Prue M4 with Ross Rodger Pryce Andrew Bickford & Paul Dooley[1]

Beefy Betty Sells for a Song

Image: Millah Murrah Prue M4, pictured with (L-R) vendor Ross Thompson (Millah Murrah), purchaser Rodger Pryce (Brooklana Angus), Andrew Bickford (Elders Bathurst) and auctioneer Paul Dooley. Image supplied.

Social media feeds have been buzzing over the last week with the news that a heifer named Millah Murrah Prue M4 sold for a record $190,000 at an all-female sale in Bathurst, New South Wales.

The 21-month old Angus heifer is in calf to Millah Murrah Proceed L237 and was purchased by Brookland Angus Stud. 234 cows were sold on the day averaging $13,709 each with two lots breaking the record for the most expensive Angus females sold – Prue M4, and Prue H112 – who sold for $54,000. The sale average also broke the previous industry record by a staggering 61%.

Cash Cow

However, Prue M4 isn’t the most expensive Australian cow ever sold. Earlier this year a Holstein heifer was sold for a world record $251,000 at an International sale in Tatura. The future dairy cow Lightning Ridge CMD Jedi Gigi was sold by a Warragul breeder to a Texan buyer. The calf was ranked number 4 in the world based on genomic results – a genetic indication of highly desirable traits.

In 2009, Holstein cow Missy sold for $1.2million at a sale in Ontario, Canada. Able to produce 50kgs of milk a day – 50% more than the average cow – Missy’s desirable traits resulted in pre-signed contracts worth $3.23million from buyers keen to secure her embryos to improve lower-quality stock.

Riding on the Sheep’s Back

While the Guinness Book of Records cites the 2009 sale of Texan ram Deveronvale Perfection as the most expensive in the world ($231,000), an Australian Stud Ram famously sold for $450,000 in the 1980’s.

The ram was bred by the Collinsville Stud, northeast of Burra in South Australia and sold at the Royal Adelaide Show ram sales. Stud owner Richard Nitschke bought a three-quarter stake in the ram, effectively valuing it at $600,000.

A Chinese shepherd may own a multi-million dollar sheep, after turning down an offer of 12 million Yuan (AUD$2.3 million). Mr Paerhati bought the rare-breed Wagir lamb from Afghanistan and is retaining the animal as a breeder.

Wagir – also known as Swordsman Sheep – are one of the rarest breeds of in the world with the population thought to be as small as 1,000. Their long ears and white fleece make the animals attractive to a growing band of wealthy Chinese business owners looking to invest in something different.

Also in fashion is the Dolan sheep – a rare-breed descending from the fat-tailed Kashgar bred on the border of China and Afghanistan. Dolan were originally selected for rapid weight gain and high meat yield, but have now become an ornamental breed thanks to their curved face, long ears and twin tails. In 2010, a Chinese dealer valued two Dolans at AUD$50,000 each.

Pricey Pets

According to Business Insider Australia, the most world’s most expensive cat cost $41,435, a three-inch long stag beetle sold for $89,000, and a team of Hong Kong sushi vendors bought a 754-pound blue fin tuna for $396,000.

In 2011, a Chinese coal baron paid more than $1.5 million for a dog.

Sources: Rural Weekly, Business Insider Australia, The Globe and Mail, ABC, Property Observer, Daily Mail,

Get the latest industry updates

Stay up to date on ag industry news, HR resources and available positions.