INTEREST, enthusiasm and prices were all up at the annual Merredin pre-mating sale as Seven Oaks South again topped the sale, with a magnificent Poll Merino, which was bought by Hiscox and Son, Gabbin, for $2600. The top priced Seven Oaks South Merino went to RJ Goodier & Co for $2200, joining other Merinos that they purchased for $1900, $1700 and $400, giving a most impressive average of $1550 for four rams. It all added up to another great sale for Alan, Ada and Mathew Barnett, with the top prices as well as the averages of $1224 and $1171 being well up on the figures obtained for the Merinos and Polls at last year's successful sale. Two 4-tooth rams were offered for sale, a 21.9 micron Poll, which went to JS & PA Forrest for $2300 and a 22.2 micron Merino, which sold to RJ Goodier & Co for $2100. The biggest buyer of Seven Oaks South rams was AE Rogers, who bought a mix of Merinos and Polls, finishing the day with six rams at an average of $1383, including tops of $1900, $1600 and $1500 (twice). Bronte Shreeve also had impressive figures, taking three Polls for $1800 and $1700 (twice) to average $1380 for five rams, while Prenyl & Co paid $2000 for their top Poll and BD Blechynden & Co paid $1900 for a Merino. J & K Johnston paid $1900 and $1700 for their two Polls, Harold Shadbolt & Sons also bought two Polls, paying $1700 and $1500, while Hatfield & Son's prices included $1700, $1300 and $1200. All breeders at the Merredin sale had a good day, with Ben Panizza & Co's Trevino stud almost doubling last year's top prices with figures of $1550 for their Merinos and $1150 for the Polls. The top-priced Merino went to DC & DM Lapsley, who also paid the top last year, buying two Merinos for $1550 and $1000, while the top priced Poll was purchased by BL & M Goodhill. The big purchaser of Trevino rams was F & R Alvaro, who bought 11 Merinos with tops of $700, $600 and $550 for an average of $464, while BL & M Goodhill bought eight Merinos for an average of $619 and a top of $1000. Alpine Grazing Co bought seven Merinos for an average of $586 and a top of $750, R & E Nicholson bought three Polls for $800, $750 and $350, B & A Harvey bought one for $850, while Elders Southern Cross bought two at $800 each. JR & W Steel & Son's Carribber Polls also shared the strong demand, with their top price of $1500 paid by BL & M Goodhill being 50 per cent up on last year, while their average was nearly double. AA Della Bosca paid $1200 and $1000 for their pair, while the big purchasers were DJ & DC Wandless, who bought seven Polls at an average of $907, with prices that included $1350 and $1200. B & A Harvey bought four rams with tops of $1300 and $1050, R & E Nicholson bought five for $1020 average and a top of $1100, while F & S Fuschbichler, Bruce Rock, averaged $1125 with a top of $1300. Other high prices included $1200, paid by BWG Sutherland, $1150 from RW & DL Ivey, $1100 from PC Symes, while Langfield Pastoral Co and W & D Della Bosca each bought three rams with tops of $1050 and Patroni & Co bought five at an average of $740. The Yerbillon Park stud of CJ & ER Della Bosca had more rams with a better clearance than last year, with the top price of $600 being paid by F & R Alvaro, who were also the largest purchasers of their sires. F & R Alvaro finished the day with nine Yerbillon rams with prices that included $550, $500 (twice), and $400 (twice), for an overall average of $433 for the sale. J & F Brennan bought four rams at $450, $400 and $350 (twice), while SP & TS Higgins bought one for $300. Elders stud auctioneer Kim McDougall said the demand at Merredin was traditionally very strong throughout the sale, although in this climate farmers are still very dicerning.