THE gathering of mostly repeat buyers at Narranmore Poll Dorset's ram sale at Elong Elong bought decisively.
Just eight young rams were left from an offering of 94 on Friday afternoon.
And those left, from last autumn's drop, returned to the paddock to grow and will likely be seen at Ian and Christine O’Leary's September offering, generally regarded as their main sale.
The fact that 28 young rams in the same age bracket were snapped up for a top of $1500 and nothing less than $1000 is testimony to the early maturing nature of the stud's bloodline and buyers’ faith in it.
The sale's top price was $2300, from an August 2016 drop, and the 86 rams sold on the day averaged $1585.
The top-priced ram was headed for Paul McGirr's property, "Wongaboori", at Mendoran.
Property manager John Hunter said Narranmore had been a source of rams for "Wongaboori" and its 3000 first-cross ewes for more than a decade and reckoned their fertility and the fact offspring got going early kept them coming back.
"We like to get the lambs off as suckers," he said, adding the strength of both wool and sheepmeat markets had 2018 shaping up as a good year, despite the marginal season thus far.
Neil Pringle, from Mullion Creek, bought 26 rams to help service a growing flock.
Mr Pringle said he had altered his business mix in the last two years, increasing his number of first-cross ewes by 2000 last year.
He was buying to stock "Elabah", set at 1010 metres above sea level.
He said the nature of the winters on his country at Mullion Creek and Stuart Town meant snow and damp gullies and that demanded sheep that could handle getting wet, something he considered a strength of the Narranmore stock.
Friday's sale at Elong Elong was his third, and was in preparation for an early April joining program.
Mr Pringle said he ran rams at an easy 35 to 40 ewes in a bid to bolster multiples and minimise the impact of any break down.
Ian and Christine O’Leary said they were pleased with the turnout, and despite the number of buyers being down on previous years were happy with the strong result.
Mrs O’Leary was especially pleased given the dry weather and a recent wave of 40 degree Celsius days.
Angus Stuart, of Milling Stuart, Dunedoo, took bids and said he thought it was a very good sale particularly given the dry, patchy season.