Offered 82 56
Sold 79 54
Top $16,000 $30,000
Av $4490 $4569
PINNAROO-based Gunallo stud notched up its third consecutive top price at the Classings Classic sale at Murray Bridge on Monday, with a popular double polled, embryo transfer-bred ram.
The 19.1-micron ram, Gunallo 702, was offered by Ray, Judy and Brad Schroeder and kicked the multi-vendor sale off with a bang.
It was an April 2015-drop son of Glenlea Park 345 – Lot 1 in the stud’s on-property sale two years ago.
Gunallo 702 was out of one of the stud’s top ewes – an ET-bred sister to Pride, a ram the stud sold at the 2013 Adelaide sale for $22,000.
Its wool tests included 3.2 standard deviation, 16.8 coefficient of variation and 99.6 per cent comfort factor.
“It carries a bold crimping wool, which I think the industry needs, that tests well,” Brad Schroeder said.
“It has that bit of nourishment that can handle most weather conditions."
Vic buyer Stuart Croft, Hamilton, and his agent, Landmark Hamilton wool buyer Kevin Beaton, were impressed with the ram’s good phenotype.
“It has got Gunallo’s smart wool and a big carcase to match – I can’t fault it,” said Mr Croft, who will use the ram in a nucleus to breed rams for his 6000 commercial ewe flock at Hatfield Station near Balranald, NSW.
The invitational sale, organised by Bill and Rose Walker, featured 26 studs from SA, Vic, NSW and WA offered 82 rams.
The number of rams swelled for the 2016 sale, with eight studs making their debut as vendors.
This year’s sale coincided with the opening day of the World Merino Insight, which attracted Merino enthusiasts from across the world and showcased the best genetics on offer. There was a great atmosphere inside the marquee and 112 registered bidders ensured a credible $4490 average.
Eleven rams made $10,000 or more including the $16,000 sale topper, but there was still plenty of great buying in the $2000 to $5000 price range.
The sale’s second highest price of $14,500 went to Ridgway 451 – a 19.1M ET-bred son of Kiandra 644 – offered by Ric, Gail and Matt Ridgway, Kulkami.
“It has great density wool, even though it is a free growing ram, with an exceptionally long, plain body,” Ric said.
Buyers Bert, Barb and Dion Woolford, Karawatha Park stud, Buckleboo, were impressed with the ram’s exceptional pedigree. It was also a trait leader for yearling weight and clean fleece weight Australian Sheep Breeding Values.
“It is a complete package and we have been following the ram’s families for a number of years,” Bert said.
Just one bid behind was a $14,000 ram from David, Karen and Devon Ridgway’s Ridgway Advance stud, Bordertown – a heavy cutting son of RA 080.
Brenton and Jane Smith, Calcookara stud, Cowell, were among the volume buyers with three rams to $11,000. Coreena stud, Barcaldine, Qld, also bought three, including one at $13,000.
Landmark SA stud stock manager Gordon Wood said stud buyers had done their homework leading up to the sale and bid strongly on the top end “modern Merinos”.
“Without question they were chasing ASBVs that suit their requirements improving their own flock and on top of that structure and the ability to cut wool,” he said.
“Filling bales and selling lambs is where the business is at.”
Elders stud stock manager Tony Wetherall said there was very good stud enquiry from most sheep breeding states in Australia and strong commercial support from the pastoral areas to high rainfall areas in Vic.
“Classings is recognised as a source of top end genetics,” he said.