THE Warralea Poll Merino stud, Gairdner, ticked off another milestone at its on-property sale last week when it recorded its highest ever price at auction, selling a ram for $4100 to the Angenup stud, Kojonup.
Following the sale, the stud then achieved its highest price for a ram ever in its short history when Angenup stud negotiated privately to buy a stud reserve for $8000.
These prices capped off a good sale for the stud, with 98 of 105 rams offered by the Elders team selling under the hammer to average $1330.
After setting one of the highest averages of the selling season last year when 82 rams sold under the hammer at $1984, it was fair to say seasonal conditions in the Boxwood Hill/Gairdner area had an impact on buyers’ budgets.
While many loyal, local clients were back again to support the stud, lack of good winter rain in the region meant many had been forced to quit breeding ewes they would otherwise have kept.
The addition of five new buyers to the sale was certainly a positive for Warralea principals Jarrod and Chelsea King who, despite the season, presented a very even line-up of large framed, fine-medium, white-woolled Poll Merinos.
The Kings’ breeding focus has always been on body size while keeping wools at a fine to medium level and this program is well on track given the sale rams averaged 19.7 micron, 3.6 SD, 18.5 CV and 99.5 per cent comfort factor (CF).
Angenup stud co-principal Rod Norrish was one of those making his first foray into Warralea genetics and said he and sons Gavin and Paul had been watching the Warralea sheep for several years and liked what they saw.
“We have been keeping an eye on Jarrod’s sheep at the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo & Sale at Katanning and liked the presentation of his rams,” Mr Norrish said.
“Warralea has a similar breeding program to our own with Westerdale blood in the background and they are bred in an area with a similar rainfall to Kojonup.
“We have to be careful what rams we use in our breeding program in the Kojonup area.
“They have to have white, bright wools to handle the rainfall and the Warralea rams we purchased today fitted that requirement.
“I was impressed with the overall sale line-up, it was a very even group of rams that was offered given the challenging season in the area.”
Angenup purchased two rams at auction, kicking the sale off by buying lot one for $1800.
This ram recorded wool figures of 21.1 micron, 2.9 SD, 13.7 CV and 99.4pc CF.
Lot two saw the top price of the sale set, when Angenup again put its hand up to take this big, upstanding ram with quality white wool for $4100.
The ram tested at 21.4 micron, 3.3 SD, 15.4 CV and 99.5pc CF.
As mentioned, the Angenup stud completed its buying order by negotiating to purchase a stud reserve for $8000 privately.
This ram was bred from Westerdale bloodlines and recorded a wool test of 20.3 micron, 2.7 SD, 13.3 CV and 99.8pc CF.
Second top price of the sale was $3000 paid by return Warralea client Danny Herbert, D & S Herbert Family Holdings, Albany.
This ram tested at 20.5 micron, 3 SD, 14.6 CV and 99.7pc CF.
It was one of eight rams bought by the Herberts, who averaged $2088 for their purchases.
Next best in the price stakes was $2900 paid by last year’s top price buyer BD & AV Aylmore, Tambellup, who bought lot three with wool tests of 20.4 micron, 2.9 SD, 14.2 CV and 99.7pc CF.
Volume buyer on the day was well and truly K Bunce & Co, Darkan, taking home 20 rams to a top of $2300.
A return buyer, Mr Bunce was on the lookout for rams with white, bright, free growing wool to handle the higher rainfall in the Darkan area.
New buyer KD Power Pastoral Co, Boyup Brook, made an instant impact at the sale, buying 14 rams in total to a top of $1900 paid for a 20.8 micron, 3.5 SD, 16.7 CV and 99.5pc CF ram.
Included in the Power purchases was lot 27, which sold for $1800 with these proceeds to be donated by Warralea to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Also taking good numbers of rams was another return buyer, Peter Daniel, Jerramungup, who bought nine rams to a top of $1300.
Others to buy bigger numbers included Stoney Enterprises, Gnowellen, which took six, while Peniup Views, Jerramungup, bought five as did new buyer GH & CP Goss, Darkan.
Warralea principal Jarrod King said after the sale that he appreciated the support of all buyers, particularly the loyal locals who continued to support the sale despite one of the toughest seasons faced in the region.