A outstanding Poll Merino sire from Collinsville stud, Hallett, was the talk of the grounds at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show at Bendigo, Vic, last week, selling for $115,000 in a private sale.
This is the highest price paid for a Merino or Poll Merino ram since 1989, when Collinsville sold a lot for $450,000 at the Adelaide sale.
Collinsville Emperor 395, attracted plenty of interest from a number of prospective buyers in its pen before it was announced that it had been sold to the Ledwith family, Kolindale stud, Dudinin, WA.
The 20.6 micron ram was an AI bred son of Collinsville Emperor 351 and Collinsville 162547, which is by Collinsville Imperial 141.
Long time Collinsville client and Kolindale principal Luke Ledwith made a flying trip to Bendigo on Saturday to inspect the May 2020 drop ram after viewing pictures of it.
The sale was negotiated the next morning by the Nutrien stud stock team and Tony Brooks, Brooks Merino Services, who acted on behalf of Mr Ledwith in purchasing the ram after he headed back to Melbourne on Saturday night.
Collinsville general manager Tim Dalla believed the 178 kilogram medium wool ram was the best polled ram Collinsville had bred in his time at the stud (20 years).
Its other wool measurements included a standard deviation of 3.1, coefficient of variation of 15.0 per cent and comfort factor of 99.4pc.
Emperor 395 was the supreme exhibit at the Hay Sheep Show in June, the winning ram at the Elders SA Stud Merino Expo in March and was in Collinsville's duo which were the reserve champion August shorn national pair at Bendigo.
"He stood out to us as a young ram," Mr Dalla said.
"He has a magnificent sire's head and a massive structurally correct frame on which he carries an excellent heavy cutting wool.
"He is the type of ram we are striving to breed."
He was very happy and honoured to be able to sell the ram to Kolindale which has bought several top Collinsville sires in the past decade including a Regal son for $66,000 and Majestic son for $39,000.
"They continue to come back to us for new genetics as what they have purchased in the past have worked," Mr Dalla said.
Equally as happy the sale went through was Mr Ledwith who said he was very pleased to be able to purchase the ram which he considered to be the best Poll Merino ram he has ever seen.
"He was initially penciled in to be a stud reserve for Collinsville and wasn't for sale, so we are very happy to be able to purchase him after negotiating the price," Mr Ledwith said.
"He is a big, long, square ram with a meaty carcase and a big, strong muzzle and a great Poll head.
"But equally impressive to his carcase traits is his wool quality.
"He carries a long-stapled, lustrous, white, medium to bold crimping wool with true nourishment on the tip.
"I have never seen his type of elite wool on a ram of that size before.
"He also has a very strong pedigree which was important to us."
The stud's aim is to AI 600 or more stud ewes to Emperor 395 this year.
Mr Ledwith said Collinsville sires had worked really well for them in the past and we are confident this ram will do the job as well.
"We have purchased him with the aim of helping to increase the profits of our commercial clients and take their flocks to the next level," Mr Ledwith said.
"Hopefully he will breed early maturing, big meaty rams with elite white wools which will benefit our commercial clients and also some top end stud sires as well."
Emperor 395's next outing will be the Royal Adelaide Show in September where Poll Merinos are the feature breed.
Semen will be available through Brooks Merino Services with Mr Brooks describing Emperor 395 as a "one in a generation" ram.
"He is one of those sires which will have a big impact, in a lot of ways he is fault free and with his exceptional wool on such a big carcase he ticks all the boxes," he said.
"One of the big things is his purity, he has such a soft, silky muzzle."
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