Record average set at Sheepvention ram sale

ALTHOUGH lot numbers were down at the Sheepvention ram sale, the buying gallery and competition was just as strong.

Buoyed by the strong wool and sheep prices, buyers from Victoria, South Australia, NSW, Tasmania, Queensland and even Western Australia bid up to set a record average price at the Hamilton event.

Overall, 248 rams sold and averaged $3260, which was $475 up on last year’s then average price. Only 11 were passed in during the auction, making it a resounding 96 per cent clearance rate.

In the breakdown, 131 Poll Merino rams sold to $17,000, average $3281; 107 Merino rams sold to $15,000, av $3252; five Corriedale rams sold to $6500, av $2650; and five Dohne rams sold for $3500 each.

Geoff and Bernadette Davidson, Moorundie Poll Merino stud, Keith, South Australia, topped the sale for the second consecutive year.

Their 14 month-old, near 120-kilogram ram was knocked down for $17,000 to new client Fred Leo, Leovale stud, Lake Grace, WA.

Stephen Chalmers, Landmark, who purchased the ram on behalf of Mr Leo, said said its carcase traits impressed him, as did its high quality wool “...on such a good-bodied sheep”.

Its fleece measured 21.4 micron, 3.4 standard deviation, 15.9 co-efficient of variation, 99 per cent comfort factor.

Langdene, Glenpaen and Melrose studs together purchased the second highest priced ram for $15,000 from Robert Harding’s Glendonald stud, Nhill.

The ram is on a 12-hour drive to Dunedoo, NSW, where the Cox family, Langdene, will have possession, while the two other syndicate members will have semen shares.

Rod Miller, Glenpaen, Brimpaen, said he liked the 15 month-old ram’s wool, which measured 15.5M, 2.6 SD, 16.8 CV and 100pc CF.

“For a ram to have that quality of wool on that size frame and constitution, it’s hard to find,” Mr Miller said.

NSW studs Bogo Merinos and Pastora Poll Merinos together purchased a Terrick West ram for $14,000. Craig Wilson, Craig Wilson and Associates, Wagga Wagga, NSW, is an adviser to both buyers of the Coddington Poll family ram.

Mr Wilson said they purchased the second top-priced ram at last year’s Sheepvention from the McGauchie family’s Terrick West stud, and the early results “looked really exciting”. 

The Blackwood family’s Blackwood Performance Corriedales sold an 11 month-old ram for the highest price for a Corriedale in the event’s 39-year history. It’s also the highest price Peter Blackwood has ever achieved.

It sold for $6500 to two Wimmera producers, Terry Phillips, Callawadda, and Mark Reading, Wallaloo, who have both, in the past few years, introduced Corriedales into their Merino flocks.

They are considering using the ram as a foundation sire for a Corriedale stud.