A HIGH-INDEXING Poll Dorset ram ignited a bidding war at Woolumbool stud's on-property auction on Wednesday last week, helping the Clothier family achieve a sale record top price of $13,500.
Scott and Emily Davidson, Morton stud, Lucindale, won the battle to secure lot 4, W184887, edging out underbidders Matthew and Amy Reid, Rowallan stud, Murrell, NSW.
The Melton Vale 160114-son had an eye muscle depth value of 3.9, and was in the top 10 per cent of all breeds for three indices - with a Carcase Plus index of 225, Lamb Eating Quality Index of 151 and Terminal Carcase Production index of 156.
W184887 was one of four elite Poll Dorsets offered at the start of the sale. The four averaged $5075, and were followed by 10 elite White Suffolks, which averaged $2140.
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The White Suffolks topped at $3200 for Woolumbool 185369, bought by Dale and Ruth Price, Majardah stud, Glencoe.
This ram was in the top 10pc of all breeds on Lambplan for growth - with 19.6 for post-weaning weight - muscle, with 3.4EMD, worm resistance at -45 and shear force 5 at -1.5. It had a Carcase Plus index of 234, Lamb Eating Quality index of 167 and Terminal Carcase Production index of 167.
It was sired by W173980 - a ram Woolumbool senior principal Phil Clothier labelled the "most profitable" the stud had ever had.
Overall, Phil and Sharon, and Aaron and Sally Clothier sold 183 of 221 Poll Dorset, White Suffolk and Poll Merino rams for a $1721 average, thanks largely to strong bidding from a core group of commercial lamb producers who support the sale each year.
The most prominent ram buyer was Dugald McLachlan, Nangwarry Pastoral Co, Nangwarry, who took 25 rams in total - 13 Poll Dorsets and 12 White Suffolks - paying from $900 to $2100 and averaging $1668.
Mark Bruce, Boonoonar Partnership, Kingston, bought 12 Poll Dorsets averaging $1625, and was the volume buyer of Poll Merinos with five averaging $880. Overall, he averaged $1406 across his 17 rams.
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Colin Earl operated for J Vasey, through Rodwells Mansfield, securing 14 White Suffolks to $2000, averaging $1386.
Morris Oliver, Oliver Nominees, paid to the equal top flock ram price of $2400 and averaged $1546 across 12 White Suffolks and one Poll Dorset.
Moorhouse Pty Ltd was a strong bidder on Poll Dorsets, buying 11 to $1900, averaging $1473.
Graham and Sam Clothier were the other buyers to reach double figures, taking nine White Suffolks to the equal top flock ram price of $2400 and averaging $1978, as well as one Poll Merino at $1000.
Josh Hancock, RL Hancock, took home seven White Suffolks and two Poll Dorsets to $2200, averaging $1867, while Struan Research Centre bought nine Poll Dorsets averaging $1322
Other prominent buyers included I&P Hocking, Lucindale, with eight White Suffolks averaging $1925; the Woodard family, Peel Pastoral, Wrattonbully, with eight White Suffolks averaging $1788; and Woomera Homestead, Millicent, with eight Poll Dorsets averaging $1588.
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This year's sale attracted 30 registered bidders, down from 41 last year.
"From last year we always expected a little pull back, especially with the Poll Dorsets, yet this was still a good solid sale with great top ends in the terminals," Phil Clothier said.
"Value-wise it was a fantastic result, which is especially pleasing as those long and loyal clients who got rams with the performance they were looking for today, at pretty good value."
Elders and Landmark conducted the sale, with Elders' Ronnie Dix and Landmark's Gordon Wood taking bids.
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