INVERBRACKIE principal Lynton Arney and auctioneers were in agreement that the stars aligned at the Finniss Border Leicester stud's on-property sale on Wednesday, where insatiable buyer demand due to several factors resulted in a $3193 average across 178 rams sold in the main auction.
A further 51 rams sold in a fast and furious by the pen mini-auction, averaging $2633.
Overall, 229 rams were sold to a $12,000 top and outstanding average of $3068, with a further 16 sold after the mini-auction as buyers continued to look to fill orders.
The main auction average was a massive $1494 increase on 2019.
Speaking to a still-buzzing crowd at the conclusion of the main auction, Mr Arney summed the unbelievable result up well - "we believe the rams have got to do the talking, so they've got a fair bit of talking to do," he said.
Prices didn't waver far from the $3000 mark throughout the ultra-consistent catalogue, with some of the cheapest buys occuring in the first 15 rams offered.
A perfect storm of factors contributed to the result, with NSW clients coming out of drought and Kangaroo Island clients who were burnt out needing rams to restock, with producers of first-cross ewes also competing heavily.
"In a normal year, if we can sell a couple of flockies for three grand we've had a good sale so this takes it to a whole new level," Mr Arney said.
"I don't think we'll even try and replicate it and we know our numbers were a bit down this year, but next year we'll make sure we've got our numbers up again where they should be so hopefully we get back to more realistic prices."
RELATED READING:Inverbrackie impresses interstate clients
There was significant stud interest on display early in the sale and it culminated in a $12,000 purchase at lot 20 for a ram named 'Clem'.
Clem was purchased by Mason Galpin and Ben Brooksby, Warrawindi Farms, Penola, and will be used for stud duties in Mason's Warra-M Border Leicester stud, as well as Warrawindi's Border Leicester-East Friesian program.
"We picked 12 out from the catalogue and when we arrived it was the standout ram in the shed," Mr Galpin said.
"We selected it for its positive fat, positive muscle and its maternal dollar index was one of the highest in the lineup."
The ram ranked in the top 1pc on the Mat$ index at 170.2 and had ASBVs of 6.5 for weaning weight, and post-weaning figures of 11.7 for weight, 0.2 fat and 1.8 eye muscle depth.
Another ram that ranked in the top 1pc on Mat$ index, WWT, PWWT, YWT, adult weight and scrotal circumference, was secured by Martin Harvey, Paxton Stud, Western Flat, for the sale's second-highest price of $5500.
Nutrien auctioneer Gordon Wood said Inverbrackie have been renowned for their performance data and being "at the top end of the tree" for quite some time and it showed in the sale result.
"I started marking up the top one per cent of the Border Leicester breed figures in the catalogue and they were just littered all the way through, whether it was on growth, eye muscle or scrotal circumference, these rams are right at the top end," he said.
"The Arneys believe in a very commercially-relevant product that go out in the paddock and perform and there's been huge demand for Borders right across Australia this season and that has escalated as time has gone on.
"We've seen some buyers cascading from one sale to the next because they're missing out, which on top of the performance data here and what you get from these sheep, has also meant other people have spilled over and are still trying to buy rams."
The volume buyer was again Nick Gay, Heulen Pastoral Company, Hovells Creek, NSW, who bought 20 rams in the main auction to $3800, averaging $3070, as well as pen of five in the mini-auction at $3000 a head.
"We've been buying at Inverbrackie for the past six years and I've been buying them for their maternal figures, early growth, carcase traits, which has been allowing me to turn lambs off earlier and provide excellent first-cross ewes for my clients," Mr Gay said.
RELATED READING:Inverbrackie Borders sell to $5000
Sparks Farming, Spalding, secured 12 rams to $3200, averaging $2867, with WA Buttrose, Parndana, buying ten in the main auction to $2800 nine times, averaging $2780, five in the mini-auction at $2600 a head, and a further three at $1800 a head after the mini-auction.
Securing nine rams to $4200 twice, averaging $3489, was Keyneton Station, Keyneton, with Delro-Alaman, Woolumbool, buying nine to $4200, averaging $3222.
Tullabrin Pastoral, Forreston, bought eight rams in the mini-auction, averaging $2650, with Marmon Pastoral, Jabuk, taking home seven from the main sale to $2800 five times, averaging $2714, plus two in the mini at $2400 a head.
Taking seven rams to $3800, averaging $3229, was CJ&JL Page, Warooka, with CJ Crawford, Normanville, buying six to $3400, averaging $3133.
KM&JL Norrie, through Jemolong Wool, Forbes, NSW, bought six rams to $4000, averaging $3167, with NF,EA&RM Loffler, Truro, buying five in the main auction to $3000 three times, averaging $2880, and three in the mini-auction at $2700 a head.
Elders auctioneer Tony Wetherall described the sale as "extraordinary".
"Inverbrackie are leaders as far as performance goes and highly-sought after in both SA and interstate," he said.
"All the stars aligned. Competition was strong throughout, demand for Border rams is extremely high and we're getting towards the end of the season.
"The combination of that and the depth of quality on offer meant commercial producers had to bid up accordingly to secure the rams they needed."
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