THE strength and consistency of last week's Gracefield Prime SAMM on-property sale was equal to the cold and strong north-westerly wind which prevailed throughout the day.
The sale was consistent from beginning to end with no real highs or lows, and registered a top price of $2400.
Although the sale average of $998 for the 173 rams sold under the hammer failed to meet last year's $1120 average, it was not a worry with the stud selling 29 more rams, helping Gracefield stud principals Rocco and Chris De Bellis walk away with a gross of $172,650 which was up on the 2008 sale result.
Elders auctioneer Dennis Roberts said after the sale it was the most even yarding of rams presented by the stud at its on-property sale.
"Congratulations should go to Rocco and Chris on increasing the size of their offering at this year's sale compared to last year, which is great to see and shows their confidence in the industry," Mr Roberts said.
"There was solid support from return buyers and this, combined with a splattering of new buyers, ensured a solid and consistent sale.
With a bigger and more even line-up than ever before presented at Gracefield, it didn't stop return stud buyers and commercial clients regularly going head to head for the top rams.
In the end it was a ram penned halfway down the first run which took top price honours when it was knocked down for $2400 to return buyers Royce Hampel and Renae Shaw, Hampsure Prime SAMM stud, Esperance.
After buying from the stud for the last five years, both Mr Hampel and Ms Shaw believe the Gracefield genetics are certainly doing the job for them at Esperance.
"We pay strong attention to the wool on the rams we choose, as we have to be careful with the environment we are in as it is much wetter," Mr Hampel said.
"We normally look for the rams with the lower micron and higher comfort factors."
The well balanced, smooth ram had wool measurements of 22.5 microns and 99pc CF.
The ram also showed early maturity and when scanned and weighed at eight-months-old in February prior to feeding had data of 73kg bodyweight, 34mm eye muscle depth and 4mm fat.
The ram was a grandson of a South Australian sire from the Jeancourt stud, which Gracefield purchased as a ram lamb.