By TIM HEARDEN
RED BLUFF, Calif. -- The 72nd bull sale here Jan. 26 generated more than $1.2 million in total sales, marking the third straight year the event's sales had toppled the $1 million mark.
In all, 378 bulls were showcased in a packed Don Smith Pavilion at the Tehama District Fair grounds, averaging a price of $3,237 per bull.
The prices showed a continued easing from the previous two years, as last year's average bull price of $3,616 was slightly below the 2011 mark of $3,745.
The top price this year was $13,750 for Willows, Calif.-based Morrell Ranches' champion Hereford, M Maximum Return, purchased by Golden S Ranch in Dixon, Calif.
As sale manager Adam Owens had predicted, bulls went for a wide range of prices, with one selling for as low as $1,100.
"I'm optimistic that it will be favorable on the consigners' side," Owens said before the sale.
For some, it was. Three bulls netted five-figure returns, including the champion Angus that went for $11,500 and the champion shorthorn that sold for $10,000.
As a breed, Angus bulls were by far the biggest sellers, generating $670,000 in total sales. In all, 202 head brought an average of $3,319 per bull. Herefords were second in total sales at $217,650, as 60 head brought an average of $3,627.50.
The bull market capped five days of livestock showcases and auctions making up the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale. Among the other sales:
* Geldings and mules auctioned off Jan. 25 generated $553,200 in combined sales, continuing an upward trend by topping last year's total of $511,400. In all, 88 head averaged $6,286. Glenn Barrett of Bonanza, Ore., bought the top-selling horse for $17,500.
* Fifteen working dogs brought a total of $64,650. The total fell short of last year's $75,750, though this year's average price of $4,310 per dog beat last year's $4,208. This year's top dog, HH Amazing Grace, sold to Larry Lanzon of Turlock, Calif., for $8,700.
* Feeders and replacement heifer lots sold in the fifth annual online auction on Jan. 24 went for as much as $199 per hundredweight for weaned steers and $172 per hundredweight for weaned heifers.
Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale results: http://www.redbluffbullsale.com