A POLL Merino sire from the Collinsville stud, Hallett, South Australia, was the talk of the town when it sold for $115,000 privately at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show at Bendigo, Victoria, last week.
The $115,000 price tag is believed to be the highest price paid for a Merino or Poll Merino ram in the past 30 years in Australia.
The upstanding Collinsville ram, Collinsville Emperor 395, attracted plenty of interest from a number of prospective buyers in its pen before it was announced that it had been sold to the Ledwith family's Kolindale stud, Dudinin.
Having heard about the ram and also viewing pictures of it, Kolindale principal Luke Ledwith made a flying trip to Bendigo on Saturday to inspect the ram.
The sale was negotiated the next morning by the Nutrien stud stock team and Tony Brooks, Brooks Merino Services, who acted on behalf of Mr Ledwith in purchasing the ram after he headed back to Melbourne on Saturday night.
Collinsville stud general manager Tim Dalla said Collinsville was very happy and honoured to be able to sell the ram to the Ledwith family as they have been loyal supporters of Collinsville in terms of buying top sires for the past decade.
"They continue to come back to us for new genetics as what they have purchased in the past have worked," Mr Dalla said.
Equally as happy the sale went through was Mr Ledwith who said he was very pleased to be able to purchase the ram as he believed he is the best Poll Merino ram he has ever seen.
"He was initially penciled in to be a stud reserve for Collinsville and wasn't for sale, so we are very happy to be able to purchase him after negotiating the price," Mr Ledwith said.
"He is a big, long, square ram with a meaty carcase and a big, strong muzzle and a great Poll head.
"But equally impressive to his carcase traits is his wool quality.
"He carries a long-stapled, lustrous, white, medium to bold crimping wool with true nourishment on the tip.
"I have never seen his type of elite wool on a ram of that size before.
"He also has a very strong pedigree which was important to us."
The stud's aim is to AI 600 or more stud ewes to Emperor 395 this year.
Mr Ledwith said they had previously purchased a Majestic son for $39,000 and a Regal son for $66,000 from Collinsville and they had worked really well for us in the past and we are confident this ram will do the job as well.
"We have purchased him with the aim of helping to increase the profits of our commercial clients and take their flocks to the next level," Mr Ledwith said.
"Hopefully he will breed early maturing, big meaty rams with elite white wools which will benefit our commercial clients and also some top end stud sires as well."
The May 2020-drop AI-bred ram is by Collinsville Emperor 351 and Collinsville 162547, which is by Collinsville Imperial 141.
In the show ring this year the August shorn ram has been sashed the supreme exhibit at the Hay Sheep Show in June and the Burra Merino Field Days in March.
At Bendigo it was part of the Collinsville pair which was the reserve champion August shorn national pair.
The medium wool ram has a current bodyweight of 178 kilograms and current wool figures of 20.6 micron, 3.1 SD, 15.0 CV and 99.4 per cent comfort factor.
Mr Dalla said he believed the ram was the best polled ram Collinsville had bred in his time at the stud (20 years).
"He stood out to us as a young ram," Mr Dalla said.
"He has a magnificent sire's head and a massive structurally correct frame on which he carries an excellent heavy cutting wool.
"He is the type of ram we are striving to breed."
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