A new client picked up the top price ram at the Sherlock Poll Merino sale on Tuesday at Sherlock.
The absence of some major clients had the clearance rate and average back on previous sales, with 55 of 90 rams offered sold for an average $1513.
Topping the sale at $5600 was tag 700, which carried Blue Hills bloodlines and weighed 94 kilograms with an eye muscle depth of 41 millimetres and fat of 9mm.
Its wool tests were 19.6 micron, 3.2 standard deviation, 16.8 coefficient of variation and 99.7 per cent comfort factor.
The buyer was new client George Buick and Nick Campbell from American River.
Mr Campbell said they were selecting for long bodied rams with long stapled white wools.
He saw the benefits of the Sherlock rams after taking on management of a long-running Sherlock-blood flock, with him pleased with how the sheep performed and wanting to keep the breeding consistent.
They were after two rams but appreciated the quality on offer and value buying to secure four rams to average $2100.
Underbidder on the top price ram was Neil Kroehn, Belmont Props, Keith, who then secured the second top price ram, Tag 180, for $4400.
Belmont Props are repeat buyers withMr Kroehn saying they selected for 19-21M range, looking for white wools and rams that were good on their feet and legs for their sandy country at Keith.
"Sherlock rams have performed well in the past," he said.
Tag 180 weighed 96kg, with a 41EMD and 6mm fat and wool tests of 20.7M, 3.4SD, 16.3CV and 99.7CF.
Belmont Props bought three rams to average $2433.
David Lock, Lock Haven, Mundulla, has been buying rams from Sherlock for more than 10 years.
Mr Lock, and his son Brody, spent plenty of time going through the sale rams two weeks ago.
They select rams visually for structure and bright white crimpy wool and then use wool tests to finalise their selections.
"Sherlock rams breed very true to type and even in their wool," Mr Lock said.
Their sheep enterprise has 50pc self-replacing Merinos and the other half are mated to Border Leicester rams for the Naracoorte first-cross ewe sale.
"Well bred ewes breed good first-cross ewes," Mr Lock said.
Volume buyer Bruce Agars, Locks Well Pastoral, Port Lincoln, operated at the top end of the catalogue, picking up 10 rams to $4000, averaging $2040.
Locks Well have been non-mulesing for six years.
Nutrien auctioneer Richard Miller said it was a very consistent line up of rams that were terrific value for money with the absence of some volume buyers.
Sherlock principal Wes Titley was disappointed with excellent quality rams that were passed in.
"I was very pleased with this years sale rams, probably the best we have offered," he said.
"There was strong competition on the buyers picks and they were prepared to bid up on selected lots."
The sale was conducted by Nutrien Murray Bridge.
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