Is A Bull Really Worth $800,000?

SAV Elation 7899 became the highest-priced bull ever sold at public auction last week. ( Eric Grant )

COMMENTARY – When an Angus bull sold at auction for a record-breaking $800,000 last week, one might think the owners just won the lottery. Truth is, unlike buying a lottery ticket, the bull – SAV Elation 7899 – represents years of hard work and know-how.

Further, Elation is no show bull, though he looks handsome in the photo. The bull’s worth is in genetics the owners describe as a “rare combination” of low birth weight, high growth and excellent beef quality.

Elation was produced at Schaff Angus Valley, Saint Anthony, N.D. He was purchased by Square B Ranch and Cattle Company of Warsaw, Mo., and Bogle Ranch LLC of Langley, Okla. Schaff Angus Valley retained 20% ownership interest.

Of course, Elation won’t be turned out to pasture with a few cows this summer. He’s far too valuable for that. Elation is destined for a life of luxury at a bull stud where his semen will be collected and sold. His genetics will trickle through America’s cow herds for years.

But, come on! Eight hundred thousand dollars for a bull?

Actually, it makes way more sense than the rare, 70-pound meteorite that sold at Christie’s auction house in New York this week for $237,000.

According to news reports, this particular meteorite is referred to as a Canyon Diablo iron meteorite because it is made of iron and comes from Barringer Crater in Arizona, a famous site where a meteor crashed into the desert nearly 50,000 years ago. So…it’s an old chunk of iron that fell out of the sky.

But, it must have some use, right? Not really. The seller described it as aesthetically impressive enough to be considered natural sculpture.

"Think of it as the quintessential American meteorite," former owner Darryl Pitt told CNBC. "This one was really unusual. Most of them are highly angular, but this one has a gently curved surface that is evocative of a sculpture by Henry Moore."

Wow! This is the guy I want selling my house. He got nearly a quarter-million dollars for a well-traveled, fire-damaged chunk or iron!

Compare the expensive meteorite to a young, virile bull that is going to produce a lot of great steaks. The $800,000 bull sounds like a bargain.


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Submitted by Jake William on Mon, 02/19/2018 - 06:42

I am Essay Writer UK and someone ask a question how do you compare the expensive meteorite to a young? That’s why I was researching and your blog help me a lot.

Submitted by Becky on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 07:33

Disappointed in this article! More about a meteorite than a bull.

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:29

Dear Drovers,

I know you are a subsidiary of one of the three major agriculture pharmaceutical companies, but this is just bad.
This is poorly written obvious propaganda paid for by the new owners of the bull. Keep your credibility with non bias articles.

Thank you,

Real Cattlepeople of the World

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:06

This is a terrible article. Nowhere does it even come close to justifying paying 800000 for a bull. From a true cattlemans standpoint I can tell you you can’t justify it. That bull will never pay for his price tag of course that’s assuming that much money actually changes hands. That bull is not anything special he doesn’t have any rare genetics. He’s a dime a dozen. And this article was complete garbage. Whoever wrote this should be fired.

Submitted by Steve Hosprey on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:37

Don't believe it for a minute, these sales are full of hype and pre-cut deals. $10-20,000 bulls are just as good, but its hard to sell semen when you get lost in the crowd. $800,000 sounds much nicer to advertise.

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/21/2018 - 20:12

This was a terrible article. Justifying an below average bull to a meteorite. Half the article did not make any sense. I am always on the look out for a new AI sire to use on my cows and heifers. I wouldn't use this bull on any heifer, his CED is in the bottom 1/4 of the breed and his BW isn't anything spectacular! In fact most of his EPDs are in the middle or below average in the breed.

Again goes to show that a lot of these deals are made before the auction happens and to help hype up their next auction.

I have purchased better bulls then this in the $4k-6K range. Hard to justify spending more then that when I can just AI my cows to a more expensive bull.

Submitted by jmcv02 on Tue, 02/27/2018 - 13:14

He hasn't bred a single cow and someone is shelling out $800k, why? His EPD's aren't great, he may look good but who knows how good his calves are going to be, until he gets some of his steers fed out and some of his daughters start dropping calves, his value is a fool's guess. Just sounds like some ranchers reducing their tax bill.