“A fantastically organised, regional community auction
that has become an institution and will be on the map forever.”
– Norman Adami
Hennie van der Walt
Real Karoo hospitality from Summit Wildlife and the community was experienced by all who attended the 4th Summit Wildlife auction in Graaff-Reinet over the weekend of 27 and 28 September 2019. On Friday evening, Hennie Barnard delivered the welcoming address during the charity auction that was sponsored by Octofin and raised over R300 000 for the beneficiaries of the auction. Thereafter, guest speaker Norman Adami spoke to the audience about his three convictions and his optimism for the game industry.
Norman’s first conviction is that all four pillars of the game industry, namely breeding, hunting, products and ecotourism, have a lot to contribute to the South African economy. According to him, we need to create and stimulate demand globally because people do not even know about our products, services or hospitality. The second conviction is that game ranchers practise sustainable farming. They are farming for the long term, carrying the responsibility on behalf of future generations and they are privileged to do so. Thirdly, Norman believes that South Africans are blessed to have Cyril Ramaphosa as president despite the challenges he faces to rebuild the ethical foundation of the state and to set the path for economic recovery.
Bids came in hard and fast
With a total of 36 sellers offering exceptional animals (23 species in total) on an auction that has become known for springbok, oryx, kudu and plains game, the availability of Grootbaas genetics attracted both buffalo sellers and buyers. A Grootbaas cow (sired by 49″ Derdemag) with a 51²⁄8″ Inala bull calf at foot and possibly in calf to 53⁶⁄8″ Grootbaas, sold for R300 000. This set the pace for other Grootbaas, Buffelcor, Chandelier, Chargo and Quaggasfontein buffalo at the auction.
With Hennie Barnard Skietfontein, De Ville Springbok, Jules of the Karoo, and Karoo Experience springbok genetics on offer, bids came in hard and fast. A 16⁴⁄8″ Hennie Barnard Skietfontein ram sold for R28 000, a 2½-year-old 17⁶⁄8″ ram from De Ville Springbok fetched R55 000, an 18″ ram from Jules of the Karoo went for R130 000, and 12″+ Damara ewes from Karoo Experience sold for R40 000 each.
Some 42″ oryx cows in calf to 47″ 2-Stroke from Dreyer van Zyl Game sold for R45 000 each, while a 44⁶⁄8″ bull from Jules of the Karoo fetched R100 000. A number of 40″+ cows from Chargo Game Reserve, certified to be in calf to 44″ Magnum, sold for R20 000 each.
Something for everyone
Being a regional auction in an area where ecotourism plays an important part in the local economy, there was also an offering of smaller game. An oribi family group from Kasouga Game Breeders sold for R16 000 each, while feed-adapted klipspringer, blue duiker and grysbok pairs from Vaalkop Steytlerville went for R9 000, R11 000 and R18 000 per animal. With a permit for delivery anywhere in South Africa, Romaco Ranch caught other bidders napping and bought lechwe ewes from East Cape Safaris for R6 000 a piece, insurance and delivery included. Hunting packages were offered by Glen Harry Game Breeders and Wolwedans Game Farm. The successful bidder on the Wolwedans lot will be fortunate enough to hunt black and normal impala, zebra and kudu with the Indian Ocean as backdrop outside Mossel Bay.
Using the nyala ewes as barometer – with ewes (sired by a 33″ bull) in lamb to a 31⁷⁄8″ bull from Lasarus Game Farm fetching R14 000 each – one can conclude that the platform that Summit Wildlife has created in the Eastern Cape, which offers free insurance and delivery of exceptional genetics countrywide, is hugely successful.
Speaking to GAME & HUNT after the auction, Neil Dodds said they were pleasantly surprised by the prices achieved on the day. With tough conditions created by the drought and the ailing economy, he said many buyers told him they would love to purchase animals but simply cannot afford to feed another mouth on their farm. Therefore, he is satisfied with the auction prices and “cannot wait for next year when the rains come”. He thanked his fellow Summit Group members, the Summit team and the guest sellers for their contribution, helping to make the day a success and a happy event for everyone.
For guest seller Tina de Jager of Valley Venture Stud, R135 000 for a sable heifer (in calf to a 51⁴⁄8″ bull of only four years and 10 months old) is a good price, given the prevailing drought and poor economy. Generally, prices on the day were realistic and the massive numbers of new buyers and entrants into the industry give her hope for the future. “We are busy making our animals affordable,” she says. This is resulting in the inflow of new buyers and breeders into the game industry, which shows there is trust within this industry. She has great praise for the Summit Group, who to her mind hosts the best-organised auction with unsurpassed hospitality – “real Karoo hospitality, real Summit hospitality, something very special.”
Being the last wildlife group auction of the year, Norman Adami said that, considering the overall environment in which the industry is operating, he is satisfied with what has been achieved this year. To describe the auction in his own words, it was “a fantastically organised, regional community auction that has become an institution and will be on the map forever”.