Leahcim Poll Merinos measure up for 'best ever' result

Strong Leahcim Poll Merino sale hits $8400 twice


An Australia-wide bidding gallery delivered an outstanding result for Leahcim Poll Merino stud's 32nd annual sale on Tuesday at Snowtown with just over half of the rams headed interstate.



                   2019            2018

Offered    247                 235

Sold        243                 235

Top           $8400(2)          $15,000

Av             $2419            $2761

An Australia-wide bidding gallery delivered an outstanding result for Leahcim Poll Merino stud's 32nd annual sale on Tuesday at Snowtown with just over half of the rams headed interstate.

In total 243 of 247 rams topped at $8400 twice and averaged $2419- back $342 on 2018's sale which was a slightly smaller offering.

Fifty three bidders registered from all states except Qld making the most of the wealth of independent industry performance data provided by the Michael family.

Ten stud breeders from four states bought a combined total of 20 rams at a $4795 average, including the two $8400 sale toppers.

Lot 9, Leahcim 183564, the first of the younger September/October 2018 drops was the first to sell for $8400.

Sired by L173205 it had outstanding performance figures that included +11 for yearling weight, 0.8 for fat, 1.1 for eye muscle, 25.7 for clean fleece weight and 14.3 for staple length.

The successful buyers were long-term top end bidders,Paul and Jenny Goerling, Lukin Springs, Boyup Brook, WA.

In total they took home five rams for a $5240 average.

"You can never have too many really top rams," Paul said.

"In particular, we were looking for rams with deep crimp and white nourished wools that will handle our rainfall. We picked out five and while expecting to probably only be able to get three within our budget, we were delighted to get all five.

"The top priced ram has unbelievably good figures across the board and while he cost us the most, we also highly rate all of the other four as well. In fact, lot 41, L182333 is the best son by their identified high follicle density sire L162058, so we were delighted to have got him for just $3200 in comparison."

The second ram to sell at $8400 was lot 13, unlucky for some, but most certainly not for the Hannaton stud, Kaniva, Vic.

L182249 was sired by L153207 and also had exceptional figures, highlighted by 1.6 for eye muscle, 29.0 for yearling clean fleece weight, 18.7 for staple length and -1.0 for breech wrinkle.

Murrayfield Station, Bruny Island, Tas, chimed in to buy lot 4, L182177, also by L153207 for $7000, ultimately the second top price.

Its top figures were highlighted by a clean fleece weight of 23.6 and staple length of 20.7.

The O'Brien stud, Kyancutta went to $6800, picking up L183174, again with impressive figures.

Ray and Brad Schroeder, Gunallo stud, Pinnaroo kicked the sale off on a good note with a $5500 winning bid on lot 1, L182792.

They later added two more rams averaging $3833 for their three buys.

WA support was once again very strong with 30 rams heading west for a $3617 average -double the overall sale average.

Phillip and Kelsie Foss, Lake Grace, WA, were once again prominent high quality volume buyers, selecting 13 rams to $4600 twice, averaging $2892.

Michael Whiting, Shepwok Downs, Gibson, via Esperance was a very determined bidder, selecting nine top rams to $4800 and averaging $3589.

In the volume buying stakes one account stood out with Angus and Sarah Martin, Noorong Pastoral Co, Barham, NSW, selecting 49 rams for their 12,000 head self-replacing flock.

They paid to a $1900 high and averaged just $1373 in great value buying.

"Initially the non-mulesing factor was an attraction in looking at Leahcim sheep but the bonus was it came with sheep that still perform. Doing ability and early maturity attributes are real strengths of these genetics," Mr Martin said.

"We're going through tough conditions at present, but our sheep are handling it well.

"To ensure that continues, we've selected for extra muscling and positive fat, while keeping fleece weights up."

The Martins had no shortage of rams to select to meet that criteria, with 92pc being having positive ASBVs for muscling and just two in the whole catalogue not being positive for fat.

"We are finding our wether lambs, which we sell off early as forward stores, are getting a real following now and are highly sought," Mrs Martin said.

Other volume buyers included the Kensit family, Hollywood Pastoral, Crookwell, NSW, with ten rams to $4000, averaging $2980.

Leading the SA volume buyers PJ & JM Hayes, Redhill who paid to $1600 and averaged $1355 for 11 rams., while RG & CA Collins, Corny Point bought nine rams to $2600 and at a $2122 average.

Rob Germein, AP & DJ Germein bought six rams to $4400 and at a $2533 average.

Leahcim senior principal Andrew Michael despite it as "probably their best overall sale result".

"To have increased our numbers, combined with the current wool market and the very poor season for many clients across the country, things were working against a good sale outcome, so to be able to get that clearance and average, I think made it the best and most pleasing result we've ever had."

"We are aiming to offer plain bodied sheep with balance and freedom of breech wrinkle, allowing clients to receive wool and skin premiums. Non-mulesed wools are currently attracting a 15pc premium, so our objective is to produce rams that will give the highest quality wools and lots of it.

Mr Michael said he was "super excited" about the follicle density research that the stud has been involved in and where it could take the industry.

" It is the most excited I've ever been in all my years of sheep breeding," he said.

Landmark stud stock manager and co-auctioneer Gordon Wood described it as an "awesome" sale result.

"It clearly showed buyer confidence in measured genetics," he said.

Co-auctioneer Richard Miller said the sale was "chock full of high quality, industry-leading genetics and is so even from the front to the back end of the catalogue."


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