POLL Merinos sold to $4400 at the 52nd annual Dalveen ram sale in Woodchester on Monday.
This time last year, the Richardson family had been concerned about COVID-19 restrictions shutting the sale down, while this year, members of the family unfortunately caught the latest variant just prior to the sale.
The pandemic was also thought to have had an effect on the sale, with only 64 of the 112 April/May 2021-drop rams offered in the main auction selling, averaging $1537 - a $290 drop on the 2021 strong sale result.
One ram sold after the sale at $900, while three rams from the mini auction sold at $800 each.
Nutrien stud stock auctioneer Leo Redden confirmed a number of factors effected the day's sale of Dalveen's "big, robust, fast-growing sheep".
"There was a few buyers absent from today's sale, which did affect the clearance and average," he said.
Elders stud stock auctioneer Tom Penna kicked off the sale, with lot one - described as a "typical Dalveen sheep - deep and square, beautifully-covered, big barrelled and boned ram with excellent wool tests" - attracting the sale top price of $4400.
The 100-kilogram ram was bought by last year's top price ram buyers Jeff and Gavin Weber, J Weber & Sons, Bowhill, who bought four rams on the day, averaging $2450, for their 1400-breeder self-replacing Merino flock.
The top ram measured 19.7 microns, 2.5 standard deviation, 12.9 coefficient of variation and 99.9 per cent comfort factor.
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Jeff Weber said the top ram had strong dual-purpose qualities - "big frame with nice, bright, white wool, with a good tip to keep the dust out".
"It was pretty even in its crimp and had a nice head," he said.
The sale's second-highest price of $3600 was paid for a 104kg ram by Michael Lawrence, Nutrien Tintinara, on behalf of repeat client Kevin Schwarz, Culburra, who bought four rams in total, averaging $2075.
The $3600 ram measured 18.5M, 3.3SD, 17.6CV and 99.7CF.
Mr Lawrence said he was chasing big sheep with nourished wools for Mr Schwarz's self-replacing Dalveen-blood Merino flock.
The sale's biggest volume buyer was Densley Nominees, Keith, with 16 rams to $2000, averaging $1375, while Oliver Nominees, Kingston SE, bought 12 to $2000, averaging $1108.
Mt Beevor, Harrogate, bought seven rams to $2400, averaging $2085.
Elders and Nutrien conducted the sale, which had 15 registered buyers.
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