Unique offering of 7-year old cows sets Vastrap apart

Unique offering of 7-year old cows sets Vastrap apart

The Vastrap Auction is distinguished by the fact that we offer for sale every single one of our own bred pregnant 7-year old cows. Each year these cows represent some of the best animals in the entire Vastrap herd and sometimes, the best in the country. This offers the buyer complete transparency and the opportunity to acquire an established herd matriarch in the prime of her productive life. We are excited to present the 2013 year group at the 2020 Vastrap Auction on Friday 21 August 2020.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Over the past 8 years the Boran Society has consistently recognised Vastrap Boran as one of the best managed and best performing large herds in South Africa. This is significant, because it means that the value of our 7-year old cows is underpinned not only by their looks and genetics, but also by accurate performance values and progeny on the ground to showcase their quality.

Other breeders have often questioned how the Vastrap herd can survive the loss of the 7-year old group every year? The rationale is as follows. Because of our accurate measurement of performance, we are able to identify our best animals at an early age. These animals will be flushed once to ensure that we have more progeny on the ground by the time they are sold. Our cows have their first calf at 33-35 months so we get natural calves from them in years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Our philosophy is that a cow should breed progeny that are good enough to replace her within 4 years.

All of this underpins the value proposition for the buyer. The cows sold at the Vastrap Auction are offered under the auspices so they have been screened for conformation and are heavily pregnant or with calf. Within 3 and a bit years the buyer should have 4 calves on the ground from a top cow from one of the best herds in the country. All in all, the buyer reaps the  benefit of years of meticulous record keeping, research and top Vastrap genetics.

We are proud to be able to offer this unique opportunity to our clients. It has been heart-warming to see how many of the 7-year olds we have sold over the past 8 years have made their mark as herd matriarchs at their new homes. Here are some of the beauties that have gone under the hammer at past auctions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2017 Vastrap Auction: Farewell Mollshoop

2017 Vastrap Auction: Farewell Mollshoop

Thank you to everyone who supported the 2017 Vastrap Auction on Friday, 18 August. In many ways it was an emotional day for us as we bid farewell to the last remaining Mollshoop Boran cows that were the founding matriarchs of the Vastrap herd. Our Boran journey started with these cows and we have them to thank for the consistent quality and character of the Vastrap herd today. We bid farewell to the Mollshoop Jackies, Roses, Odettes, Hopes, Savannas et al and happily start afresh with their Vastrap (VST) offspring still carrying their names. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome as the results on the day surpassed our expectations!

This was our 5th auction and without a doubt the most smoothly run, thanks to the great service we received from the whole team at OVK/CMW led by Johan Scholtz and Paul van Biljon. From the marketing, the setting up, the auction logistics through to the loading and administration, we continuously felt a sense of comfort that everything was being run efficiently and professionally. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all the OVK/CMW staff. We can wholeheartedly recommend OVK/CMW service to anyone thinking of holding a livestock auction. Thank you also to Johan van der Nest for bringing his A-game and lifting the auction with his usual unique style!

The organisation of an auction takes a huge physical and emotional toll, but it is all worth it when you see what an effort people make to get here. We were happy to see many repeat customers, but also lots of new faces, not only from the stud industry.

We are proud to be associated with all our guest sellers (Peinke Ranch, Pratos Borane and Heeltevrede Stoetery) who offered exceptional quality animals that did very well on the day. Huge congratulations to Peinke Ranch for having the highest price cow and bull on the day – Shakira PRB 14-21 (R205’000) and Leika PRB 14-18 (R140’000).

2017 Vastrap Auction Results
  Average Price Highest Price
All Bulls (17) R43 000 R140 000
Cows (25) R65 000 R205 000
Heifers (6) R34 000 R55 000

The average price of commercial pregnant cows was about R16’000.

Shakira PRB-14-21 sold for R205’000 to Damina Roberts.

Naledi MHB 11-52 sold for R140’000 to Rory Kockott KKT Boran.

Xany MHB 11-33 sold for R90’000 to Dr Ben Spies.

Rose MHB 06-03 sold for R85’000 to Peinke Ranch.

Jackie MHB 07-29 sold for R80’000 to Frontier Borans.

PRB 14-18 sold for R140’000 to Rohan & Dylan Meintjies Sterkfontein Borane.

Kingston VST 12-28 sold for R60’000 to Ockert Werner Model Borane.

VST 14-34 sold for R50’000 to Ockert Werner Model Borane.

PT 14-21 sold for R55’000 to Dr Ben Spies.

Gumboots and raincoats at the 2016 Vastrap Auction!

Thank you to everyone who supported the 2016 Vastrap Auction on Friday, 19 August. We had a lovely dinner at Vastrap the night before the auction catching up with people who had travelled from far to be there. The next morning, quite unusually for the Free State at this time of year, we woke up to a huge thunderstorm and it rained on and off throughout the morning. It was cold and wet and muddy, but that didn’t deter the Boran enthusiasts who had travelled from far to attend the auction. We hauled out the gas heaters, lit a bond fire and handed out blankets and sherry in the auction tent to keep everyone warm! The team from OVK/CMW did a fantastic job of running the auction smoothly in challenging weather conditions. By lunch time the sun was shining and everyone enjoyed the steak braai for lunch. The organisation of an auction takes a huge physical and emotional toll, but it is all worth it when you see what an effort people make to get here. We were happy to see many repeat customers, but also lots of new faces.

There was something on offer for everyone, with prices varying from R16’000 to as high as R160’000. Astute buyers, who had done their research and know their genetics, were richly rewarded on the day with real value for money on top quality animals. We are proud to say that every animal that got a bid was sold without any negotiation. Our policy is to sell all animals that are offered on the day and not to quibble over prices. We are proud to be associated with all our guest sellers (Peinke Ranch, Frontier Boran, Brenaissance, Pratos, Kieras & Heeltevrede Stoetery) who offered exceptional quality animals that did very well on the day.

The average price of bulls sold on the day was R39,000. The top priced bull was VST 13-84 (Jackie MHB 09-20 x Khan MHB 04-27), which sold for R160’000 to Burnie Staal from Bos Blanco. This bull is the son of the top priced cow, Jackie MHB 09-20.

The average price of females was R34’000. The top priced female was a heifer, PT 14-08 (Shakira BA 08-86 x Magnum CI 07-127), which sold for R160’000. The top priced pregnant cow was Jackie MHB 09-20, which sold for R140’000. The top priced 3-in-1 was Faith PRB 12-08 (with a beautiful Zorro bull calf), which sold for R110’000.

2016-08-21_0001 2016-08-21_0002 2016-08-21_0003 2016-08-21_0004 2016-08-21_0005 2016-08-21_0006 2016-08-21_0007 2016-08-21_0008 2016-08-21_0009 2016-08-21_0010 2016-08-21_0011 2016-08-21_0012 2016-08-21_0013 2016-08-21_0014 2016-08-21_0015 2016-08-21_0016 2016-08-21_0017 2016-08-21_0018 2016-08-21_0019 2016-08-21_0020 2016-08-21_0021 2016-08-21_0022 2016-08-21_0023 2016-08-21_0024 2016-08-21_0025 2016-08-21_0026 2016-08-21_0027 2016-08-21_0028 2016-08-21_0029 2016-08-21_0030 2016-08-21_0031 2016-08-21_0032 2016-08-21_0033 2016-08-21_0034 2016-08-21_0035 2016-08-21_0036 2016-08-21_0037 2016-08-21_0038 2016-08-21_0039 2016-08-21_0040

 

Final bull selection for the 2016 Vastrap Auction

Final bull selection for the 2016 Vastrap Auction

Every year as part of our efforts to ensure that only the best 3-year old bulls are offered at the annual Vastrap Boran Auction, some independent fellow Boran breeders help us to do a visual evaluation of our bulls. It was one of the coldest mornings of the year, but seeing how far the bulls have come made it all worthwhile. We had two visitors from Botswana watching the proceedings and we made sure they were bundled up in warm jackets and beanies!

Stompie Olivier (Hotspot Boran) has been showing with cattle ever since he could walk and we highly respect his knowledge and eye. Due to his “showing” experience, he has an excellent eye for conformity and correctness of both females and bulls. Oom Theo van Zyl (Faurzyl Boran) has been a stud breeder for 30 years and is very strict and picky in his selection of animals. He know what commercial and stud breeders are looking for and which type of bulls breed well. Rikus Stander (Mount Kenya Boran) has a very keen eye for detail and does not miss faults like small testes, bad hooves and leg conformation. He was unfortunately not able to attend our selection day this year. These breeders and cattlemen have knowledge and experience way in excess of ours. They are also not emotionally involved with our cattle and their opinions are not biased due to sentimental attachment to certain dams or sires. We are grateful for their time, effort and the honest opinions and critique they give. As a stud breeder, Quentin believes that one should continuously learn from those more knowledgeable than yourself, continue to grow, ask questions and take constructive criticism.  The path to becoming a better breeder is a journey and not a destination.

All breeders place slightly different importance on certain attributes and each bull is discussed to reach consensus. The evaluations are based purely on phenotype (not genetics). Structural correctness and meat attributes are used to give bulls a rating of A+ for herd sires, A for stud sires, B+ for top commercial , B for average but passable and C for cull.  It is quite important to note that these bulls are all fully registered SP Boran bulls, having passed inspection by the Boran Society of South Africa. They have also been selected against each other based on their performance in a phase-D veld performance test (see Bull selection and Performance testing).  Of the original 70, that started the year, 43 were left over for this physical inspection by the independent breeders. Typically there are about 5 bulls that get an A+ rating, 15-20 that get a A- or A rating, 15-20 that get a B+ rating and about 10 that are B or C.  The B’s and C’s are all culled even though they performed well in the veld test, have been passed by the Boran Society, but are not deemed worthy of the Vastrap Boran brand and will not be good ambassadors for the Boran breed.

Only 20 of our best 3-year old bulls will be offered at the 2016 Vastrap Auction (Friday, 19 August 2016). These 20 have been selected using a combination of their phase-D veld test performance and their physical evaluation with genetic diversity playing a smaller role. Vastrap bulls not only encompass the best genetic combinations from proven lines, but have also gone through far more rigorous selection than their fathers ever did. Watch this space to see which bulls made the grade in our final selection!

2016-06-12_0001 2016-06-12_0002 2016-06-12_0003 2016-06-12_0004 2016-06-12_0005 2016-06-12_0006 2016-06-12_0007 2016-06-12_0008

3rd Vastrap Auction done and dusted!

3rd Vastrap Auction done and dusted!

We enjoyed a fantastic day at the 3rd Vastrap Boran Auction on Friday, 14 August. So much time and effort goes into planning the auction and there is always a lot of stress about how things are going to turn out. It is such a blessing when we wake up to a beautiful, windless blue-sky day and know that there’s nothing more to do but enjoy it. As much as we love our cattle, the people involved with the Boran are very special too and we really enjoy the interaction we have with everyone around the auction. It is wonderful to see people coming back each year, but even better to see new faces and to have the opportunity to build new relationships. We are incredibly grateful for the effort that people make to travel from far to visit our little corner of the Eastern Free State to view and buy our animals. All the hard work really is worth it when the end result is so much fun! Thank you to our partners in the auction, Frontier Borans, Peinke Ranch, Bos Blanco and Heeltevrede Boran Stoetery for contributing to the success of the day.

For a full run-down of auction results please click HERE.

DSC_3078 DSC_3080 DSC_3082DSC_3091

Quentin's new Massey Ferguson tractor - the performance of the tractor and service from OVK their new agent in the Eastern Free State has been magnificent!

Quentin’s new Massey Ferguson tractor – the performance of the tractor and service from OVK their new agent in the Eastern Free State has been magnificent!

DSC_3100

Thank you to Fanie Els (Vleissentraal) and our auctioneer Johan van der Nest for their hard work and support.

Thank you to Fanie Els (Vleissentraal) and our auctioneer Johan van der Nest for their hard work and support.

DSC_3108

Our daughter Livia loving the attention from the Biewenga clan from Gobabis in Namibia!

Our daughter Livia loving the attention from the Biewenga clan from Gobabis in Namibia!

DSC_3116

Our boerboel puppy, Duma was also part of the action!

Our boerboel puppy, Duma was also part of the action!

Quentin in the ring with Beauty MHB 08-17.

Quentin in the ring with Beauty MHB 08-17.

Beautiful 'flowers' once again done by very talented Debbie Johnson!

Beautiful table arrangements once again done by very talented Debbie Johnson!

Hoof trimming demonstration by Jaco de Bruin and Renier from DairySmit.

Hoof trimming demonstration by Jaco de Bruin and Renier de Villiers from Dairy-Smid.

DSC_3146 DSC_3150

(Top) Stompie & Elri Olivier, Makena & Mona Scheepers, Werner Steinhobel. (Bottom) Quentin Oosthuizen, Stephen Johnson & Henry Stretton.

(Top) Stompie & Elri Olivier, Makena & Mona Scheepers, Werner Steinhobel. (Bottom) Quentin Oosthuizen, Stephen Johnson & Henry Stretton.

DSC_3157

Guest sellers Wilco du Toit, Nils & Annerie Pieterse from Pratos Borane.

Guest sellers Wilco du Toit, Nils & Annerie Pieterse from Pratos Borane.

Tinus Bessinger, Evan de Jager & Lou de Jager from Groenland Borane.

Tinus Bessinger, Evan de Jager & Lou de Jager from Groenland Borane.

 

Fun at the 2014 Vastrap Auction!

Here are some photos of the 2014 Vastrap Auction this past Friday. We would really like to thank everyone from near and far who made the effort to be with us. Part of our love for the Boran is the amazing interactions we have had with fellow breeders, many of whom we now count as close friends. Hosting people in our home and on our farm is a crucial part of building these relationships. This year we were also very blessed to have our 7 month old daughter, Livia Lerato with us on auction day. She was fascinated by the animals and loved being passed around from one adoring auntie to another! Thank you to everyone who helped make this a special day. We look forward to doing it all again in 2015!

Please click HERE for more information about the top animal prices.

2014-08-17_0013

Late afternoon contemplation.

Late afternoon contemplation.

Last animals being brought in.

Last animals being brought in.

Pre-auction dinner at Vastrap.

Pre-auction dinner at Vastrap.

Early morning refreshments.

Early morning refreshments.

Little Livia part of the action!

Little Livia de Bruyn part of the action!

2014-08-17_0014

The pens.

The viewing pens.

Buyers looking around.

Buyers looking around.

2014-08-17_0007

The auction ring.

The auction ring.

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

2014-08-17_0010

Support crew!

The support crew!

Vastrap Boran Auction: Johnnie Walker Whisky Tasting

We had a fantastic time hosting guests from all over the country at the first annual Vastrap Boran auction. We were even able to tempt Boran lovers from Namibia to join us for the event – thank you Hermanus and Marlene Biewenga for travelling such a long way! People who stayed at guest houses in Ladybrand on Thursday night also joined us at Vastrap for a special whisky tasting evening sponsored by Johnnie Walker. Thanks to the lure of good whisky, neighbours from as far as Thaba Nchu even braved the cold to socialise with us! The tasting of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and Johnnie Walker Blue Label was led by Derek Cuthbert, a whisky expert from Brandhouse in Johannesburg. Johnnie Walker Red, Black and Double Black was also available for comparison. During the tasting it was revealed that the buyers of the most expensive animals on the auction would each receive a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label – an exceptional treat indeed!

The menu was especially chosen to complement the whisky: smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis, chicken liver patè, mushroom patè, home made sausage rolls, a large steak and guinness pie, a decadent cheese board and mini chocolate cupcakes. A large outside fire pit helped to keep the smokers warm, while our Aga stove and Morsø fire contributed to a cozy atmosphere indoors. The revelry carried on late into the night, with some of the last guests only arriving at midnight! Thank you to everyone who made the effort to join us. We hope you had a great time and we would love to see you again next year!

Last minute food preparations.

Last minute food preparations.

2013-08-17_00152013-08-20_0001

Hayley Breytenbach from Brenaissance Stud with her decadent cheese board.

Hayley Breytenbach from Brenaissance Stud with her decadent cheese board creation.

Stephen & Debbie Johnson from Frontier Borans, partners in the auction.

Stephen & Debbie Johnson from Frontier Borans, partners in the auction.

Rob Hamilton from Cambrai Stud getting to know Tumi & Patch.

Rob Hamilton from Cambrai Stud getting to know Tumi & Patch.

Derek Cuthbert with Jarren & Simeon Hurwitz from B. Hurwitz Farming.

Derek Cuthbert with Jarren & Simeon Hurwitz from B. Hurwitz Farming.

Albert & Karen van Zyl (Meander Boran) and Hanlie & Ockert Werner (Model Boran).

Marisa with Karen & Albert van Zyl (Meander Borane) and Hanlie & Ockert Werner (Model Borane).

Quentin with Ockert Werner & Hendy Mathews.

Quentin with Ockert Werner & Hendy Mathews.

Derek fielding questions.

Derek fielding questions.

2013-08-17_0023

2013-08-17_0024

Braving the cold!

Keith & Karen Peinke from Peinke Ranch, partners in the auction.

Keith & Karen Peinke from Peinke Ranch, partners in the auction.

Losing Hope

There are few things more enjoyable than heading out after a long day on the farm to spend some quality time with our main herd of Boran cows. They are usually very happy to see us and come running in their cluster to say hello. Long before Quentin started his cattle stud he always told me that he loved being a stockman because cows have personalities. I didn’t really understand this until I met the Boran – curious, serene and beautiful animals each with their own little quirks.

The matriarch of our herd is Hope MHB 04-11 (see The HOPE bloodline). She is a beautiful polled white cow with a strong head and the most gorgeous gentle nature (see Hanging with Hope). Importantly, she is a breeder of bulls with three stud sires among her progeny (see Husky MHB 07-09 and Hero MHB 06-13). We are savouring every moment with her as she will be sold at our auction on 16 August. It seems terrible to have to let her go, but we’ve made a commitment to sell every single 9 year and older cow, which includes some of our very best (see 2013 Vastrap Boran Auction). Hope is the front-page girl on our auction brochure which will be released soon. I think she does a great job showcasing the quality of animals that will be on offer!

We’ll miss you Hope, but I think your absence might open the way for some other beauties to reveal their personalities. I can see there are some characters just waiting for an opening! You have left your mark on the Vastrap Boran herd and still have much work to do in your new home, where ever that may be.

IMG_6817

IMG_6849IMG_6943IMG_7000IMG_7129

Auction Countdown

With only two months to go before the inaugural Vastrap Boran auction on 16 August, we’ve been very busy getting things ready on the farm (see 2013 Vastrap Boran Auction). Our cattle facilities have undergone a major upgrade over the past few months and the building is almost complete. The original cattle crush at Vastrap was not built to accommodate the needs of stud cattle, particularly AI and embryo flushing so we thought it was high time for an upgrade.

DSC_3732

Original crush more suited to commercial cattle.

We have moved an old unused shed from another part of the farm and it is now covering part of the new cattle crush, which Quentin designed. There is an enclosed area, which includes storage facilities, an embryo lab and kitchen and toilet facilities. All of these will come in very handy in the auction set-up. Lots of the windows and fittings have been recycled from other parts of the farm to reduce wastage. We also have great new loading facilities close to our house, which will save a lot of time and effort, because we previously used facilities on a neighbouring farm.

We’re on track to have everything ready at the start of August. In the meantime, visitors are very welcome at Vastrap any time to view our animals. We look forward to welcoming you at the auction on 16 August – don’t miss it!

The shed going up.

The shed going up.

DSC_3456

Loading facilities under construction.

The crush and loading facilities under construction.

Making progress with the walls.

Making progress with the walls.

DSC_3716

Loading facilities already in use.

Loading facilities already in use.

A clear-sky cold Free State morning!

A blue-sky cold morning in the Freeze State!

How life has changed: weekends at cattle auctions

The past week is a good illustration of my schizophrenic life. I spent the first few days of the week at home on the farm working and fixing things in the garden. I drove to Johannesburg on Wednesday afternoon and spent two busy days in the office on Thursday and Friday. There is never much time to catch a breath when I’m in the city. I’m either in the traffic commuting to Pretoria, in the office, or catching up with friends and family in the evenings. I never cook, hardly ever go into the garden and I don’t bother bringing walking shoes because exercise simply isn’t a priority. The complete opposite of life on the farm!

I was stuck in traffic for two and a half hours on Friday afternoon driving from Pretoria to Parys, where the National Boran Auction is held.

Quentin became a Boran breeder about 2 years ago, but this was the first time he had animals for sale at the National auction. I am learning that auctions are not for sissies. They require a lot of hard work to get the animals prepared and the days leading up to it are nerve-wracking as one hopes that nothing will go wrong with the animals in transporting them and wonders how the prices will go! Fortunately, there is a lot of socialising that happens amongst breeders in the days around the auction which also makes it quite fun.

Before I went to my first cattle auction in July 2010, I knew very little about cattle and how they are farmed. Apart from knowing that I like my fillet steak done medium-rare, I had no idea about the difference between commercial cattle farming and stud breeding, never mind all that is entailed in managing a herd. Quentin has been very patient in explaining how things work so I know a little bit more now than I used to. He also started the stud business after I met him so in a sense we have both been on a steep learning curve.

This year’s National auction was the biggest yet, with 140 animals entered. The poor auctioneer must be congratulated for his stamina – he went non-stop for about 6 hours! The same cannot be said for the audience whose concentration flagged towards the end. I suspect this had something to do with the late-night socialising on the Friday, but it was a long day in anyone’s books! The guest of honour was the Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini who recently started a Boran stud. This added some pomp and ceremony to the proceedings.

Last year there was much excitement because Stephen Johnson from Frontier Boran sold a bull for a South African record price of R1 million. Not surprisingly, the bull will forever be known as “Mr Million”. This year, the highest priced bull was sold by Cyril Ramaphosa and his Thaba Nyoni stud. B04-001 otherwise known as “Ramaphosa” was sold for R770 000. Proudly, Vastrap Boran sold the highest priced female animal called Jackie 05-36 for R280 000.

All in all, it was a great event and we feel very proud to be part of this new community of breeders who feel so passionate about their animals. I look forward to many more visits to Parys in future and slowly becoming more cattle savvy!

“Parys Show Ground”

Quentin with the Vastrap Boran animals.

B04-001 known as “Ramaphosa”.

Refreshments at the Hotspot Boran stand… sherry and koeksusters.

Inconspicuous auction fashion.

Let the bidding begin! Only 6 hours to go.

Jackie 05-36 in the ring with a flurry of bidding.