Up George Bonsmara’s (the Ralfe family) held their 25th production auction on July 7, 2023. There was an online and live auction on Up George Farm, Wasbank, Kwazulu-Natal. AAM handled the auction, with Brandon Leer as the auctioneer.

74 Bulls and 72 females were presented and sold. The bulls sold at an average price of R202,784.

Sebadja Bonsmaras: Christoff Smit, Fouche, and Bertus Blignaut bought Lot 8, LAR19-373, for a top price of R4.4 million. It is also a new South African and world record.

Francois Bornman of Ons Tuiste Bonsmaras bought Lot 16, LAR19-319, for R2-million. It was the second-highest price achieved at the auction.

The bulls that followed were:

  • Lot 4: R775 000, bought by Boeram Venter
  • Lot 12: R700 000, bought by Neil Harvey and Frans Buckridge
  • Lot 10: R650 000, bought by Anton and Rickus Bothma
  • Lot 22: R300 000, bought by Jose Puoli from Bella Allianza Bonsmaras
  • Lot 3: R280 000, bought by George Barnard

The females also sold very well; cows with calves achieved an average price of R166 071, with the following top prices:

  • Lot 93: R625 000, bought by Bella Allianza Bonsmaras from Paraguay
  • Lot 97: R340 000, bought by Bella Allianza Bonsmaras
  • Lot 95: R260 000, bought by Eben Basson and Wessel Ebersohn
  • Lot 94: R260 000, bought by Ntabayoni Bonsmaras
  • Cows in calf sold at an average price of R40 504, with a top price of R105 000 for lot 105, bought by Bella Allianza Bonsmaras.

171 potential buyers have registered for the auction.

More about the bull that sold for a world record R4.4-million – Lot 8: LAR 19-373 (Logix Pedigree Report)

This bull certainly takes the meaning of “special” to the next level. He is truly extraordinary and a real privilege for all Bonsmara enthusiasts to admire. He is the closest we at Up George will ever get to breeding the most ideal and perfect bull. Phenotypically he has everything – everything a stockman aspires to breed and more. Lot 8 is a true lesson in the importance of visual appraisal. A proven herd sire who is difficult to fault, well balanced with his easy fleshing and prevalent muscling and does not carry the double muscled gene. A notable characteristic of his progeny and genetic traits is that he transfers these inherent muscling traits to his progeny without carrying the mutated Myostatin double muscling gene.

This is a very favourable trait in the ever-evolving science of cattle breeding to breed well-muscled cattle without the inherent double muscled gene. Lot 8 carries an astonishing amount of weight in his length, (length/ height ratio of 1:27), width and general capacity, but is short on the cannon bone, has an incredibly strong top line, full behind the shoulder and fleshes well into the hump with a broad back, and an incredible length of eye muscle. A better head one will not find, with his exceptional strong broad muzzle, width between the eyes and eye bank.

He has character, attitude, is very athletic and plenty libido. Lot 8 has a perfect clean sheath with large well-formed straight testes measuring 46cm with high quality semen which has a direct impact on inherent fertility which will improve the reproductive performance of his progeny. Genetics and pedigree are of equal importance as is the phenotype in cattle selection. Lot 8’s dam LAR08-245 (103/10 calves, 11th calf at foot) is an incredible stalwart cow, still highly productive in the herd at 15 years old. She is the daughter of the highly sort after old proficient genetics, LAR04-287 who bred top cows in the herd with adaptability, milk, fertility and longevity. LAR08-245’s daughter, LAR11-039 (sister to Lot 8, LAR19-373) is the dam of legendary herd sire LAR14-064, bought by Fourie Scheepers and Nick Serfontein in 2017 and later sold to Sebadja Bonsmaras as a 7 year old bull who is still proving his worth as an old proven herd sire. These proven genetics are invaluable in determining how the value chain of cattle breeding flourishes and succeeds.

The art of understanding an animal’s pedigree is extremely valuable. A true master of the art is Leon Riekert, LFR Bonsmara Stud, who bred the sire of Lot 8, LFR15-032. He was bought as a young 2 year old bull in 2017 and flourished as an influential herd sire at Up George bringing in desirable Bushveld traits as a result of the vigilant and proficient pairings and masterminding of genetic trait combinations. LFR15-032 was a true testament of these well thought out combinations which linked perfectly in the Up George herd producing 20 top bulls on the Up George production sales as well as 3 herd sires. LFR15-032 is now with Pieter Herbst, Umvozana Bonsmaras in Greytown. Lot 8 will be a true attribute to the beef industry in SA. We retain a semen share in this bull and 2 Co-ownerships have already been taken. The bull has been successfully tapped and he sells with 7 shares.

More about the history of Up George Bonsmaras

The stud started 35 years ago when Lawrence and Derek Ralfe bought a small bonsmara stud from Rob Taylor in the Underberg district. The stud was first started as the Kenriet Bonsmara stud in the Kokstad district and was later changed to the Up George Bonsmaras when the farm Up George was bought in the Elandslaagte area.

Fertile and adaptable Simmentaler/Afrikaner cows were purchased from the Rumevite Farm’s research institute and upgraded. Bulls from the Arcadia herd of Arthur De Villiers were bought. The two herd lines that made a big impact were AGN-81 and AG92-97.

See the entire auction catalog here.

Click here for the video of the bull during the auction.

Visit Sebadja Bonsmara’s Facebook page.