with the second-highest price of the hereford sale and across all breeds at AgInnovation last week. The final bid was only bettered by $40,000 for a hereford bull, judged champion of champions and bred by Raetihi breeder Kelly O'Neill.

The Chamberlains, owners of the Capethorne Poll Hereford stud, will never know how Panda may have fared in the champion of champions competition, as only one bull from each breed contests the event.

They can happily live with this, however, after Panda's performance in the bull ring.

Greg Chamberlain said Panda had been raised on the couple's Cheviot hill country farm in a no-fuss environment.

"We are quite pleased with that.The top price for a hereford was $40,000 and we were second, so the herefords were ahead of every other breed."

Judge Stuart Robbie, from Otapawa Poll Herefords, confided in Chamberlain that he would have bought Panda if he had not been successful in bidding for the O'Neill bull.

During the judging before the sale, Robbie described Panda as the complete package, with great structural soundness, mobility, depth, thickness, and balanced estimated breeding values.

Chamberlain selected the bull from a mob of 75 yearling bulls last October, and mated him with 25 yearling heifers before entering him in the super sire class, which he won.

The Chamberlains are looking forward to seeing the calves born next spring, in their herd of 150 stud cows and heifers.

In the super sire class, bulls have to be fully recorded with  proven breeding ability - getting at least 75 per cent of their females in calf. Panda measured up well in this department, with 24 of his 25 heifers in calf.

Selected bulls are run together as a group for three months before going to the national sale, and Panda was based with other South Island hereford bulls at Silverstream Charolais stud under the watchful eye of Anna Fisher.

Panda's sire Okawa Panda, bought in partnership with Chris and Amanda Jeffries from Grassmere Stud in 2011, has bred well in both studs and sired many of the lineup to be offered at the combined Capethorne, Grassmere Hereford and Riverlands Angus annual bull sale at Benmore farm in Cheviot on June 5.

North Canterbury struck its fair share of success at AgInnovation, with Kaikoura breeders James and Becky Murray selling their bull Matariki 120094 for $11,000 to Northland breeders Philip and Shirley Shepherd, of Otengi stud.

A hereford bull from Sefton's Tim and Helen Molloy made $10,500. The average sale price for hereford bulls was $10,444, up from  $9770 last year.

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