This year’s junior champion ram exhibitors at the 2017 Great Southern Supreme Merino Show, Sean and Jude Ballinger of Waverley Downs Merino stud, “Lecoin”, Delungra, had one of their most impressive sales to date, topping at $3200 and averaging $1116 for 46 rams.
The top-price easily surpassed last year’s figure of $2700, while the average dropped slightly from $1200, this result because of the increase in the number of rams sold. Of the 50 rams offered 46 were cleared.
The stud also sold 104 Merino ewes averaging $100 per head at the sale held Saturday, February 4.
The sale topping ram, by Merryville Bendigo 12 (MB12), the top-price ram at Bendigo in 2012, was snapped up by return clients, brothers David and John Taylor, Ford End Pastoral, Delungra.
A two-tooth ram, he weighed an impressive 109 kilograms, possessed a 119 per cent greasy fleece weight (GFW) while measuring a 19.8- micron fibre diametre, 3.5-micron standard deviation (SD), 99.7pc comfort factor (CF) and 17.5 coefficient of variation.
Stud principal, Sean Ballinger, said the ram stood out for his long body and good frame.
“He was a heavy-duty ram, he had a lot of wool on him – he was a big sheep for a two-tooth,” Mr Ballinger said.
The Taylor brothers also took home the second highest price ram for $2700.
By Langdene Supreme (LDS), the ram weighed 100.5kg with a GFW of 147pc. His fleece measurements were 19.2-micron fibre diametre, 3.1-micron SD, 16.2 CV and 99.8pc CF.
In all, the Taylor family took away six rams to an average of $1966.
Two rams made the third highest price of $2100. The first was knocked down to father and son due, Tom and Shaun O’Brien, “Pine View”, Bundarra.
Another two-tooth ram, also by LDG, he weighed in at 104kg and had fleece measurements of 19.2-micron fibre diametre, 3.2-micron SD, 16.9 CV and 99.9pc CF.
The O’Briens, who have been purchasing rams at Waverley Downs for about five years, took home a second ram for $1600.
The O’Briens run a self-replacing Merino flock at their Bundarra property, where they produce an average fleece measurement of 19.5-micron fibre diametre wool.
The second ram knocked down for $2100 went to long-term client, Geoff Hilton, Texas.
His sole purchase, the ram sired by Merryville Armidale 2013 (MA13), weighed 94kg, had a GFW of 125pc, 20.8-micron fibre diametre, 3.5-micron SD, 16.9 CV and 99.5pc CF.
Apart from the Taylor family taking away six rams, the volume buyers included Robert Murray, Elsmore, who loaded up with five rams to top at $1100 and average at $880 and Keith Savage of Rockvale Partners, “Rockvale”, Delungra, also took away five to average $1220 and top at $1900.
R and B Bell, Goulburn, through Schute Bell Badgery Lumnby, purchased four rams at an average of $900.
Mr Ballinger said it was one of the better results they have had.
“I think it was one of our highest top-prices and it was a good clearance,” he said.
“It was a really good line-up of productive rams.”
The sale was conducted by both Landmark and Australian Wool Network (AWN) with John Croake of AWN taking the bids.