AN upstanding Poll Dorset ram, that agents regarded as stud calibre, made a stud record $6400 at Mullinger Park's 18th annual auction held at the Naracoorte Showgrounds yesterday.
The stretchy, power-packed sheep with a quiet temperament was purchased by Kybybolite's Mark Kester and Mullinger Park principal Brett Shepherd described it as a "cracking sheep" and said it was a shame there were no opportunities to show him this year.
The stud record was one of many highlights on a successful day for Mullinger Park who sold 293 of 323 Poll Dorsets, White Suffolks and Suffolks.
Mr Shepherd was ecstatic with the result, particularly given some pre-sale concerns about what impact tighter border restrictions between SA and Vic would have, the absence of a couple of large clients, and how well terminal rams would sell this year.
In the sale breakdown, 175 of 186 Poll Dorsets sold and averaged $1591, 100 of 105 White Suffolks sold to a top price of $3000 and average of $1351, and 18 of 32 Suffolks sold to a top of $1500 twice and averaged $1083.
In total, the 293 rams sold averaged a very strong $1478.
That was a neat $150 rise on last year's average and while more rams were passed in, Mr Shepherd was pleased new and regular clients step up and fill orders.
"Under the circumstances - with a few people unable to get over the border due to COVID restrictions - I thought it was an outstanding result."
"The prices and clearance were pleasing, and to sell that amount of rams year-on-year is great."
Mr Shepherd said Mullinger Park was fielding more and more stud enquiry each year. That enquiry and the continued support of old clients was contributed to by the stud's continual effort to brin top-quality sires and genetics into the fold.
"We heavily invest in our genetics and we're seeing the benefit of that," Mr Shepherd said.
"If I want people to invest in my rams, I need to be constantly investing and improving my genetics."
This year's purchases included three sires from Rangeview, Pipers River, Tasmania.
Mullinger Park purchased a share in the $27,500 White Suffolk Rangeview 20-006, the top-priced ram at this year's Adelaide Elite Stud Sheep Sale.
They also bought two Poll Dorset rams from Rangeview for $23,250 and $16,000 at the Australian Dorset Championships ram sale.
RELATED READING: Elite sale pushes to $27,500 top
Thursday's sale started with a flurry, with the six specially-selected Poll Dorsets averaging $3667.
The lot one record breaker was sired by Leenala 16-150 - a ram that has a swag of show ribbons - and was a May 2020-drop with figures of 0.68 for birthweight, a 15.7 post-weaning weight, -1.2 Pfat, 1 PEMD and came in at 135 on the terminal carcase production index.
There was 60 registered buyers and there was plenty of opportunity for all budgets across the huge catalogue.
Many reached double figures purchase-wise. The sale's volume Poll Dorset buyer was LS Johnson & Son, Naracoorte, buying 15 rams to $2700, averaging $1580.
Both securing 13 rams were Cadara Pastoral, Mount Benson, to $1300 three times, averaging $954, and Willana Pastoral, Frances, to $1600, averaging $1331.
Manuka Farming, Greenways, were active on the top end of the catalogue, finishing the day with 12 rams to $3300 twice, averaging $2850.
Buying ten Poll Dorset rams apiece were Glendoon Pastoral, Binnum, to $1400 six times, averaging $1300, and SR&S Whitehead to $1700 twice, averaging $1300.
The four specially-selected White Suffolk rams averaged $2600 and ECH Schinckel, Kybybolite, bought the top-priced lot at $3000.
The twin-born June 2020-drop had figures of 0.41 for BWT, 15.7 PWWT, 0.0 PFAT, 2.1 PEMD and had a TCP of 141.
Willana Pastoral also competed strongly on the White Suffolk offering, taking 11 rams to $1600, averaging $1264.
ECH Schinckel bought 10 White Suffolk rams in total, averaging $2110, and also bought five Suffolk rams to $1500 twice, averaging $1320.
Securing ten White Suffolk rams to $1000 three times, averaging $860, was Reedy Park Pastoral, Lucindale, while Karana bought eight to $1600 twice, averaging $1450.
Elders Naracoorte branch manager Tom Dennis said maternal rams had been selling exceptionally well this year and there was some concern the terminal side of the equation wouldn't be quite as strong this year, but the result was a testament to Mullinger Park's breeding standards.
"He has strong rules around structure and what he believes a Poll Dorset should look like and it's reflected in his client base and the result on those today," he said.
"Some large clients were missing and others stepped up so I think it was a strong result and a credit to the Mullinger Park program."
Elders, Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen, and Southern Australian Livestock were joint selling agents, with Mr Dennis, Mat MacDonald and Josh Manser sharing the auctioneering duties.
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Sign up here to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.