Alfoxton Merino stud, Armidale, topped their 28th annual on-property sale at $6000, coming close to doubling last year’s top price.
Selling into four sates, sixty three lots were sold from 70 Merino and Poll Merino rams offered for a sale average of $2143.
A fifth-generation wool producer from Tasmania’s East Coast and owner of the award winning winery, Kelvedon Estate at Swansea, Jack Cotton, secured the top-priced ram via a phone bid.
The horned 19-month-old August shorn ram weighed in at 92.5 kilograms and carried a 15-micron fleece, with 2.9-micron standard deviation (SD), 19.7 per cent coefficient of variation (CV) and a 100pc comfort factor (CF).
It was sired by Alfoxton 08-387 a horned sire which was the 2010 grand champion superfine at Bendigo Australian Sheep and Wool show and sold for a record $46,000.
While this was Mr Cotton’s first purchase from Alfoxton’s on-property sale, he had previously secured an Alfoxton ram at Bendigo.
Mr Cotton inspected the ram at the recent New England Merino Field Days and enlisted the assistance of Elders representative, John Newsome, to secure the ram on the day.
Mr Newsome described the ram as a “stylish superfine with lustrous wool, very soft muzzle and soft skin”
“He has silky wool and beautiful handle” Mr Newsome said.
The second top price was a long wool 2015 March drop superfine ram secured by Sam Picker, Hillcreston Merinos, Bigga for $5000.
It carried a 15.7-micron fleece, a 1.8-micron SD, 11.5pc CV and a 100pc CF.
Sale day volume buyer was Linden Park Pastoral Company, Caloola via Bathurst who took home a total of 10 rams, topping at $3750 for a $2475 average.
Manager, Jeremy Woods, has been sourcing Alfoxton rams for the past four years and said the they have “picked up the size and wool cut in the flock and improved fertility”.
Linden Park join 6000 ewes annually and average between 16.8 to 17-micron.
Alfoxton stud principal, Chris Clonan, said the sale was a great success given the sale average and clearance increased significantly from 2017.
Mr Clonan also mentioned the success of the first Banavee 13-333 sons to be offered which saw them average $2712.
“This draft is a great reflection of what we have been trying to achieve which is increase our body weight and also retain crimp definition and white wool.” Mr Clonan said.
The sale was conducted by Elders Armidale and Schute Bell Badgery Lumby with Paul Dooley, Tamworth, controlling the bids as guest auctioneer.