AT the annual Ella Matta on-property sale at Parndana, South Australia, the Heinrich family was quietly and proudly celebrating the 40th year that it has been breeding White Suffolk sheep, however that celebration went off with a huge bang soon after the sale started when they shattered records with their lot eight White Suffolk sale ram.
Following inspection, Ella Matta 180100ET, became the choice of many people at the sale, but through enquiries and the viewing of videos, it also attracted the interest of quite a few connected online through AuctionsPlus or via the phone.
This resulted in intense bidding on this ram before being knocked down for $29,000 to a syndicate of South Australian buyers - Steve, Ros, Greg and Selena Funke, Bundara Downs stud, Western Flat, Anthony, Suzanne and Cameron Ferguson, Anna Villa stud, Weetulta and Troy and Nette Fischer, Ashmore stud, Wasleys.
EM180100 has exceptionally good phenotype and balance, while also being in the top 10 per cent nationally for eight traits and indices, highlighted by 155.0 for LEQ, 154.1 for TCP and 224.7 for CarcasePlus.
It also had the bonus of being -30.0 for WEC.
The underbidder on the ram was David Pipkorn, Depta Grove stud, Jeparit, Victoria.
This is most certainly an Ella Matta record, surpassing the $16,000 it received two years ago when Paul Goerling, Lukin Springs stud, Boyup Brook, purchased the top White Suffolk ram that year, but it is also believed to be a South Australian State record for on-property meat sheep breed sales.
The huge sale catalogue of 211 White Suffolk rams, 40 Maternal Composite rams and 54 Poll Merino rams attracted a big crowd that included 74 registered bidders from four States, including Western Australia, plus those registered through Auctions - Plus and saw 295 find new homes in a 97pc clearance at a terrific average of $1456.
One WA buyer to get in on the action was Warren Thompson, Hedingham stud, Wickepin.
Having purchased via phone connection the previous two years and being delighted with his results, Mr Thompson made the trip over in person this year to the sale.
He was rewarded with lot three, EM180170 (AI), for just $3000.
This ram had a LEQ index of 164.9, a TCP index of 161 and a CarcasePlus index of 229.5, placing it in the top 1pc nationally.
It was sired by Ella Matta 150097, a ram that has bred so well in other flocks around the country and has greatly helped build Ella Matta's rise in recognition.
Also getting in on the buying action from WA was Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco, Brimfield stud, Kendenup.
They secured EM170153 - the ram with the highest TCP and CarcasePlus indices in the catalogue of 165.8 and 239.6 respectively.
It is sired by EM170153 and came straight into the ring straight after the record breaker.
With exceptional carcase attributes including 3.3 for PEMD and +20.1 for PWWT, Mr Whyte and Ms Cremasco placed the winning $4000 bid via phone hook-up with Elders agent Bernard Seal, with the hammer falling just before a late bid from another WA phone bidder.