AS the sun shone brightly over the yarding of rams at last week's Rangeview on-property Merino and Poll Merino ram sale at Darkan, buyers showed their appreciation for the quality offering, pushing prices to a high of $3000 twice.
With solid buying support from a mix of old and new clients on the top line-up of heavy cutting, fine woolled rams presented by the King family, the sale was solid and consistent from the first to the last pen.
When all was said and done, 22 buyers from as far north as Wannamal and as far east as Esperance, cleared 93 of the 100 Merino and Poll Merino rams offered, made up of eight 2018-drop rams and 92 2019-drop rams, at an average of $1192, which was back by $174 on the stud's 2019 sale result.
In comparison in last year's sale the stud offered and sold 100 rams at a $1366 average.
In the breakdown the Kings sold 59 from 61 Poll Merino rams for a $1285 average, back $57 on last year, while 34 from 39 Merino rams sold at an average of $1032, back $379 on last year.
Elders auctioneer Nathan King said the final sale result was pleasing and a great testament to the rams on offer.
"We achieved a good clearance and prices across the board and the result followed the trend of most other Merino sales this season," Mr King said.
"There was solid support throughout the catalogue from a good list of return buyers, many of whom are long-term clients and there were also a few new faces operating which was pleasing to see.
"The stud clearly aims for the finer end of the market but it also has an emphasis on wool cut.
"I think it would be hard to find better fine wool rams in the State with the body size and the wool cutting ability of the Rangeview sheep.
"Overall it was a very even line-up of rams which all showed the traits the Rangeview stud is renowned for when it comes to wool quality and quantity along with size and structure."
Equally happy with the sale result was Rangeview stud co-principal Jeremy King who said the family was very pleased with the sale in terms of both prices and clearance.
"We once again had strong support from return buyers which shows our rams are working for our clients in the commercial environment but it was also good to see a couple of new buyers operating for the first time," he said.
"Overall I think it was a good solid and consistent sale, it was pleasing to average what we did and I think that had a lot to do with the quality of the line-up which held up right to the end of the sale."
Like last year it was the Poll Merino rams which led the charge with two Poll Merinos claiming top price honours when they sold at $3000.
The first ram to hit $3000 was an upstanding two-tooth penned in lot nine when it was knocked down to clients of five years Steven and Michael Goss, Brookside Farming Pty Ltd, Darkan.
Steven Goss said they chose the ram as it was well-grown and had plenty of quality white, bright wool on it.
"We like the Rangeview sheep for their fine white wools and heavy cutting traits," Mr Goss said.
The stylish woolled, long-bodied 100 kilogram ram has current wool figures of 16.2 micron, 2.5 SD, 14.5 CV and 99.9 per cent comfort factor (CF).
The Goss family will use the ram in a nucleus flock which comprises of 260 ewes to breed rams for their own use.
This year the family is aiming to join 4500 ewes to Merino rams and 1500 ewes to Glenbrook White Suffolk sires.
The second sire to hit the $3000 mark was penned a little further down the line but buyers were quick to react in their bidding when it was offered in pen 41.
After some quick fire bidding on the deep, square, well-covered two-tooth Poll ram it was finally knocked down to last year's top price buyer Daniel Zadow, WR & PC Zadow, Kojonup, who has been buying from the stud for 16 years.
Mr Zadow said the 99kg ram had a nice, free-growing wool and a good body size.
When tested in September the ram's wool measured 18.7 micron, 3.4 SD, 17.3 CV and 99.5pc CF.
The Zadows run a nucleus flock of 200 ewes, to breed rams for their large ewe flock of 8500 breeding ewes of which 5000 are joined to Merinos and 3500 are mated to White Suffolk and Poll Dorset sires.
Mr Zadow said their nucleus flock was made up of two bloodlines and this ram would be used in the 100-head Rangeview blood flock.
Along with taking home one of the equal $3000 top-priced rams Mr Zadow also purchased another Poll sire which measured 17.8 micron and 99.6pc CF in the wool for $2100.
The second top price in the sale was $2500 paid by KJ & JA King Family Trust, Darkan, for a 107kg Poll two-tooth ram with wool figures of 19.4 micron, 2.9 SD, 14.2 CV and 99.8pc CF.
There were a couple of other buyers which purchased strongly at the top end of just the Poll Merino offering and they included return Wannamal buyers BR & BJ Smith, which purchased six Polls to a top of $1700 and an average of $1567, while AC & RJ Williams, Albany, averaged $1340 across a team of five Polls which topped at $1700.
Next door neighbour and long time client Russell King, also operated strongly on just the Poll rams and by sale's end he had put together a team of 14 rams to a top of $1700 and an average of $1021, making him the volume buyer.
Mr King, who will join just under 3000 ewes to Poll Merino rams this year, said he bid up strongly because he still has faith in the wool industry.
"The prices might be back at the moment but I am confident that will be back up to the levels we previously saw in the future," Mr King said.
He said he returns to buy each year at Rangeview not only because it was next door but they produced sheep with good wools and good bodies.
"They are quality fine woolled sheep which cut plenty of wool," Mr King said.
Last year's volume buyer KD Power Pastoral Co, Boyup Brook, also only purchased from the Poll Merino offering and by sale's end Kieran Power with the assistance of Elders Darkan agent Wayne Peake had secured a team of 11 rams to a high of $1800 and an average of $1218.
The Merino offering peaked at $1700 for a 2018-drop long-bodied sire, whose stylish, white wool was on display, when it was knocked down to return buyers NJ & VE Cockcroft, Darkan.
Its wool measured 21 micron, 3.3 SD, 19.1 CV and 99.1pc CF.
The Cockcrofts also picked up a second Merino sire measuring 19.4 micron, 3.1 SD and 99.4pc CF in the wool for $1300.
Other buyers to purchase Merino rams at the top end were Warren Cowcher, WM & CE Cowcher, Williams, who averaged $1150 over a team of four which topped at $1400, while client of 17 years Jeff Pike, JS & TR Pike, Jerramungup, who secured three to a top of $1200 and average of $1067 and Jameric Grazing, Kojonup, purchased two at $1300 each.
The volume buyer of just Merino rams was the Sherry family, SB Sherry & Co, Boddington, who purchased nine to a top of $1300 twice and an average of $922.
Craig Sherry, who was chasing rams with big frames and white wools, said his family had been buying from the stud for more 50 years and they continued to come back because they liked the wool quality and quantity of the Rangeview sheep.
"Our hoggets' wool always sells well each year," Mr Sherry said.
First time buyer Catalano Farms, Brunswick, was also one of the major buyers in the sale but showed no preference to either horned or polled rams in its buying, purchasing five Merinos and two Polls at a $771 average while WW Farms, Arthur River, averaged $900 across a team of three Merinos and two Polls and GH & MD Lloyd, Darkan, purchased two of each at a $1075 average.