Records tumble at game auction

2014-05-12 00:00

BOSHOF — In what was billed as “the biggest game auction south of the Vaal river”, the Unyati and Wintershoek partnership on Saturday hosted their first game auction.

More than 400 buyers registered and just two sellers turning R150 million in sales, making this the largest game auction yet in South Africa, with several record smashed under the hammer.

The auction was hosted by Brandon Leer and Vleissentraal Bosveld company, who for the first time allowed bidders to make written bids between 10 am and 2 pm.

A wildebeest heifer fetched a record R3,4 million while a West Zambian sable bull fetched R5 million.

The young buffalo bull Jamba, bred by Jaco Troskie from Unyati, fetched a record R26 million. The buyer, who bid by phone, is unknown.

Two years ago Troskie was bidding against Cyril Ramaphosa, these days deputy ANC president and soon to be MP, for a buffalo cow, Tanzania. Troskie won that bidding war, paying R20 million for the cow.

The highest amount yet paid for a buffalo bull is R40 million, which was paid last year by businessman Johann Rupert at the Thabo Tholo auction in Thabazimbi.

These expensive animals are not used for hunting purposes, but their progeny typically will offer hunters a chance at a set of record horns. Jamba is therefore likely to die of old age, although this decision will lie with its owner. Troskie and Van der Linde said game farming “is very good” for them.

Van der Linde, Gous and Troskie’s partnership claim to breed only the best gene pool and offer much-sought-after animals at their auctions.

Wiaan van der Linde and Hennie Gous from Wintershoek Wild were also happy with record prices for sable, oryx and wildebeest. The auction benefits several funds, including sister paper Volksblad’s Omgeefonds, which received R140 000 from the sale of a sable antelope. The Warrenton/Windsorton NG church also benefited as well as a conservation bursary fund for disadvantaged students.

The auction sold some 1 000 head of game, all of which will be delivered to their owners across South Africa.

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