JUST a handful of buyers helped to clear all 3808 Merino, Dohne and Ill de France ewes and Merino wether lambs from last week's Landmark Katanning-Kojonup special sheep sale at the Katanning saleyards.
Landmark auctioneer Mark Warren prefaced the sale by confirming that numbers were lower than expected due to some last minute withdrawals.
But the extensive range of ages sold strongly with a top price of $75.50 paid for a 408-strong line of 3.5 year-old September shorn Merino ewes from Craigmore Pastoral Co, Katanning.
Bred by husband and wife duo Ian and Narelle Knapp and Narelle's father Dawson Harris, the Craigmore-Pooginook-blood mothers were surplus ewes to Craigmore Pastoral's breeding flock.
After the sale Ms Knapp told Farm Weekly she had made the move to downsize her commercial ewe flock in a bid to reduce her workload, despite still having about 4500 breeding ewes on the farm.
Landmark Katanning stock agent Chris Elliott congratulated Ms Knapp on the high quality and outstanding presentation of the ewes.
He said Craigmore Pastoral Co had a reputable name in the Katanning saleyards and its sheep were proven performers as reflected in the sale result.
The line was eventually knocked down to Brindley & Gale Landmark agent Peter Gale, Esperance, on behalf of Kuloomba Farming at Condingup.
Mr Gale said he fought hard to secure the quality orange tag ewes because of their size and breeding stock.
"They were extremely hard to look past," Mr Gale said.
"I've known the quality of Craigmore Pastoral's stock for a really long time.
"Today presented the perfect chance to buy because opportunities to get a hold of quality ewes at the right age don't come around all that often."
On behalf of Kuloomba Farming, Mr Gale also purchased a line of October shorn 2.5yo green tag Merino ewes with Pooginook blood in the very next pen.
Despite the ewes being knocked down for the cheapest price of the sale ($34.50), the 301-strong line was put up by JL Palmer & Co and rounded out Kuloomba Farming's purchases for the day.
But Mr Gale continued his bidding and also secured the sale's second top-priced October shorn line of ewes for Preston Downs Farming Co, Esperance.
The 179 3.5yo Glenlea blood Dohne ewes were snapped up for $67.50 and joined a second 369-strong line of October shorn 4.5yo Glenlea blood Dohne ewes ($55) on the back of the truck bound for Preston Downs' Esperance property.
The two Dohne lines were put up by Bundaleer Graziers.
It was the 199, 1yo Ill de France ewes that were first to be auctioned which were sold for the next highest price of $55.
Put up by RJ & DS Hewton, the line was eventually knocked down to Hornby Rural Landmark agent Troy Hornby, Kojonup, on behalf of Hodgson Estate, Tambellup.
Hodgson Estate also managed to secure a second line (82) of October shorn 1.5yo Nepowie blood Merino ewes put up by MJ & WJ Patterson for $50.
Buying on behalf of Magenta Estate, Mr Hornby also bought two lines of 4.5yo ewes for $52 apiece.
The first was a 293-strong line of September shorn Merinotech ewes from WM & VA O'Halloran followed by 324 October shorn Merinotech ewes put up by Touchstone Rural.
Landmark Katanning stock agent Tom Bowen was bidding on behalf of the abattoir business.
RJ & DS Hewton also put up 338, 3yo Multi Purpose Merino (MPM) ewes which sold to Mr Bowen (on behalf of Fletchers International) for $42.