THE sun was shining on the Kolindale sale in Esperance with return buyers turning out to get their hands on more top quality genetics from the respected Dudinin-based stud.
Kolindale's Ledwith family offered a total of 99 Merino and Poll Merino rams in the Esperance showgrounds ram shed on Monday and cleared 89 under the hammer.
The Elders team got through the line-up in just over an hour and by the end of the sale had ensured the upwards trend in the value of Kolindale sires as it was clear buyers were willing to pay more than last year on all fronts.
Despite two less rams than last year being sold, the sale grossed $103,200, up from last year's $99,700 and averaged $1160, up from last year's $1096, a result that had both the Ledwith family and the Elders team happy.
"Today's result is a credit to the vendors who are making the most of the good conditions they are enjoying on farm," Elders auctioneer Don Morgan said.
"It was a solid, even line-up with quality throughout both the polls and horns.
"The buying support was limited with a small number of volume buyers, but we got favourable results in the end which really does come down to the quality of the Kolindale bloodlines.
"It was a pleasing result overall."
Kolindale's Matthew Ledwith said the consistent rainfall at home produced ideal conditions for feed and he was happy to see return buyers noticing the resulting quality in the line-up.
In what seems to becoming a trend, regular Kolindale top price buyers the McCrea family, Salmon Gums, were in action early, securing the top-priced Merino and Poll Merino rams within the first four lots.
Upping their bids significantly compared to their winning bid last year at $2000, the McCreas secured a well-framed Merino ram at the top price of $3200.
With an impressive body size, figures of 17 micron, 3.0 SD, 17.6 CV and 99.8 per cent for comfort factor, Peter McCrea said it was the best ram on offer.
"We've been buying from Kolindale for decades," he said.
Mr McCrea said they weren't looking specifically for Merinos or Polls but bid on what they think is the best on offer, which is why the family went home with one of each.
The McCreas placed the winning bid for a Poll Merino at $2500, the top-priced Poll sold on the day and significantly up on last year's top bid of $1900. The ram had figures of 18 micron, 3.9 SD, 21.7 CV and 99.3pc CF.
Overall, the Poll Merinos this year carried less interest with 31 out of a possible 37 sold in comparison to the 100pc clearance in 2015.
The gross was down on last year at $34,000 from $44,050 and the average was down as well reaching $1097 compared to the 2015 average of $1129.
The slightly lower result in the Polls wasn't enough to impact on the overall sale as it was the Merinos that carried it through to a better overall result than last year.
With 58 sold out of a possible 63, the Merinos reached a gross of $69,200 and averaged $1193, up significantly compared to last year when 52 Merinos sold grossing $55,650 and averaging $1070.
Kolindale stud principal Luke Ledwith said he was really happy with the results of the day.
"Prices are good at the moment and the results of the sale reflect the positive mood in the industry," Mr Ledwith said.
The stud's regular volume buyers were back in force with Landmark's Peter Gale tallying up a whopping total of 27 Merinos to head home to the Fowler family, Chilwell, Condingup, reaching a top price of $1500 on three occasions and averaging $993.
It was another upwards trend that surfaced on the day as the Fowler family was the volume buyer at last year's Kolindale sale, taking home 21 in 2015 and 19 in 2014.
Having bought from Kolindale for about 10 years, the Fowlers said they continue to be impressed by the quality wool demonstrated by the Kolindale bloodlines.
Simon Fowler said the effect of the good conditions in the Dudinin area this year was really evident in the rams on offer.
"They're just really good sheep," he said.
Grass Patch producers M & T Ietto were willing to pay well above the sale average for the eight Merinos they bought, averaging $1763 with a top price of $2300.
Other volume buyers included return clients DD & EM Wiech, West River, who went home with eight Poll Merinos, averaging $800, GB & MP Harris, Grass Patch, who bought six Poll Merinos and Camlyn Grazing, Ravensthorpe, which took home six Merinos.
The Esperance sale was the first of the Ledwith family's three stud sales, with their Lewisdale-Corrigin rams on sale in Corrigin next Monday, September 12 and an on-property sale of Kolindale rams in Dudinin on Monday, September 19.