A CATALOGUE of big bodied, quality woolled and well-presented Poll Merino rams had buyers clamouring to get their bids in at the King family's Warralea on-property ram sale at Gairdner on October 1.
In comparison to the 2020 sale result, more rams were offered, more rams were sold and the average sale price was blown out of the water at $1723 which was up $678 more than last year's sale average.
Values peaked at $4000 and lot one in the sale attracted the price tag with Elders, Albany agent Nigel Hawke bidding on the sire under the request of an undisclosed buyer.
Mr Hawke said that the ram had been viewed by his client previously and he had been impressed with the overall composition of the ram combining size, carcase attributes, exceptional wool quality and heavy cutting ability.
The top price ram was from the renowned Warralea 'Wally' family and weighed in at a hefty 106kg when measured back in July.
At sale day, the sire had clearly continued to display exceptional growth characteristics and was impressive both in the body and in its wool style.
It had scans of 38.5mm eye muscle depth (EMD) and 4.4mm for fat, while its Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) were 4.78 yearling weight, 0.83 yearling eye muscle depth, 0.03 yearling fat, 9.67 for yearling clean fleece weight and -0.55 yearling fibre diameter.
Its wool test results revealed the sire had a fibre diameter of 20.6 micron, 13.8 CV, 2.9 SD and 99.4 per cent for comfort factor (CF).
The second top-priced lot of the sale was an eye catching deep-bodied sire and it was secured by Stillbrook West, Darkan, which paid $3300.
The second top price ram maintained all the figures to go with its visual appeal and at 112.5kg it had the highest EMD in the catalogue at 41mm and fat score of 4.7mm.
It also tested well in the wool being 20.9 micron, 2.6 SD, and 99.7pc CF.
Other individual top prices continued to pop up all over the catalogue with NF Morris, Bokal, paying $3000 for one ram (as well as $2400 and $1700 for another two), while Barracup Grazing, Tambellup, bought one ram at $3000.
While the sale was highlighted by a swag of buyers who paid top dollar for their rams, it was also supported by volume buyers who paid exceptional averages and this included another Darkan enterprise KA Bunce & Co, Bokal, which purchased a total of 16 rams.
Buyers Kim and Lynne Bunce said that it was the sixth year they had been buying from Warralea and that while the addition of the ASBVs in this year's sale was a handy guide, they specifically and firstly focused on the visual appraisal of the rams.
"We firstly looked at body size, width and straightness down the backline," Mr Bunce said.
"The style of wool was nice and white, well-nourished and suited to handle our rainfall, and we specifically selected rams which had better head coverage and were heavier cutting."
The Bunces paid to a top of $2400 for one of their rams and an impressive team average of $1981.
Also a return buyer and volume buyer on the day, KD Power Pastoral Co, Busselton, put its hand up to secure a total of 11 rams, paying to a top of $2100 and average of $1682, while Granite Hill, Manypeaks, also bought 11 rams peaking at $1600 and paying an average of $1218.
Cranbrook farmer Anthony Warham, AM Warham, put together a team of eight rams, bidding to a top of $2100 and paying an average of $1775, while JA La Bianca & Son, bought seven rams to a top of $1900 and average of $1400.
Both Mallee Rise Pty Ltd, Gairdner, and Moir & Co, Albany, filled their ute's with six rams apiece with Mallee Rise paying to a top of $2500 and average of $1850 and Moirs peaking at $1600 (twice) and averaging $1033.
GM Howard & Son, Mt Barker, took home five rams paying to a top of $1700 and average of $1300, while D & S Herbert, Takalarup, bought three at $2600, $2500 and $2100.
Local supporters Killarney Ag Pty Ltd, Gairdner, also bought three rams paying $2400, $2300 and $1700, while RD & TL Parsons, Jerramungup, paid $2100 twice.
Elders, Albany agent Nigel Hawke said that the results of the sale were exceptionally pleasing with a swag of return buyers as well as five new clients to the stud.
"It was good to see return buyers at the sale with an increased appetite for the Warralea genetics as well as new buyers and registrations familiarising themselves with the sheep and the genetics," Mr Hawke said.
"It was a very balanced sale without values getting too excessive and I thought the rams themselves presented extremely well being ideally suited to current market demands."