WARRAWINDI stud's 16th annual on-property ram sale at Penola last Friday was a sale of contrasts with insatiable demand for their maternal composites but some of the SA selling season's most affordable terminal sires.
The average of the Border Leicester-East Friesians jumped more than $1000, but after years of total clearances and lifts in average on the Poll Dorsets the pendulum swung back in buyers' favour with the average dropping $462.
This was largely due to the Galpin family's big lift in the number of rams catalogued to test the market.
In one of the largest SA on-property sales for the season, 325 of 385 rams sold to three states for a $1716 average.
Bids flew for the Border Leicester-East Friesian offering with buyers from Gippsland in Vic and the NSW Riverina competing against local buyers.
Demand was so great after the first 100 rams were sold there was a late addition of another 30 rams to the sale.
These all cleared too with only six of them making less than $2000.
The overall sale top price of $3800 came at lot 48 in the maternal composites for a 97 kilogram ram with a MCP+ index of 128.96.
The successful buyer was Janmac Pastoral, Goroke, Vic, who will use their buy over some of their Glenlea Park Merino ewes.
Janmac's Grant Hausler said they had been using Border Leicester-East Friesians for five years to breed ewe replacements and were pleased with the results.
"They are a simpler cross than some of the composites so there is not as much variation (in the progeny) and they give a bit more shape, depth of body and width to the lambs," he said.
Benara Pastoral, Mount Gambier, led the volume buyers securing 28 Border Leicester-East Friesians to $2900, averaging $2596.
Trevelen Pastoral, Penola, put together 11 rams to $2800, averaging $2318 and Frank Hill, Heathcote, Vic, secured seven rams to $3000 three times, averaging $2857.
Warrawindi stud principal David Galpin was pleased to see the "purpose bred" sheep had developed a following and were being used over Merino, Texel, White Suffolk and even the traditional first cross ewe to breed replacements.
"Those who bought at the last two or three sales at Haven Park have sat back and seen how the progeny have gone and are now coming back - none of them have gone back to the Border Leicester," he said.
The Giles family, Crower Partners, Avenue Range, bought the $3500 top price Poll Dorset, lot 150, Warrawindi 464/T.
The 105kg son of Bundara Downs 181741 had terrific carcase merit and the figures to match with a Terminal Carcase Production Index of 149.73- in the top 10 per cent of terminals on Lambplan.
Crower also bought the previous lot - another specially selected Poll Dorset- for $2600.
Lot 146, which was the heaviest ram at weaning and scanning of the 2019 drop, made $3200 to the Harvie family, Lindsay, Strathdownie.
Demand was strong for the first 80 to 100 lots but then waned with remaining rams, still with plenty of weight and shape, knocked down at $800 to $1200.
The sale was halted with about 40 rams still to go as the stands emptied out.
Volume buyers made the most of the stud's deal of giving clients every tenth ram they bought in the sale free.
JM&MC Williams, Kalangadoo, secured 20 Poll Dorsets to $1800 for a $1135 average and seven Suffolks to $1100, averaging $971.
Majella, Coonawarra, took home 10 rams to $1600, averaging $1150.
Jordan Galpin, Warra-J Suffolk stud, continued to make inroads building his client base with four new clients, selling 24 of 25 rams for a $1104 average.
Their first ram, Warra J 19-1909, sired by a WA ram Pamellen 160028, sold for $3000 to Vic stud, Noremac, Englefield.
Warra-M's Border Leicester offering kicked off the sale with Mason Galpin selling 13 of 20 rams for a $1046 average.
Lot 1 was the highest price in the category selling for $2000 to C&K Teusner Nominees, Gawler.
David Galpin said there were parts of the sale that "seemed disappointing" but the overall result was actually pleasing, lifting their gross and selling more rams than 2019.
They also gained fifteen new clients in the Poll Dorset and maternal composites.
"Three years ago when we bought the East Friesian stud (from Haven Park) we planned for the next five to 10 years where we wanted to get to, that planning is progressing ahead of schedule," he said.
"The East Friesians we know will continue to grow and the Dorsets we have grown by 100 in the past few years."
He said after successive exceptional Poll Dorset sales it was important to find the limit to the number of rams needed by their clients.
He was confident they would sell the remaining Poll Dorsets by Christmas.
"We normally have that many rams anyway in the paddock but this year we decided to put them all in the sale," he said.
Although admitting to being nervous about the potential impact of border restrictions, David did not believe it had lessened bidding from their Vic clients.
AuctionsPlus had also given them greater exposure across Australia with more than 800 catalogue views and 164 online bids.
Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson director Darren Maney said the East Friesian-Border Leicester sale was very strong but prices were comparable with other recent maternal composite sales.
"It was not surprising it went so well as they (the Galpins) are only ones in the country breeding any numbers of East Friesian-Border Leicester rams," he said.
"They produce self replacing ewes which still have the size about them to produce heavy lambs."
Mr Maney said the Galpins had "over corrected" on the Poll Dorset numbers but this had given their repeat buyers a chance to secure rams at outstanding value.
"It has been of great concern to the Galpin family that they have not been able to so last year they put in another 50 rams and another 70 more this year," he said.
Nutrien Mount Gambier livestock manager Sam O'Connor said demand was "well above expectation" for the maternal composites.
"It shows the work the Galpins put into breeding and how well regarded they are in sheep breeding circles," he said.
He said the good value buying on the Poll Dorsets would hopefully attract some new buyers to try Warrawindi sires next year.
TDC Penola and Nutrien Mount Gambier conducted the sale with Matt Treglown, Hayden Lambert and Sam O'Connor on the rostrum.
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