TIMELY rain in pastoral regions the week prior elevated the East Bungaree ram sale to new heights on Tuesday.
"Thankfully many of our clients received an inch or more of the recent rain event which also strengthened the sale," stud principal Tony Brooks said.
Not only did the Hallett-based stud clear all 257 June 2019-drop rams on offer, the sale averaged $2154 overall - a $393 increase on the 2019 sale and the stud's "best-ever" result, Mr Brooks said.
The main auction averaged $3121 for 106 rams, while the 151 mini auction rams averaged $1474.
There were 50 buyers registered for the sale, which was interfaced with AuctionsPlus for the first time.
But online buyers didn't get a look in, with very strong interest from the pastoral regions, Eyre Peninsula, WA, NSW and Vic at the sale.
In a sole purchase, repeat client Stephen Lawrie, Collandra Merino stud, Tumby Bay, bought the top price ram of the sale at $12,000.
The Lawries have been buying at East Bungaree for about six years and liked that particular Merino ram in lot 4 for its size, head set and wool.
The 136-kilogram Hudson son had an impressive 45-millimetre eye muscle depth and 10mm fat depth, while its 19.1-micron wool had 3.2 standard deviation, 13.4 coefficient of variation and 99.8 per cent comfort factor.
Mr Lawrie said it would be used within their Collandra stud.
Mr Brooks said the ram had been earmarked for the Australian Sheep & Wool Show and Royal Adelaide Show.
"We were glad to see a good Merino ram sell well like that. It is just a nice big correct ram, well covered with a good wool cut - just the full package," he said.
Through Elders stud stock's Tom Penna, first-time buyer Roger Marsh, Avonmore Merino stud, Elmore, Vic, secured one of the equal second-highest priced rams at lot 8 for $11,000.
Mr Penna said the EMD, fat, frame and conformation of the ram appealed to Mr Marsh, who had viewed the Poll Merino online.
"The growth and the body on the ram were the main attributes he was after," Mr Penna said.
RELATED READING: Moorundie Park stud sires sell to $11,000
RELATED READING: Mulloorie's $6200 sale-topping ram heads to the EP
Mr Marsh also got a good look at East Bungaree genetics at the SA Merino Field Days at Burra in March.
"He (Marsh) was looking for a big carcase ram and at 148kg and 51EMD - a ram like that is hard to find," Mr Brooks said.
The March-shorn ram also had 19.1M wool with 3SD, 13.1CV and 99.9CF.
"It's a grandson of Collinsville Imperial 17, which we bought a half-share in about four years ago at Bendigo, which has bred on well for us," he said.
Also operating on behalf of four WA clients was East Bungaree's classer Courtney Sutherland, who bought 12 rams in total.
This included two rams for return clients Malcolm and Raymond Edward, Belmont Park Poll Merino stud, Wagin, WA - one at the equal second-highest price of $11,000 and another at lot 11 for $5000.
Belmont Park bought the top price ram at East Bungaree two years ago, which Mr Sutherland said had bred "really well for them and their clients".
(East Bungaree rams) perform commercially in our region, they have the ability to survive our tough conditions and lambing percentages are very high.- COURTNEY SUTHERLAND
"They (East Bungaree rams) perform commercially in our region, they have the ability to survive our tough conditions and lambing percentages are very high," he said.
"Structure is what we need in WA, the environment is a lot tougher these days so we need a sheep that gives options and East Bungaree genetics are really good for that.
"Both rams were very rich, heavy weights, with great EMDs and fat and that's the way we are heading these days."
The $11,000 Otto son weighed 126kg, had a 44EMD, 21.1M wool with 3SD, 14.1CV and 99.8CF.
Mr Sutherland said they had been aware of the March-shorn ram's potential since October.
"It was a fantastic, growthy lamb very early on," he said.
"It had great make and shape, high fat, spring of rib, and wonderful soft handling wool.
"It's almost identical to the ram we bought two years ago, but with better shape."
With the ability to make the trek from Wentworth, NSW, the Withers family from Dalwoodman Pastoral, bought 15 rams in the mini auction, averaging $1360, and four rams in the main auction, averaging $2350 - all Poll Merinos.
Mark Withers said they had been buying from East Bungaree for the past six years, chasing "big frame, medium micron, open faced, good station rams" to run with Merino ewes.
Blore Pastoral Trust, Cobar, NSW, also bought in bulk, taking home eight rams from the main auction, averaging $2475, and 18 in the mini auction, averaging $1506; while Top Hut Banoon Pastoral, via Pooncarie, NSW, bought 10 rams in the main auction, averaging $2440, and 12 in the mini auction, averaging $1350.
Elders conducted the sale, with Tony Wetherall and Tom Penna the auctioneers.
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Sign up here to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.