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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Record Breaking Sale at the Hokie Harvest

Livestock Update, December 2007

Dr. Dan Eversole, Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences, VA Tech


The 2007 Livestock Merchandising Class entertained a spectacular crowd of over 850 friends and supporters on a rainy, chilly evening at the 13th Annual Hokie Harvest Sale on Friday, October 26th.  There were 9 breeding swine sold via silent auction prior to the 16 university horses and 35 head (27 lots) of beef cattle that were sold concurrently at public auction in the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena (horses) and the Livestock Judging Pavilion (beef cattle) to 211 registered buyers from Kentucky, South Dakota, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia.  The beef cattle sale grossed $110,650 with a sale average of $4,098 with the following breed totals:  Angus - $89,300; Hereford - $10,150; Simmental - $9,000; and Charolais - $2,200.  The horse sale grossed $58,300 with a sale average of $3,644 while the nine breeding swine averaged $339.  This year’s sale gross totaled $172,003, which is the highest grossing sale since the inception of the Hokie Harvest in 1995.

In the cattle sale of four different breeds, Lot 1 set a record breaking price of $41,000 among all cattle (533 head) and horses (314 head) sold in the 12 previous Hokie Harvest Sales.  This three-year-old cow is an elite Angus female with an impeccable pedigree.  She is a daughter of the highly acclaimed Pathfinder Sire, Bon View New Design 1407, and is a direct grand daughter of the $7M producing Wehrmann Angus donor, GAR Precision 2536.  This highly valued donor cow sold with four frozen embryos by CA Future Direction 5321 to Clifton Farms of Berryville, VA.

In the yearling heifer division, Lot 9 was the sale topper at $4,000.  This Angus bred heifer is an embryo transfer daughter of the $10,000 donor, Alli Rita 704 314, and is sired by the record selling $255,000 GAR Integrity.  She sold to B.L. Grady of Faison, NC.

VPI Titan 6S50 (Lot 16) topped the yearling bull division at $2,900.  This Rito 2V1 son has tremendous curve-bending genetics and stems from an exceptional cow family in the Holly Hill Program in Mt. Crawford, VA.  He sold to John Howell of Floyd, VA.

The top seller for the horse sale was the impressive two-year-old Bertone VT (Lot 9), who sold to Ray James of Roncevert, WV for $11,500 after impressing the crowd with his incredible trot.  The bay Oldenburg NA gelding is by the top international dressage stallion Bugatti Hilltop and had been named Champion Colt at his ISR/Oldenburg NA inspection as a foal.

The second-highest selling horse was the two-year-old Bravado VT (Lot 12), a Premium Oldenburg NA gelding sired by Virginia Tech’s own Baladin d’Oc and out of the imported Dutch Warmblood mare, Kalanta.  The winning bidder was the Grand Prix dressage rider Sue Cooper of Impulsion Unlimited, Inc. in Huddleston, VA, who paid $5,600 for the outstanding young prospect.

The 78 students did a marvelous job of preparing for the sale.  They gained ‘hands-on’ experience in sale management, budgeting, cataloging, advertising, livestock photography, clerking, and health requirements.  A special thanks is extended to Col. Jeff Marsh of Eurosport Auctions, Ltd. and Col. Ken Brubaker of Brubaker Sales and Marketing for serving as auctioneers for the horses and beef cattle, respectively.  Students Victoria Athey, Leesburg, VA; Courtney Hall, Mitchell, VA; Allen Heishman, Mt. Jackson, VA; and Cameron Sasser, Albermarle, NC served as ring people for the beef cattle sale while Adam Marshall, Fancy Gap, VA worked the ring.  Bid-takers for the horse sale were Rebecca Arnold, Martinsville, VA; Marit Domjahn, Abingdon, VA; Lucas Spillman, Spotsylvania, VA; and Cliff Williamson, Reva, VA.  Students who were clerking ‘in the block’ were Ciera Sowers, Floyd, VA and Melissa VanWitzenburg, New Canton, VA for the beef cattle and horses, respectively.

The Food and Beverage Committee, with assistance from the Block and Bridle Club in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, served a complimentary BBQ dinner to over 850 guests.  Their support and cooperation are greatly appreciated.

The response from the 211 registered horse, swine, and beef cattle buyers and feedback from the students in the class continue to be overwhelming in favor of hosting another student-run livestock sale.  Plans are currently underway for the 14th Annual Hokie Harvest Sale on Friday, October 31, 2008.  We hope to see you there!

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