THE 40th annual Westray on-property sale at Peak Hill resulted in 66 autumn and spring drop Merino rams topping at $7500 to average $2348, 26 Poll Merino rams topping at $6500 to Western Australia to average $2356 and 24 of 25 Prime SAMM rams top at $2250 and average $1212.
The sale attracted a capacity crowd from right across NSW, WA, South Australia and Queensland.
“It is great to see so much confidence in our genetics from the broader Merino industry and to have all our loyal clients return as well as welcome 12 new clients is fantastic,” stud principal Blake Tremain-Cannon said.
Buying every year since Westray’s inaugural sale, the Swain family’s Budda-View Partnership, Peak Hill, returned to buy nine rams including the $7500 sale-topper from the catalogue that cleared 92 from 93 for a $2351 average last Thursday.
Budda-View’s Kim and Phillip Swain, said they were impressed with the May drop embryo transfer (ET) son of Westray DB 1.2 weighing 102 kilograms and growing 18.6 micron wool with a standard deviation (SD) of 3.8 microns and coefficient of variation (CV) of 21 per cent, plus a greasy fleece weight index of +38pc.
Mr Tremain-Cannon said the sire was from the stud’s dark blue Wonga 2.20 family and his dam was purchased at the One Oak dispersal, One Oak 130002, the champion medium wool ewe hogget at Bendigo and Dubbo in 2014.
Lot 30 (pictured) had a full ET brother in the sale at Lot 31, which the Swain Family also purchased.
Phillip Swain said he believed the ram was a “real bale filler” as was all nine rams purchased on the day for an average of $4361.
“He’s a heavy cutting ram with great structure and would be joined with lighter wool cutting ewes within the 3000 ewe flock,” he said.
Budda-View runs 4000 ewes of which 3000 are from a self-replacing Merino flock growing 21.2 micron wool on average and typically cutting 9kg. Their next highest priced ram at $5500 was an April drop son of Westray 13.2 growing 18.7 micron wool and a GFW of +36pc and weighing 107kg.
Top-priced Poll Merino ram was Lot 10, an AI son of Collinsville Regal 9 selling to Mark Taylor, Maringanui Grazing, Kojonup, WA.
Mr Tremain-Cannon said Collinsville Regal 9 was an elite proven poll sire purchased for $23,000 at Adelaide in 2012. “This 104kg son growing 19.2 micron wool displays a very bold crimping 58’s count and was purchased to breed rams that would increase fleece weights within the Maringanui flock,” he said.
Other buyers of 40 years standing are the Stanford brothers, Don, Jim and Gary, “Lynda Vale”, Peak Hill, who were looking for rams to increase the weight of their flock’s wool cut which currently averages 8.5 kg. They join 3000 Merino ewes in their self-replacing flock growing an average 21 micron and paid up to $6000 for their top purchase when securing seven rams for a $2958 average.
Their draft-topper weighing 107kg was an ET son of Banavie Lustre 5-2, growing a very lustrous 17.3 micron wool.
The Kerin family’s Makag Family Trust, “Netherwood Park”, Yeoval, returned to buy five Poll Merino rams for an average $2750 while paying to $4000 for Westray Regal 225 son of 112kg with 18.9 micron wool.
Matt Philipson, “Ballot Box”, Yeoval, returned to pay up to $5000 for one of six rams averaging $2750.
This money was for an ET Poll Merino son of BJ449 growing 18.8 micron wool and weighing 122kg and will be used with the other rams in the 1000 head Merino ewe flock. The Phillipson family are foundation clients and Mr Phillipson said the “Westray rams were getting better and better, full credit to Blake and his father, Ray Cannon on the consistent improvement”.
Geoff Swain, a first-time buyer from “Back Creek”, Nundle, said he had heard about Westray genetics’ wool cutting ability and came to have a look for himself. He was looking for rams to increase the size of his sheep in the 700 ewe flock and broaden the micron slightly.
“I want to put a bit more wool on my sheep and get my wool a bit broader,” Mr Swain said.
His flock is currently averaging 17.5 micron and he purchased three rams for a $2167 average to $3000. These would be joined to young ewes for starters.
Adam Cannon of the Cannon Family Trust, “Oakleigh”, Peak Hill, has carried on buying rams at Westray from his father Peter who started in 1987. This year Mr Cannon bought 14 rams paying up to $2750 and an average of $1761 for his flock of 2400 Merino ewes growing 21 micron wool and averaging a 7.5kg cut.
Budda-View Partnership also paid the top $2250 price for the Prime SAMM top lot while buying three rams for a $1667 average. Buying six rams to $1500 twice and $1208 was Phillip Clark, Kyoma Partnership, “Coloma”, Tomingley. Cobar breeder, Tom McBride, “Amalikite”, Cobar, runs a Merino and a Samm flock and bought two rams for his Samm flock paying up to $1500.
Westray again donated all proceeds from the canteen and Lot 118, in memory of Jordan Tremain-Cannon to Peak Hill CanAssist who received approximately $1500 on the day.
The sale was conducted by Elders Dubbo and Hartin Schute Bell, Narromine with Paul Jameson selling Merinos for Elders and Jason Hartin selling the SAMMS.