A strong buying gallery from three states including several volume orders underpinned a full clearance and $143 lift in average at Rices Creek's 14th annual sale at Tintinara on Thursday.
In the breakdown the Vandeleur family sold 96 April/May 2021 drop Poll Merino rams - the same number as 2021- for an impressive $2584 average.
There were several stand out young sires in in the first ten lots for wool quality and carcase merit but it was lot 8 which made the $8500 sale high, selling to Lee Slape, Sherlock for his TS stud.
The 21.3 micron ram was sired by Wallaloo Park 190226 - the $76,000 sale topper from the 2020 Royal Adelaide Show- which Rices Creek used in an artificial insemination program.
"We AIed about 100 ewes to him and got that real meatiness which the ram has in the back end and really wide stance with a long bold wool and nice sirey muzzle," stud co-principal Mark Vandeleur said.
"He WP 190226) was a purpose ram, we have kept a son of his to use."
Mr Slape who has bought at every one of the stud's SE sales was unable to attend the sale but Kyle Challinger who did the bidding on his behalf said Mr Slape was impressed by the "good barrel" and wool cut of the 107 kilogram sale topper.
The well-covered ram ranked in the top five percent on MERINOSELECT for both yearling and adult fleece weights and had good wool quality tests to match with a coefficient of variation of 14.6 per cent and comfort factor of 99.5 per cent.
It was one of 40 rams in the catalogue which were born a twin.
Three lots earlier, MW Copping, Lucindale, secured the sale's $7000 second highest price ram, a son of Rices Creek 18-931.
The 21.1M ram had fleece tests including a 2.6SD, 12.3CV and 99.9CF, as well as an eye muscle depth of 44.5mm and fat depth of 7.5mm.
There was a big geographical spread among the 36 registered bidders from the Mid North to western NSW to central Vic showing the ability of the white wools to hold up in both high and lower rainfall areas.
Paul and Tim Doering, Walmona Pastoral, Truro, who have been using Rices Creek bloodlines for more than 60 years were front and centre of the bidding.
They put together 14 rams to $3000, averaging $1936.
Other major buyers included Aston Props, Pooncarie, NSW, with eight rams to $2000 twice for a $1550 average and Hagger Partners, Jamestown, who averaged $1800 for their six buys.
Mr Vandeleur was pleased "how the sale held up" right to the end and achieving a total clearance
"You hear different things going around the industry and get a bit worried but our long standing clients really shone through for us," he said.
"We have been breeding Merinos since 1925 and are not going anywhere and will continue to do our best to breed a good product for our clients."
He said they would have ASBVs available for the first time on all their sale rams in 2023. They have been collecting the data for the past six years but had needed time to have linkage sires to ensure the data was robust.
Elders Keith branch manager and auctioneer Steven Doecke said there were "plenty of good sheep".
"I was looking for pure white (wool) sheep and found a fair few through the catalogue," he said.
"They had great muscle and varied wool types, if you wanted a free growing wool on a big sheep it was here, if you wanted a traditional heavy cutting sheep they were here too."
Spence Dix & Co auctioneer Luke Schreiber, who shared the rostrum, said the sale was underpinned by several volume buyers prepared to spend $2000 or more for their picks.
He praised the consistency of the offering and said Rices Creek's breeding philosophy gave buyers confidence in their purchases.
"When they go and buy a new sire they breed a son of our that sire and use that son so you know what you are going to get," Mr Schreiber said.
"There is still the stretch that they have always had but they have added more depth of body and meat and that is coming through commercially with their clients who are breeding sheep too."
Elders and Spence Dix were joint selling agents.
Rices Creek will hold its Saddleworth ram sale on August 30 with 150 rams on offer and has one ram reserved for the Adelaide Merino ram sale on Friday, September 9.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.