RECORDS fell at the Royal Adelaide Elite Stud Sheep Sale on Sunday, with a Suffolk ram selling to a new Australian high price of $16,000.
And that was not even the top price in the sale, with a White Suffolk reaching $17,000.
In total, 37 of the 59 rams from the White Suffolk, Suffolk and Poll Dorset breeds sold for an average $5905 – up $1118 on last year.
Seven of 18 Suffolk rams offered sold for a healthy $7571 average, 31 of 36 White Suffolk rams sold, averaging $6846, and four of 10 Poll Dorset rams sold to $5000, averaging $3375.
The $17,000 ram from Peter Button’s Ramsay Park stud at Minlaton was the supreme White Suffolk exhibit of the Royal Adelaide Show.
The May 2016-drop ram weighed 131 kilograms, with 15-millimetre fat depth and 48mm eye muscle depth.
It was a last minute addition to the sale catalogue, selling as lot 1a after Mr Button made the decision to put it on the market earlier than planned.
He said it was originally set to sell at the Bendigo Elite White Suffolk Sale later in Vic this month, but after a successful showing, Mr Button decided to sell it as a wildcard in the Adelaide sale.
Spirited bidding pushed the price up quickly, both surrounding the pen and on the phone, with the ram eventually sold to MH&SK Ledwith, Kolindale White Suffolks, Dudinin, WA, via a phone bid through Landmark Stud Stock’s Richard Miller.
Landmark Breeding Services’ Roy Addis said buyer Luke Ledwith had been seeking the Bundarra Downs bloodlines that this ram carried on both sides of its breeding.
“We were looking at the growth and fat figures and with that, we got a great structured ram,” he said.
The Ledwiths bought the ram, sight unseen, but Mr Addis said they had received plenty of photographs and feedback from trusted sources in the shed.
Mr Button said this was the highest price the stud had ever received for a ram.
“You always hope but I wasn’t expecting to get the money we did,” he said.
The Buttons also sold a second ram – lot 12 – at $10,500 to Mark Grossman, Koonawarra, Angaston.
The ram had a Carcase Plus index of 204.4, 112.6 Trade $ index and a Lamb2020 score of 114.5.
Mr Grossman was impressed by the “very correct” ram, which also had the Bundara Downs-121869 pedigree on its dam's side.
“Its grandsire is a ram I was keen on a few years ago,” he said.
“(This ram) had good fleshing with exceptional body length and good bone.”
The supreme ram of the Royal Adelaide Show captured plenty of attention as it entered the pen, with the Suffolk breaking the previous breed record of $14,000 set by Allendale at its sale last year.
Breeder Brett Stokes, Noble Lee, Campania, Tas, who had made the trip to support the Suffolk feature show, was “ecstatic” with the result.
“It made the trip here well worthwhile,” he said.
“I had contemplated not coming, but I’m really pleased I did.”
The July-born ram weighed 127.5kg, with 9mm fat depth and 48mm EMD.
Mr Stokes said the past nine months had been a struggle for the animals with dry conditions.
“To keep going the way they have is really pleasing,” he said.
Mr Stokes said he culled quite actively.
“I’m always looking for excuses so if something is not right, I cull,” he said.
The ram was bought by James Cleland, Mount Springs Suffolks, Hindmarsh Tiers.
“It's almost a perfect example of the breed – as good as I’ve seen for a long time,” he said.
“I think it’ll complement our ewes and take us to the next level.”
Mr Cleland had previously bought Noble Lee ewes.
Noble Lee sold a second ram at $12,000 to Andrew and Deb Krieg, Aylesbury Farm, Hahndorf.
Mr Stokes said the ram was out of one of his best show ewes that died earlier this year, making it the last of that line.
Mr Krieg has used Noble Lee genetics in the past and was pleased with their performance.
“I bought a ram like this because I want the best genetics for my prime lamb clients,” he said.
“I particularly liked the muscle pattern and depth of hindquarter and carcase volume.”
A second wildcard entry into the sale – lot 1b – sold for $11,000.
The junior champion White Suffolk ram from Paul Day, Sunnybanks, Penguin, Tas, will head to Dubbo, NSW, with new owner Scott Woodley, Kurraview White Suffolks.
Mr Woodley travelled to the sale to buy a new sire and also privately bought a half-brother to this ram from the Sunnybanks stud.
Other notable sales were a Glengarry White Suffolk ram, Walla Walla, NSW, selling for $8500 to C,D&K Huxtable, Karoonda.
Mertex White Suffolks, Antwerp, Vic, sold a ram to Bayview Downs, Naracoorte, at $9000, while Omad, Kaniva, Vic, sold at ram at $9000 to KP&JA Farr, Naracoorte.
The Poll Dorset top price was $5000 paid for a ram from Newbold, Gawler River, sold to Bsarma Farming Trust, Minlaton.
The sale was was auctioneered by Landmark’s Gordon Wood and Elders’ Dean Coddington.