WA stud Calcaling bought the top priced $18,500 at the Leahcim annual sale of Andrew and Rosemary Michael, Snowtown, SA. Eighty people from four states attended the auction and helmsman auction ram sale, with a total of 51 rams put up and 35 of 36 rams in the main auction clearing. Two of these rams were sold as stud sires and they averaged $10,350, the 33 other rams selling to $1000 and averaging $551. In the helmsman sale, seven of 14 rams cleared to $1500 and averaged $500. The 14 month-old rams were paddock reared, but still had body weights ranging from 70-90kg. They were plain bodied with productive skins. The average micron was 21.1 with an average comfort factor of 98.5 per cent and a coefficient of variation average of 17.3. For each 5pc below 24cv, the wool has a spinning quality one micron better than actual, which meant that the 21,1 micron wools had an average spinning quality of 19.9 microns. The two top rams went to interstate studs, with Lot 1, a son of Leahcim 85, being a magnificent example of what buyers were chasing. In a strong bidding duel, he was knocked down to Murray Ventris, Calcaling, Mukinbudin, for $18,500, a season high for SA auctions, including the Adelaide ram sale. He was pushed all the way by Mark Murphy, Gingham, Mungindi, New South Wales. But the Ventris family was keen to pursue their SRS breeding program with this ram, recommended to them by their SRS consultant, Ben Duxson. The ram will be used in an AI and ET program, with Leahcim retaining a half semen and marketing share. Semen in the ram will be available at $35 a dose. He had a bold, crimping, fleece which was 17pc above average for fleece weight and measuring 21.1 microns with a cv of 18.5, comfort factor of 98.7pc and body weight of 83kg. Mr Murphy later selected another son of L85 for second top price of $2200. He will use the ram in an AI program over ewes of Wallaloo Park and Glendemar blood. After the excitement of Lot 1, the sale settled down to normality with 17 individual buyers operating, including Elders, Clare, which bought eight rams to $625 for ML Jaeschke & Co. RP & RA Wheaton, Redhill, buying through Wesfarmers Dalgety, Snowtown, took four rams from $600 to $750. Anama Holdings, Clare, bought rams at $900 and $500, including the heaviest cutter, which was 40pc above the average fleece weight. The helmsman top price of $1500 was paid by Wesfarmers Dalgety, Underbool, for Alan Burstall. Peter Ebsary, through Wesfarmers Dalgety, Snowtown, selected six rams from $200 to $600. The sale grossed $42,925 with Malcolm Scroop auctioneer for the joint selling agents Wesfarmers Dalgety (Jon Reinke Agencies) and Elders.