Record $90,000 paid at SheepMaster sale

Record $90,000 paid at SheepMaster sale

Studstock
Prices hit a top of $90,000 for this ram from the SheepMaster parent stud, White Dog Lane, Elleker, at last week's National SheepMaster ram sale at Elleker, making it the highest priced WA-bred ram of any breed sold at auction in WA since 1991, when it was sold to the Reed and Crabb family, Rainbows Rest stud, Dongara and Walkaway. With the ram were buyers Geoff Crabb (left) and Tristan and Des Reed, White Dog Lane stud's Neil Garnett and Brian Prater and Elders auctioneer Nathan King.

Prices hit a top of $90,000 for this ram from the SheepMaster parent stud, White Dog Lane, Elleker, at last week's National SheepMaster ram sale at Elleker, making it the highest priced WA-bred ram of any breed sold at auction in WA since 1991, when it was sold to the Reed and Crabb family, Rainbows Rest stud, Dongara and Walkaway. With the ram were buyers Geoff Crabb (left) and Tristan and Des Reed, White Dog Lane stud's Neil Garnett and Brian Prater and Elders auctioneer Nathan King.

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Hillcroft Farms UltraWhite ram sale fetches $90,000 record at Elleker.

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IT was another milestone day for the SheepMaster breed last Friday at Elleker when WA ram sale records were smashed in the National SheepMaster Ram sale.

The growing interest and demand for shedding sheep was on show for all to see as both local and Eastern States' buyers pushed prices to a high of $90,000 for a ram from the breed's parent stud, White Dog Lane based at Elleker, to make it the highest price paid at auction in WA for a WA-bred ram of any breed in the past three decades (since 1991).

The sale also set a new record for a WA meat sheep ram sold at auction, surpassing the previous best $51,500 recorded at the Hillcroft Farms UltraWhite ram sale in October this year.

It has been a quick rise to prominence for the SheepMaster breed as it was only registered by breed founder Neil Garnett in 2017 following careful genetic selection to create a shedding animal with high fertility, good feet and constitution, with the productivity to maximise dollars per hectare.

The Damara was used as the foundation breed for the SheepMaster and it contributed to the breed family orientation, hardiness, natural self-reliance, a small productive udder and strong mothering instincts and it is these traits which underpin the difference between the SheepMaster and other shedding sheep.

The second top price in last week's National SheepMaster ram sale at Elleker was $85,000 for this ram from the SheepMaster parent stud, White Dog Lane, Elleker, which was purchased by the Blackwood stud, Boyup Brook in partnership with New South Wales-based studs Wild Oat, Beckom; Montarna, Arumpo and Janaree, Cobar. With the ram were Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer (left), Elders stud stock auctioneer Nathan King, buyers Phil Corker and Martin Bleechmore, Blackwood stud and White Dog Lane stud's Brian Prater and Neil Garnett.

The second top price in last week's National SheepMaster ram sale at Elleker was $85,000 for this ram from the SheepMaster parent stud, White Dog Lane, Elleker, which was purchased by the Blackwood stud, Boyup Brook in partnership with New South Wales-based studs Wild Oat, Beckom; Montarna, Arumpo and Janaree, Cobar. With the ram were Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer (left), Elders stud stock auctioneer Nathan King, buyers Phil Corker and Martin Bleechmore, Blackwood stud and White Dog Lane stud's Brian Prater and Neil Garnett.

Over its development seven other genetic lines - Van Rooy, Kojak, Dorper, UltraWhite, White Suffolk, East Fresian and Finn - have been included to create today's tough, easy to manage fertile SheepMaster.

Like at other shedding breed sales this year across Australia, bidding was red-hot as the 25 registered buyers in attendance and another 57 registered on the AuctionsPlus platform chased the SheepMaster rams for their easy-care, high fertility and top production traits.

As a result of this strong buying support the Elders selling team led by auctioneer Nathan King cleared 73 of the 79 rams offered at an average of $6812.

Of the 57 registered bidders on AuctionsPlus, 11 were active during the sale placing 124 bids across 40 lots and by the end of the sale eight were successful purchasers securing 24 rams between them.

Broken down the White Dog Lane SheepMaster parent stud, based on the Elleker property of Brian and Susi Prater, offered 59 rams and sold 58 under the hammer for an average of $7898, which also now ranks as the best ever average achieved by a stud at an on-property ram sale in WA.

The remaining 20 rams offered in the sale came from four New South Wales-based studs - Wild Oat, Beckom; Montarna, Arumpo; Janaree, Cobar and Angevin, Woodside.

These rams were offered solely on AuctionsPlus and when the sale finished 15 had sold at auction to a top of $3600 twice and an average of $2613.

With the $30,000 third top-priced ram purchased by the Ware family, Leafdale, Queensland, at last week's National SheepMaster ram sale at Elleker were Elders, Albany representative David Lindberg (left), SheepMaster marketing and breeding consultant Andrew Hodgson, Ray White Livestock, Albany, who purchased the ram for the Wares, White Dog Lane stud's Alison Bannan, Neil Garnett and Brian Prater.

With the $30,000 third top-priced ram purchased by the Ware family, Leafdale, Queensland, at last week's National SheepMaster ram sale at Elleker were Elders, Albany representative David Lindberg (left), SheepMaster marketing and breeding consultant Andrew Hodgson, Ray White Livestock, Albany, who purchased the ram for the Wares, White Dog Lane stud's Alison Bannan, Neil Garnett and Brian Prater.

Mr King said overall it was a very strong sale and an impressive result for all concerned.

"The presentation of rams was very good right through the catalogue," Mr King said.

"There was more depth in the offering and more rams on offer this year and we saw buying support on the offering from right across WA, plus from Eastern States' buyers operating both over the phone and AuctionsPlus, which is certainly a good sign for the breed going forward.

"The stud side of the catalogue sold extremely well and the values recorded for these rams speak for themselves, but it was also pleasing to see good support from commercial producers on the offering.

"There were a number of commercial buyers who purchased larger teams and the prices paid by the commercial producers were also very solid."

Mr Garnett said the demand in the sale from different regions in Australia for SheepMaster sheep through Elders and AuctionsPlus was most gratifying for the SheepMaster team.

"Most important, of course, are our clients who supported us strongly on the day and we thank them for their support," Mr Garnett said.

"This year we offered 12 special stud sires, 12 specially selected sires and 36 selected rams and while we were thrilled to achieve State record prices on our top sires, it was equally rewarding to see our clients purchasing selected rams at a realistic price.

"Although the team average was $7898, many buyers were able to purchase commercial rams at $2000 to $3000.

"With the new focus on shedding meat sheep, it is a privilege to be part of this expanding industry."

Creating the biggest interest among buyers and selling for the $90,000 price tag in the line-up of rams from the breed's parent stud, White Dog Lane, was Monarch 384, offered in lot two.

The December 2019-drop ram, which was described in the catalogue to be a real ram with great character, constitution, balance and shedding characteristics and buyers certainly recognised its quality with Mr King taking an opening bid of $50,000.

From there the price quickly moved upwards as a couple of buyers went head to head on the 140 kilogram sire, but eventually at $90,000 there was only the Rainbows Rest stud, owned by Des, Sue, Tristan and Jodi Reed and Geoff and Sandy Crabb, Walkaway and Dongara, left in the running and written in the sheets as the buyer.

The Reeds and the Crabbs established the Rainbows Rest stud five years ago and are currently running 600 stud ewes.

Mr Crabb said Monarch 384 was the fifth ram they had purchased from the breed's parent stud for their flock and were very excited to have secured the ram.

"In my opinion he is the best clean skinned ram to ever be auctioned in WA," Mr Crabb said.

"Structurally you can't fault him.

"He has great conformation, great feet and a really good head.

"He is just a really well put together sire."

The ram will be a new bloodline for the Rainbows Rest stud and Mr Crabb said they would use him over 100 ewes naturally this season.

Not far behind Monarch 384 when it came to the top price was the first ram offered in the sale Apollo 073.

Like with Monarch 384 Mr King took an opening bid of $50,000 on Apollo 073 and this time it was an AuctionsPlus registered bidder that secured the ram at the sale's $85,000 second top price.

Later it was revealed the March 2020-drop ram had been purchased by a four-way partnership which included the locally based Blackwood stud, Boyup Brook, owned by Phil and Ginette Corker and Martin and Colleen Bleechmore.

The other three studs in the partnership were New South Wales-based studs Wild Oat, Beckom; Montarna, Arumpo and Janaree, Cobar.

Mr Corker said he and Mr Bleechmore liked the thickness and length of the 134.5kg sire which was described in the catalogue to be one of the better rams ever produced at the parent stud.

"We saw this ram last year and liked him and we decided if he ever came up for sale we would have a go at buying him," Mr Corker said.

The Corkers and Bleechmores started their SheepMaster stud in 2018 when they purchased rams at the breed's inaugural sale at Boyanup and sold their first rams this year at the Mid West SheepMaster sale at Mogumber in October.

Currently the families run 500 stud ewes and 500 commercial ewes.

Mr Corker said they were very pleased with the breed and were looking to expand their stud into the future due to the interest in the SheepMaster breed.

The third top price for the sale was $30,000 when SheepMaster marketing and breeding consultant Andrew Hodgson, Ray White Livestock, Albany, purchased lot three at this value for Graeme and Stephen Ware, Acacia Park stud, Leafdale, Queensland, who are in the process of setting up a SheepMaster stud breeding program and moving away from running cattle.

The August 2020-drop ram was from the stud's Monarch family and weighed in at 103kg.

Along with securing the third top-priced ram for the Wares, Mr Hodgson also purchased the $18,000 fourth top-priced ram, which was offered in lot eight for them.

The January 2021-drop ram, which was from the Jubilee family, weighed 84.5kg and was described by Mr King to be the complete package.

Stephen Ware said this was the first time they had purchased SheepMaster rams and they would be used as foundation sires in a stud breeding program they were setting up.

"We have run cattle in the past but we want to get into the sheepmeat industry, in particular shedding sheep as we don't have infrastructure to shear sheep on the property," Mr Ware said.

"Up until now we have been involved solely in the cattle industry but we have seen the gross margins out of running sheepmeat and the demand for them, we decided it was worth investing in.

"We looked at numerous shedding breeds including Australian Whites and Dorpers before we settled on the SheepMaster.

"The more homework and research we did, the more impressed we were with the SheepMaster.

"Given all the experience Neil has breeding sheep and the look of the mature SheepMasters and their progeny, we decided they were the right breed for us and they would also do well in Queensland."

The rams will be joined on the property by 20 purebred SheepMaster ewes and 80 first-cross SheepMaster ewes.

There were another three rams to sell for more $10,000 or more in the line-up of rams from the SheepMaster parent stud.

Two of these were purchased by Tony and Jo Slattery, Twin Peaks (WA) Pty Ltd, Gnowellen.

The Slatterys, who have been using SheepMaster rams for the past five years and achieving top results, bid to $14,000 for a September 2020-drop, 104kg ram from the Jubilee family and $10,000 for an August 2020-drop 98.5kg sire from the Monarch family.

Along with these two rams the Slatterys purchased another ram at $5200.

Ms Slattery said the family had a full shedding flock of 2200 ewes but would like to get up to 3000 head after getting down to as low as 1500 breeders in recent years due to the dry seasons of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

"We started with Dorpers in 2006 before moving to Australian Whites in 2013 and finally SheepMasters in 2018," Ms Slattery said.

"We are getting some great results with our SheepMaster lambs."

The Slatterys aim is to sell their lambs straight off their mothers from about six months of age.

The final ram to make $10,000 or more was a January 2021-drop, 76.5kg ram from the Zerc family which sold at $10,500 to a buyer based at Barabba, South Australia.

This buyer also purchased another two rams in the sale - one from the parent stud at $7000 and one from the Wild Oat stud at $3200.

Other buyers to purchase at the top end of the market were Dorrell Enterprises, Narrikup, which went to $9000 for a single sire and the Elliot family, IB & JS Elliot, Eneabba, secured two rams to an $8000 top, while Yilgarnia, Denmark, took a sire ram at $7500 and Finesse Corporation Pty Ltd, Swanbourne, bidding through Elders stud stock representative Preston Clarke, purchased three to a top of $7500 and an average of $6100.

The biggest buyer of rams from the parent stud offering at Elleker were Craig and Kate Nelson, Kojaneerup Holdings, Kojaneerup, who purchased their first SheepMaster rams last year.

The Nelsons finished the day with a ute load of 11 rams to a top of $4000 and an average of $3055.

Mr Nelson said they were happy with the progeny from last year's rams which they used over maiden Dorper and White Dorper ewes.

"This year we are going to use just SheepMaster rams in our flock of 600 ewes," Mr Nelson said.

"Our numbers are down on where we would like them to be but we are aiming to get back up to a flock of 2000 to 2500 ewes.

"We have decided to go with SheepMaster rams over our ewes as they will provide us with some good hybrid vigour and because they are a good all round, easy-care package.

"We have seen our neighbours, the Slatterys using, them over the past few years and the results they are getting, so we saw a value in introducing them to our flock."

Other influential buyers to operate solely on the parent stud offering and buy more than two rams were SJ & MP Kilby, which purchased four all at $2000, while S & MD Magini, Mokup and Farmstrong Pastoral, Margaret River, secured three rams each at averages of $3600 and $4467 respectively.

A buyer operating on AuctionsPlus from Murdinga, South Australia, also bid strongly on the rams from the parent stud, securing five to a top of $3200 and an average of $3000.

Then when the sale moved to the rams on offer solely on AuctionsPlus from the New South Wales based studs the Murdinga-based enterprise picked up three rams from the Janaree stud at a $2333 average, two from the Montarna stud both at $2000 and one ram from the Wild Oat stud at $2800.

Achieving the $3600 equal top-price in the offering of rams from New South Wales were the Wild Oat and Montarna studs and in both cases the rams were purchased by the Blackwood stud.

The Blackwood stud also picked up a second Montarna ram at $3200.

Also buying rams from the New South Wales-based offering was a buyer from Tooligie, South Australia, operating on AuctionsPlus, which finished with three rams from the Montarna stud at a $2400 average.

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