LAST Friday saw the Sprigg family's 27th East Strathglen on-property ram auction east of Tambellup and it is best described as quite an amazing day.
The offering of 119 Merino and 37 Poll Merino rams attracted 45 potential buyers including three Eastern State's interests, three first time buyers to the stud along with many regular clients spread from Northampton through to Jerramungup, across to some of the higher rainfall regions of the South West.
The sale was conducted by Landmark with Esperance-based auctioneer Neil Brindley back again for the fixture.
Mr Brindley was there not to comment on individual ram's figures, these were available for buyers to witness, he was there to sell the rams and the response from the buyers throughout saw the 156 head offered and sold to average $2162 in just under two hours.
That average of $2162 is just under $400 up on last year's sale when a similar number of rams were offered and sold.
Lot three set a solid pace for the sale when at $8750 it was knocked down to Nathan King, Elders stud stock, who was bidding on behalf of long term East Strathglen clients Gerald and Murray Saunders, A Saunders & Co, Narrogin.
The losing bidder was Drew Chapman, West Plains stud, New South Wales.
The next ram offered in lot four topped the sale at $13,000 purchased by Michael Hedger, Snowy Plains Merino and Snowvale Poll Merino studs, Berridale, New South Wales, and is one of four from the offering heading east.
This ram joins the $57,000 ram recently purchased by Mr Hedger at the East Mundalla on-property sale.
In June Mr Hedger joined the Landmark arranged tour of a number of WA studs for Eastern States stud stock staff where he saw both the rams.
Mr Hedger previously used East Strathglen semen in his Poll stud and liked the results and what he saw at the stud.
He was bidding over the phone through Landmark Breeding representative Mitchell Crosby and finally outbid a first time buyer to the sale, Dean Trotter, Perillup Estate, Mt Barker.
The new Snowy Plains sire is by East Strathglen Mundy, a son of East Mundalla Jonty out of East Strathglen 123, the grand champion Merino ewe at the 2012 Australian Sheep & Wool?Show.
The ram's wool figures are 18.1 micron, 2.9 SD, 16.0 CV and 99.8 per cent comfort factor.
Losing bidder Dean Trotter said he had seen East Strathglen wool on the sale floor and used semen from two of the stud's sires last year and was impressed with the progeny.
As a result he decided to attend the sale and went home with four Merino rams and one Poll Merino ram.
Among the four Merinos was lot 28, which Mr Trotter secured for the sale's second top price of $9750.
This ram by the supreme champion at the 2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show, West Plains Mercenary, which is a son of East Strathglen 116, and out of East Strathglen 129.
The ram's current wool tests are 18.8 micron, 2.8 SD, 14.9 CV and 99.6pc CF.
Mr Trotter said he joins about 5500 Merino ewes and breeds his own rams.
The losing bidder on lot 28 was John Dalla, Orrie Cowie stud, Warooka, South Australia.
The next best price was $8000 for the first of the Poll Merino offering, the buyers in partnership were Drew Chapman and family, West Plains stud, Delegate, NSW and John Dalla and family, Orrie Cowie stud.
Mr Chapman had seen the ram at the stud back in March and joined Mr Dalla to purchase the ram which had current wool tests of 20 micron, 2.6 SD, 13 CV and 99.7pc CF.
Losing bidders on the ram were clients of 27 years, Ron, Anne and Lindsay Box, Northampton, who went on to purchase another Poll at $5000.
The two other rams heading east are a Poll at $4500 and a Merino at $3250, both bought by Mr Chapman, who was bidding on behalf of John Jamieson, Edithvale stud, Finley, NSW, who has bought rams from East Strathglen on a number of occasions.
Other higher prices on the day saw a Merino go at $6000 to first time buyer Bruce Jackson, McAlinden, and another at $4500 was bought by Elders stud stock representative Preston Clarke, on behalf of the Boorabbin stud, Wannamal.
With the higher-priced rams accounted for it was then a list of long term regular and volume clients who were also prepared to bid up to secure their marked rams.
Bill Morey trading as Connamara Grazing, Kojonup, has been buying from the Sprigg family for over 40 years and again accompanied by his daughter Tracey went to a top of $4000 for a team of 12 head.
"They are top quality rams well suited to our higher rainfall and we are getting the results," Mr Morey said.
"Last year's clip from around 4000 ewes and 2200 hoggets was sold in January and February this year and all our fleece lines sold at over 1000 cents and averaged out at 1029 cents."
Another long term client of East Strathglen, Dale Douglas, Ian Douglas & Co, Woodanilling, was another buyer to comment they were getting the results and bought 11 rams paying up to $3500.
There were numerous other regular clients and volume ones at that.
Near neighbours, the O'Keeffe family through Elders stud stock representative Russell McKay went home with 14 rams up to $2750, Kennedy Hogg, G Bruce & NK Hogg & Son, Williams, bought 12 up to $2500, PL & DM Horrocks, Cranbrook, were buyers of 10 head, nine went to Subasio Down, Gnowellen and eight went to Moir Nominees, Gnowngerup.
All up 39 of the 45 buyers who registered were successful buyers resulting in a total clearance of the 156 head offered.
Mr Crosby said buyers were prepared to pay the values they did because the East Strathglen rams are getting them top results, both with wool quality and quantity and surplus and annual drafts of sheep returns.
"Their rams are going all across the agricultural region and the quality and the genetics they are breeding is a credit to the family which are very well recognised," Mr Crosby said.