THE Davies family's transition on-farm for its ram sale was completed with a successful result at its inaugural Cardiff Merino and Poll Merino on-property ram sale at Yorkrakine last week.
After selling at the Wyalkatchem Merino Breeders ram sale for the past 29 years, the inaugural sale also coincided with the stud's 30th anniversary of selling rams at auction.
Cardiff's loyal band of clients supported the Davies family with its venue transition, competing strongly on their selected lots to record a total clearance of the 120-ram catalogue.
A couple of significantly reduced client orders this year saw competition soften toward the backend of the sale which impacted on Merino values compared to last year.
However this opened the door for buyers of all budgets to fill their requirements in what has been a pretty average year for sheep feed in large areas of the State.
The Elders selling team recorded an overall average of $1713, which was back $367 on the stud's final sale at Wyalkatchem last year where Cardiff offered and sold 117 rams to average $2080.
Broken down, 80 Merino rams sold to average $1698, back $557 on last year's results from the same number of rams while 40 Poll Merino rams sold to an improved average of $1745, up from $1703 last year where 37 Poll rams were sold.
In his sale opening address, Cardiff stud principal Quentin Davies said to hold their first on-property sale was a proud moment for the family.
"I received a text from one of my brother's saying how far we had come from 30 years ago today where we offered four rams at Wyalkatchem and that dad (late stud founder Lloyd Davies) would be absolutely chuffed," Mr Davies said.
"There have been a few ups and downs to get here and a lot of hard work, especially by Dianne and the girls (daughters Felicity, Keisha and Jordy)."
Mr Davies thanked all the buyers for their continued support and the efforts of long-time stud classer Kevin Broad and the Jumbuk shearing crew.
"It's a bunch of good people that buy our rams and I'm humbled to be able to help you guys out," he said.
"I enjoy presenting the rams for you and equally enjoy your company afterwards."
The sale's $5700 top price didn't take long to eventuate with return top-priced Cardiff ram buyers the Smith family, Wongamine Grazing Company, Northam, paying top dollar for the sale team leader.
The 107kg regulation March shorn ram was sired by Woodyarrup Deluxe and displayed April wool tests of 18.2 micron, 3 SD and 99.3 per cent comfort factor.
The Smith family has been buying sires from Cardiff for the past four years for its nucleus breeding program, producing flock rams for its 5000 commercial Merino ewes.
Glenn Smith said they had previously purchased a Cardiff ram with the Woodyarrup breeding which worked well for them and they wanted to continue this family line further.
He said they had seen the ram a couple of times leading up to the sale, firstly at the Narrogin Long Wool Day and the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days a fortnight ago and was impressed with its frame, constitution and stylish wool they were after.
Another nucleus breeder Joe Felber, AJ Felber, Badgingarra, went on to pay the sale's $4300 second top price after being the losing bidder on lot one.
The 105kg ram was another Deluxe son with wool tests of 18.8 micron, 3.7 SD, 99.3pc CF and 7.4kg greasy fleece weight (GFW).
Mr Felber took the opportunity to add another Banavie son to his account later in the opening run for $1700.
The next highest price of $3000 for Merino rams was paid by a few buyers.
This included one of the sale's most influential buyers Barry Large, Moorara Farms, Miling.
Mr Large built a team of 16 Merino rams, paying from $800 to a top price of $3000 for a 115kg Banavie son testing 17.8 micron, 4.9 SD, 97.7pc CF and 8.9pc GFW.
Regular top-end Cardiff buyers Des and Yvonne Haywood, Goomalling, paid to $3000 for a team of three rams with their top price going to a 107kg Deluxe son in lot six, displaying tests of 17.5 micron, 3.1 SD, 100pc CF and 6.7kg GFW.
Brett Doncon, Eastville stud, Wickepin, topped up the sire battery with some fresh genetics from Cardiff with three rams costing up to $3000, outlaid for a blade shorn 107kg son of Woodyarrup Junior testing 19 micron, 2.7 SD and 99.9pc CF.
Other strong volume contributors of Merino rams included regular buyers of numbers Tony Sachse, Sachse Farming, Bencubbin, with 12 rams and Trevor Cosgrove, Roylands Farming, Shackleton, with nine Merino rams and one Poll ram.
GJ & MV McCormack, Trayning, managed to secure their team of eight rams at good value for money while RN & KL Morcombe, Jurien, bid to $2500 for six Merino rams and a single Poll ram.
But the biggest account of the day, totalling 17 rams, was built by Brian Morgan, BM & KZ Morgan, Northam.
Mr Morgan selected 10 Poll Merino rams operating from $1000 to $1600 and seven Merino rams paying to $2000 for a Kamballie Bing syndicate bred ram.
The sale's $4000 top-price in the Poll Merino line-up was paid by Kevin Broad, Elders stud stock, representing first time Cardiff buyers the Dempster family's Grass Valley stud, Grass Valley.
The big 115kg blade shorn sale team leader was bred by a Nepowie syndicate and tested 19.5 micron, 2.7 SD and 99.8pc CF.
Mr Broad said the ram was the dual purpose type sheep the family liked.
"It's a strong carcase Wheatbelt sheep," Mr Broad said.
"Big plain body ram with long staple white wool and I thought it was very good buying at $4000."
Stratford & Sons, Wyalkatchem, paid the next highest Poll price of $3600 for the next pen, containing a 108kg Woolkabin bred blade shorn son testing 20.5 micron, 3.1 SD and 99.6pc CF.
The Stratfords added another two Poll rams to their account at $2700 and $2300.
Consistent Cardiff Poll ram buyer SG Coleman & Co, Cunderdin, returned for another four rams, costing from $1600 to $1900 as did JM Riches & Co, Wyalkatchem, also with four Poll rams paying to $1500.