An abundance of surprises at the Thaba Tholo Auction 2012

THABAZIMBI – Thaba Tholo Game Farm in Thabazimbi, Limpopo is still fairly new to the auction arena, but on 19 September 2012 they proved that they are wild about the wild, and that they will go down in history books for breeding animals of exceptional worth.

The 2012 Thaba Tholo auction catered for everyone.  From the small farmer who aims to extend the genetic flow of the wildlife population in our country, to the big fish who pride themselves in growing our natural resources. Game on offer ranged from Steenbok, Eland, Kudu, Giraffe and Tsessebe to exotic species like Zambian Sable, Roan and Buffalo.

Excitement filled the air when the first lot for the day was closed, a 44.5 inch West Zambian Sable bull, called Tony, sold for R1.3 million. Various Zambian Sable Antelope passed the R1,5 million mark. But the star of the show was Dinaka, a 48 inch proven breeding bull.  This Zambian Sable Antelope was sold in a joint venture to Mr Johan Bosch and Shelanti Game Ranch for R7.1 million.

More noteworthy sales for the day were – Breeding pairs of Steenbok priced at R6 500.  A new SA record for a Bushbuck breeding group was set at R13 250. Another record was made on two young pregnant Matetsi Sable cows sold with Heifer calves. The new record stands at R530 000. Two pregnant Matetsi Sable breeding cows also equalled the SA record at R360 000. Black Impala went for R180 000 apiece and a breeding group of 1 male and 2 female Golden Oryx Gazelle reached R375 000.

As was expected, the Thaba Tholo buffalo also attracted a lot of attention.  This year the ladies caused quite a stir.  The 13 to 14 year old pregnant 36 inch Kate, and 36.5 inch Nandi, both came under the hammer for R2.6 million and the matriarch of the auction, 5 and a half year old Vlekkie, daughter of the celebrated Matetsi, sold for R3.4 million.

At the 2012 auction Thaba Tholo also offered a hunt of a lifetime.  One 49.5 inch buffalo bull was auctioned off for hunting purposes.  The decision to put the 11-12 year old bull up for a trophy hunting concession was made because the veld bull is unfit to reproduce. In order to avoid a great specimen that can’t extend the gene pool, being misleadingly sold as a breeding bull, management felt obligated towards the industry to remove the animal from the system.  The sale was made on a telephone bid of R1.7 million and will be registered in the SA book of records. In the next six months the excited trophy hunter, who would like to remain anonymous, will spend seven to fourteen days on the 35 000 hectare game farm, to hunt for his trophy in its natural habitat. This will be an all-embracing Big 5 hunt between other free roaming dangerous game.

For the final lot of the day, buyers could choose between two prize breeding bulls, the 51 inch Bhekifa whose name originated from Tswana, meaning Expected Inheritance, and the awe-inspiring 49 inch Cuanza. The other will remain on the farm and continue to secure superior offspring in years to come. Unfortunately bids did not warrant a sale on this lot and management declined the highest offer.  An undisclosed offer was made after the auction, and Bhekifa will soon be relocated to his new home in the Free State to the farm of Mr Jaco Troskie.

The total turnover at the 2012 Thaba Tholo auction was just under R136 million.

Bhekifa (51“) was sold at the highest bid for the day at R8 million. Photo: Vleissentraal.