WHAT do you get when you combine a quality line-up of well-nourished, white woolled rams and strong support from buyers who know how the rams perform?
The answer is one impressive ram sale.
And this is exactly what happened at last week's Westerdale on-property ram sale at McAlinden where prices hit a high of $8200.
With strong support from a long list of return buyers and a handful of new clients chasing the quality wools the stud is renowned for, the sale was red hot from beginning to end.
When the final ram was knocked down by Landmark auctioneer Deane Allen, the Jackson family had cleared all 132 rams offered at an impressive average of $1673, up $355 on last year.
But it wasn't only the average which was up on last year, the 100 per cent clearance meant this figure was up by nine points, while the sale gross rose more than $77,000.
At last year's sale the stud sold 109 rams of 120 offered at an average of $1318 and to a top of $6300.
It was an impressive sale for the Jackson family and while all pre-sale indications pointed to a strong result, the final result was far above expectations.
Mr Allen said it was an excellent sale and reflected the quality of the sheep on offer.
"We knew it was going to be a good sale but the end result was much higher than we thought," Mr Allen said.
"Not only did the average increase significantly, we also sold 23 more rams compared to last year, so it was a great sale.
"It was a great presentation of rams right through the catalogue and as a result buyers could purchase with confidence anywhere in the sale and the Jacksons need to be congratulated on this.
"Buyers were continually commenting throughout the day about the brightness and whiteness in the wools, which is a credit to the stud given how much rain they have had this year and shows the genetics are well acclimatised to above average rainfall.
"Not only were the rams very good in the wools they also had good bodies and structure."
With a line-up of rams which were as even as peas in a pod, it was easy to see why the sale was strong throughout.
Prices varied very little from start to finish, as buyers continued to find classy rams in the last run and were prepared to pay more than $3000 for them.
The sale got off to a flying start with the first run of 10 rams averaging $3440 and if buyers thought this was high, the sale lifted another level when the ram in pen 11 went under the hammer.
Bidding kicked off at $2500 on the upstanding sire and quickly rose with bids from all parts of the shed and before long the price was at $8000.
In the end it was first time buyer Brian Westlake, Dabrappy stud, Calingiri, who had the winning nod at $8200 to secure the deep-bodied, white woolled ram.
Mr Westlake said he had heard good reports on the Westerdale rams and decided to travel down for the sale as he was looking for a new sire for their poll stud.
"I believed this ram was the best ram in the shed, because of his size and wool quality," Mr Westlake said.
"He is a correct and upstanding ram, with the wool figures to match.
"He is a free grower, with a good nourished wool."
The ram, which was sired by an Angenup ram, had May wool figures of 17.3 micron, 2.9 SD, 16.6 CV and 99.8pc comfort factor.
Losing bidder on the top-priced sire was Marlo Farms Nominees, Gnowangerup.
Knowing how the Westerdale rams perform after buying from Westerdale for 10 years, DFD Rhodes Pty Ltd manager Michael Wright, Boyup Brook, had picked out a selection of rams and was certainly determined to go home with his first choices.
Not only did Mr Wright purchase the second top-priced ram in the sale at $4700, he also went on to be the sale's volume buyer.
By the end of the sale the Boyup Brook operation, which will increase its Merino matings to 7000 ewes this year, had purchased 33 sires at an average of $2515.
Along with the $4700 ram the operation also purchased another three rams at $4000 or more.
With DFD Rhodes in the second year of setting up a nucleus flock to breed its own rams, Mr Wright said they were after top rams to use in the nucleus group.
"We really like the Westerdale sheep as they are true white wools and we need these types in our high rainfall area," Mr Wright said.
"The top ram we purchased just stood out for its constitution and style of wool.
"He has very good softness in his wool and a nice soft face.
"He will be used, along with probably three others that we purchased, in the nucleus flock."
The $4700 second top-priced ram had May wool figures of 17.8 micron, 3.5 SD, 19.7 CV and 99.9pc CF.
There was plenty of stud interest in the sale and the third top-priced ram at $4500 went this way when it was purchased by Roger Glover, Mallibee stud, Wannamal, who was buying from Westerdale for the first time.
The ram, which was the team leader for the sale, had May wool test results of 18.6 micron, 3.2 SD, 17.4 CV and 99.8pc CF.
Also during the sale the Mallibee stud purchased another two sires.
Another stud to buy was the Wilberforce stud, York, which purchased two rams at $3200 and $2800, while Ashview Poll stud, York secured one ram at $3100.
After losing out on the top-priced ram Marlo Farms Nominees connections put the disappointment behind them and went on to secure eight rams at an average of $1913 and to a high of $3600.
Also buying sizable drafts at the top end of the sale were one of the stud's longest serving clients Andy McElroy, PR & JA McElroy, who purchased five rams at an average of $1600, while G & A Watts, Pingelly, averaged $1700 across a team of six.
Others to fit into this category were return buyers MT & DJ Carroll, Boyup Brook, who purchased six rams at an average of $1517, while buyer of 30 years Ronald Tuckett, RL & HM Tuckett averaged $1175 over eight sires.
Even though the sale was red hot buyers with smaller budgets were also able to fill sizable orders and these included regular buyer Wayne Duffield, WP & ST Duffield, Darkan, who put together a team of 12 rams at a $917 average while fellow return buyer Digby Stretch, Stretch Enterprises, Kojonup, purchased nine sires at an average of $944.