STRONG cross border support ensured Warrawindi's stud 15th annual ram sale on Friday at Penola was its biggest and best yet.
In a massive day the Galpin family cleared 303 of 342 rams offered across the four breeds, including their first offering of Border Leicester-East Friesian rams since buying the Haven Park stud at Casterton, Vic, from the Foster family, earlier this year.
The highlight was undoubtedly though the total clearance of 190 Poll Dorsets for a $1791 average- up nearly $100 on last year, despite 40 more rams being offered.
RELATED: Stud records fall for Galpins
The first of the three specially selected rams was the $5100 sale topper, Warrawindi 18-338 .
It was sired by Bundara Downs 146194 and was out of a seven year old ewe.
The growthy, May-2018-drop which had a carcase plus index of 206.0 was knocked down to the Stark family, Blink Bonnie, Lake Mundi, Vic.
It was just $100 shy of the stud's record set at last year's sale.
The Poll Dorsets were catalogued in descending order on the new Total Carcase Production index but the final pens were still making $1300 to $1500, showing the evenness of the offering.
Shane and Jodie Foster, Boonaroo, Casterton, Vic, outlaid the $4200 top money in the Border Leicester-East Friesian for a ram which will be used over their White Suffolk ewes.
Norm and Sandy Smith, Furner, snapped up the $2600 Border Leicester from Mason Galpin's Warra-M stud, while the $1800 top price Warra-J Suffolk bred by Jordan Galpin went to TE&PF Tranter, Kalangadoo.
The Tranters bought five Suffolks for a $1440 average, as well as 15 Poll Dorsets to $2100, averaging $1753.
They were among the 68 registered bidders who took advantage of the deal the Galpins were offering to buy 10 rams and receive their 11th one free.
Baxter Hill, Robe, easily led the volume buyer list with 21 Border Leicester-East Friesian rams for a $914 average, as well as 20 Poll Dorsets to $1700, averaging $1510.
Majella Wines, Coonawarra, secured 19 Poll Dorsets rams for a $1695 average and West Cuyuac, Nareen, Vic, bought 13 rams to $2200, averaging $1908.
Stud principal David Galpin said it had been a "learning curve" for their first Border Leicester-East Friesian offering but was pleased with the reasonable average, but the Poll Dorset result was a "bit of a shock".
He said producers were in "lamb heaven" with prices but it was humbling to see clients rapt in their genetics and willing to invest.
"Our focus is more on what is is inside the ram rather than what you can see," he said.
"We are not produce the biggest but fast growing ones with as much yield as we possibly can.
'If you can get an extra 2 per cent (yield) when a lamb is hanging up it is worth a lot."
But Mr Galpin was well aware of the need to ensure their rams remain affordable and said the family would look to put up another 50 rams in 2020.
This was achievable now they were running 800 Poll Dorset stud ewes.
"While the market is there we are going to try and make the most of it," he said.
Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson director Darren Maney said the rams presented exceptionally well, especially the Poll Dorsets, and sold accordingly.
"If a ram serves 40 ewes, 25 per cent of the lambs he sires in the first year pays for the ram at $1800, so like for like its not that dear," he said.
He said it had been fantastic to be part of the the stud's progress.
"They are succeeding for all the right reasons. You have the next generation of young people that are going to take it forward and they are producing a good quality product that everyone wants," he added.
"The biggest worry if anything is that you would like buyers to get extremely good value money and their Dorsets rams are becoming that popular it is hard."
TDC Penola and Landmark Keatley Mount Gambier conducted the sale with Matt Treglown and Sam O'Connor the auctioneers.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.