Offered 261 200
Sold 251 177
Top $2200 $2100
Av $857 $854
WESTERN Flat based Bundara Downs overcame COVID-19 restrictions to hold a successful mated ewe sale with a 96 per cent clearance of more than 250 White Suffolks, Poll Dorsets and Suffolks on Friday, April 3.
With just eight buyers at the sale AuctionsPlus played a huge part in ensuring the average was nearly identical to the 2018 sale.
The 105 registered bidders from six states placed 676 bids online in the three-hour sale and were successful in buying 188 lots making up 88 per cent of the gross.
More than 60 per cent of the offering were White Suffolks with 149 of 159 ewes averaging $897, including the $2200 sale topper.
Bob and Karen Cameron, Nyrang stud, Kingston SE, paid the top money for lot 96, a 2017-drop daughter of Bundara Downs 2261 which was scanned in lamb with triplets sired by Ashmore 80.
Bundara Downs 2261 is the leading sire in the breed nationally with some 2839 progeny recorded in 60 studs.
The Camerons bought three White Suffolks and one Suffolk for a $1475 average.
David Pipkorn, Detpa Grove stud, Jeparit, Vic, paid $2000 for BD 9868, another 2017 drop ewe by BD 2261.
The ewe was scanned in lamb with triplets sired by Ella Matta 180100- the ram which sold for a state on-property meat sheep record of $29,000 last year.
Mr Pipkorn bought four selected ewes for a $1175 average, with three mated to this sire.
Ian and Kathy Ross, Edenhope, Vic, were the volume White Suffolk buyers securing 28 of the in-lamb ewes to $1100 and averaging $743 to start a new stud.
Five other bidders bought double figure numbers in this draft, all operating through AuctionsPlus.
Sara Morgan, Macarthur, Vic went to $1500 in purchasing 16 top ewes at a $988 average; Brodie O'Dea, Pekina also went to $1500 and averaged $980 for 15 ewes; Elders Broken Hill manager Ben Finch bought 11 ewes from $600 to $900 averaging $773; Josh Addis, Kalagan Farming Trust, Denmark, WA purchased 11 ewes at an extreme value average of $609; while Lachlan Noble, Eugowra, NSW picked up 10 ewes at a $670 average.
The Poll Dorset offering was dominated by one buyer; Craig Wilson Livestock, Wagga Wagga, NSW, who secured 56 of 70 ewes for a $695 average.
While he paid the $1400 top price he was able to pick up 38 ewes at the $600 base price.
The top price Poll Dorset ewe was BD 9478, a 2017-drop daughter of the high muscle sire Marocara 150049, PTIL with twins by Bundara Downs 170180.
This ewe boasted outstanding performance figures including an eye muscle depth of 3.7 and carcase plus and TCP indices of 223 and 151.4 respectively.
The inaugural offering of Suffolks by the Funkes met exceptional competition with a total clearance of 32 head for a $1009 average.
Peter and Julie Button, Ramsay Park, Minlaton, successfully bid on four ewes to a $1800 high for a 2017 drop daughter of Lynburn 150247 and PTIL with twins to Karinya 8123.
They also bought two ewes at the $1700 second highest price.
Despite the strong competition in the draft, there was still value to be found.
Shelley Hedwards, Kick Some Grass, Highton, Vic was able to secure 13 ewes for a $792 average, topping at $1100.
Stud principal Steve Funke said it could have been a "vastly different" result without the efforts of AuctionsPlus and support of Elders.
"It's not often you can have such a successful sale with such a small gallery," he said.
"I wouldn't recommend it as it was quite stressful, but it proves the technology can come through to fruition.
Elders auctioneer Tony Wetherall who conducted the sale with Laryn Gogel said the result was "outstanding".
"It was certainly an unusual sale to have 90 per cent of the action on the screen, but with the COVID-19 restrictions, it is one we may well have to get used to," he said.
"The length and depth of effort the Funke family went to, to visually display these qualities through videos and photos for interested clients wishing to compete online through Auctions Plus was exceptional and a great example of their professionalism and dedication, ensuring their product was properly marketed."
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