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.

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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!

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The pens.

The viewing pens.

Buyers looking around.

Buyers looking around.

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The auction ring.

The auction ring.

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Loading facilities under construction.

The crush and loading facilities under construction.

Making progress with the walls.

Making progress with the walls.

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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!