A DECEMBER shorn line of wethers stole the show when they sold for $82.50 at Elders Katanning June special sheep sale on Friday.
The line was tucked away in the middle stages of the sale but was ferreted out by an appreciative buying audience that recognised the line's carcase quality and even drafting, that allowed WAMMCO International livestock manager Brian Norsworthy to buy just one line on the day.
The 193 Avoca blood wethers were bred by KP & PE Penny, Lake King, who have been supporting the fixture for 10 years.
Brian described them as outstanding lambs.
"They are the best in the yards and producers who produce and present lambs like this should be rewarded," he said.
The price exceeded values for sheep carrying greater wool length, but with Elders selling, second buyers had warmed to the task and topped the magical $80-mark twice more.
The first time was for JB & MA Griffiths' 144 October shorn Yarrum Valley blood wethers from Gnowangerup that made $80.50 and sold to Emanuel Exports buyer Rocco De Bellis.
Dudley Wise, Swallowdale Grazing, Mt Barker, offered an annual draft and found some home support when Ross Ford, Narrikup, bought his 279 October shorn Purpareena/Billandri blood wethers for $80.
Ross has been an annual buyer and said he planned to keep the wethers for four years before selling them.
"They're good wool sheep with good frames and bred for our area so I know they will do well for us," he said.
Values for the Elders catalogue continued to strengthen as the sale progressed to the plainer, lighter sheep. Overall, the 10,186 head yarding returned a $66.52 average under the hand of guest auctioneer Jeff Lynn.
Elders Katanning manager Mark Mahney gave the auctioneer credit for attaining such strong values and commended vendors on the outstanding quality in such a hard season.
He found a strong emphasis by graziers on wool quality. This was evident with $77.50 paid for the 533 tops of Derek Piesse's Riverdale offering from Muradup. The October shorn Wallinar/Angenup blood wethers were bought by annual wether buyer Jim Toll, Wagin.
Derek's second draft of 161 made $67.50 and sold to Ross Ford.
Ballidu Pastoral Co, Mt Barker, paid big money for spring shorn sheep when it bid to $77 for 402 November shorn Kingussie blood wethers from DF & GL Adams, Beverley.
Al Mukarish buyer Kevin Tagney set the tone when he paid $78.50 for 328 spring shorn Keetlen Valley blood wethers from KH Strevett & Co, Lake Grace, that opened the Elders catalogue.
Kevin also bought the second line of 260 October shorn Barloo blood wethers from the Tuffley family at Nyabing for $73.50.
Late in the sale, $73.50 was paid by Southern Grazing, Albany, for one of two lines of 2yo wethers offered by South Uberin Farms, Jerramungup.
Among the noteworthy autumn shorn lines were 513 February shorn Angenup blood wethers from Adrian and Trevor Kershaw, Ravensthorpe, that were knocked down to Elders Kojonup, for $69 - the highest for this category.
At 50c less was another renowned line from Greg Carmody, Kulin. His 291 January shorn Collinsville-type wethers commanded $68.50 from Emanuel Exports.
The activity by traders and finishers saw many of the lighter lines bought for $56-$60 but there were no margins for dealers as graziers competed for the small offering of 853 ewes.
Di and Scott Thompson, Nardlah Grazing, Broomehill, put up the only line of 148 2yo ewes. With a January shearing, they drew a $64 bid from Trevor Badger, Pingrup, who had earlier in the day paid $58 for 409 ewes.
The best of the autumn shorn ewes fetched $63 paid by AM Littleton & Son, Williams, for 229 February shorn Nardlah blood ewes offered by KL & BM Smith, Pingrup.
The same buyer paid $63.50 for another 126 head presented by DF & GL Adams, Beverley.
The Elders offering grossed $677,5676 and average $67.04 for the wethers and $60.75 for the ewes.