THE Lewisdale stud produced a colossal result at its 56th annual on-property ram sale at Wickepin on Saturday.
A total clearance of 240 lots to gross almost $600,000 is an almighty achievement for the Lewis family and the Lewisdale team.
Buyers were greeted with the usual shed full of well-grown dual purpose Poll Merino rams the Lewisdale stud has built its brand on in recent times.
Following a delay in their normal travel schedule, interstate selling team Glasser Total Sales Management (GTSM) auctioneers Michael Glasser and Lincoln McKinlay gathered themselves to offer 240 ring sold lots and notch up the massive result.
And at the fall of the final hammer, the GTSM team had sold its 240th lot for the day for an impressive average of $2457.
This showed a $315 rise in the sale's overall average compared to last year's sale where the same number of rams averaged $2142.
Broken down, half semen shares in two of Lewisdale's emerging stud sires averaged $11,500, 10 August shorn 2017-born stud rams averaged $3940, 12 March shorn 2017-born stud rams averaged $2742 and the main run of 216 2018-born rams averaged $2288, up $295 on last year's bigger numbers of sale rams where 233 rams averaged $1993.
Leading the sale was the thumping 168kg August shorn full wool ram Lewisdale Monty 4 with a half semen share selling to Stan Dorman, Advanced Genetics, Westdale, representing Chinese organisation Housheng Co Ltd for the sale's $15,000 top price, who plan to export these genetics into the north east of China.
The ram was sired by Lewisdale Monty 30 and displayed wool tests of 21.3 micron and 99.2 per cent comfort factor.
Long-time Lewisdale client Steve Fowler, Jumbuck Plains, Esperance, dominated the run of 10 August shorn 2017-drop stud rams, finishing the sale with six to his name for an average of $3858.
Mr Fowler paid a top price of $4400 for a 163kg Lewisdale Monty 10 son testing 21.7 micron and 99.2pc CF.
The rams are set to be used over the family's nucleus ewes to produce flock rams for its significant Lewisdale blood Merino operation east of Esperance.
Return buyer GM Carmody Pty Ltd, Albany, also stocked up with the Lewisdale stud rams, paying $3800 each for five August shorn 2017-drop rams and $2500 for a March shorn 2017-drop ram.
They also paid the sale's $4250 equal top price for the first of the 2018-drop rams offered, a 119kg son of Seymour Park 24 testing 19 micron and 99.8pc CF.
Regular buyers AH Chisolm & Co, Needilup, collected seven rams at the sale and paid the $4750 top price for one of three March shorn 2017-drop rams.
The son of Boonoke 948 tipped the scales at 146kg and tested 20.9 micron and 99.7pc CF.
They also included one of the $4250 equal top price 2018-drop rams in their buying, a 113kg Kamora Park sired ram with tests of 21.6 micron and 99.4pc CF.
But the sale's most influential buyer was again long-time Lewisdale supporter Joe Della Vedova, JLW & C Della Vedova, Esperance, finishing the sale with a haul of 34 rams and winning the lucky buyer's prize of a $1000 travel voucher.
Mr Della Vedova outlaid a healthy $2500 average for his team of five March shorn 2017-drop rams and 29 2018-drop rams, paying his $4000 top price in lot 59 for a 114kg Banavie 303 son testing 20.4 micron and 99.5pc CF.
He said they had been buying Lewisdale rams as a family since the late 1970s and his operation currently runs 12,500 Lewisdale blood ewes, all mated to Lewisdale Merino rams.
Mr Della Vedova said the dual purpose traits of the Lewisdale sheep provided superior returns in their sheep enterprise.
"We have always come back to Lewisdale, their sheep shine," Mr Della Vedova said.
"They present well and perform well and the numbers are here, as well as the wealth of information that comes from Ray Lewis.
"The Lewisdale genetics allow the lambs to grow out and we have found the carcase to wool gross margin outdo a prime lamb enterprise.
"The Merino is a uniquely Australian product and we are keeping it going into the future."
There were a number of significant accounts put together by several buyers at the sale.
This included interstate buyer, the Dickerson family, Rejall Park, Miga Lake, Victoria, who at its third Lewisdale ram sale tallied a total of 20 rams for a $2333 average and paid to a $3250 top price, well into the catalogue for lot 150 containing a 106kg son from a Lewisdale family line testing 18.3 micron and 99.7pc CF.
The Della Vedova family, Kumbooran Plains, Narembeen, remained busy throughout the sale filling its requirements with 18 rams to average $2811 while its $3750 top bid was reserved for the 118kg Seymour Park 24 son in lot 53 with tests of 22.1 micron and 99pc CF.
Ten-year plus Lewisdale client brothers Don and Bill Handscombe, W & M Handscombe & Sons, Quairading, secured 17 rams for a $1941 average and paid up to $2500.
Southern Cross graziers DP Dunbar & Co averaged a consistent $2047 and paid to $2250 for a team of 15 rams while long-time buyers LJ & CJ Tyson, Kulin, also collected 15 rams for a $2033 average and $2800 top price.
Some other sizeable accounts were Geraldton producers Sewell Farming with 11 rams averaging $1727 and a 2250 top price, Sancta Monica Farms, Mullewa, with 10 rams averaging $2210 and paying to $3250, Morilla Downs Pty Ltd, Jerramungup, 10 rams to a $2500 top price and $2160 average and ML & D Latham, Narembeen, nine rams costing to $3000 and a $2000 average.