IT HAS been a long time between multi-vendor ram sales for Yarrawonga Poll Merino stud, Harden, NSW.
The stud has been focused on selling its Merinos on-property and has not sold at a multi-vendor auction for about 20 years.
But the stud came back with a bang at the annual Hamilton ram sale held at Sheepvention, grabbing the top two prices at the auction with Lot 72, M22341, selling for $26,000 to Warralea Poll Merino stud, Gairdner, WA.
"We hadn't been here for 20 years, so it's good to be back," Yarrawonga stud principal Steve Phillips said.
"There was no particular reason why we came back to the sale, it was as simple as it was time to sell outside of our on-property sales."
Mr Phillips said the 13-month-old ram was well nourished and stood well.
"This ram has very good wool on it and was very square structured, as well as being a little bit younger than the others we had on sale here," he said.
The ram's fleece measured 17.7 micron, had a standard deviation (SD) of 2.6, a coefficient of variation (CV) of 14.6 and a comfort factor (CF) of 99.6 per cent.
The second-highest-priced ram was Lot 74, M22323, also from Yarrawonga, which sold for $16,000 and had fleece that measured 18.8 micron, 2.8 SD, 16.1 CV and 99.4pc CF.
Warralea stud principal Jarrod King said he was keen on starting a Yarrawonga family in his stud.
"I had been to [the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in] Bendigo a few weeks ago and saw some progeny out of some Yarrawonga sheep," he said.
"I was really happy with what I saw, and I think they'll fit into our environment here and complement us well with the fineness of their wool, the whiteness and the purity of the ram.
"I like the presence and structure of the ram too, with its pure face and soft muzzle too."
Mr King's stud sees a lot of unseasonal rain with "drizzly weeks through the summer".
"We're only 14 kilometres off the south coast here in WA so it's important that our sheep keep that whiteness and get rams that achieve good purity to be able to handle that wet summer rain," he said.
Elders NSW stud stock and sheep specialist Scott Thrift, who represented Warralea at the sale, said Yarrawonga's breeding pedigree was impressive.
"[The ram] has a great outlook and has a lot of growing to do and the breeding on the Roseville Park side of things looks good," he said.
Elders Victoria/Riverina stud stock manager Ross Milne was pleased to have a physical sale at Sheepvention after a couple of years off.
"It was a good sale and not having a physical sale since 2019 had meant there was plenty of interest," he said.
"We had less numbers of rams here than previous sales where we had about 200 but I'm happy with the way the sale went."
He said the sale average and how buyers received the sale were promising signs for the ram sale season.
"Today resulted in some good sales and sheep going to a number of places with buyers from SA and Tasmania too," he said.
A notable volume buyer on the day was Chris and Jacqui Arbuckle, St Arnaud, who bought four rams for just under $16,000 from Glendonald Merino stud, Nhill, including two rams at a top price of $4000.
Blackwood, Evandale, Tas, was the only stud selling Corriedales, with the top-priced ram, Lot 84, 200063, fetching $5500.
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