Berridale’s Pete and Jayne Lette of Conrayn Merino stud offered 49 superfine Merino rams at their annual on-property sale and sold 26 for a sale average of $1400.
Completing a successful year in the show ring, where they paraded the supreme exhibit at both the 2018 Great Southern Supreme Merino show and sale in Canberra, and the supreme exhibit at the 2018 Sydney Royal, their top priced ram at $5000 was purchased by specialist superfine woolgrower Ron Veness, Rye Park.
A descendant of a Merryville Ringmaster family ram purchased by the Lette family, the sire had impressive figures of 16.3 microns, with comfort factor of 99.9 per cent and standard deviation of 2.3.
Mr Veness said the ram had a beautiful and evenly crimped fleece and was very well grown for his type.
“For a superfine ram he is a large sheep and is well-covered with a lot of wool,” he said.
“We are still producing the traditional superfine type of wool, which the Italians like, but I am slowly increasing fleece weight while keeping the style.”
Volume buyers included M.J and J.L Hedger, Willowvale, Yass, who added to their flock’s genetic depth with the selection of five rams for a $1120 average having paid $1600 for two. J.A and P Pilcher, Strathfieldsaye, Victoria, paid to $2000 in their draft of six rams to average $1300 while Rutherford Pastoral Co, Gunning, paid to $2200 in their selection of three rams, which averaged $1333.
Western Victorian wool growers M and T French, Victoria Valley, purchased two rams at $2800 and $1800 respectively while Mantons Ridge Partnership, Yass, took three rams home for a $1200 average and another western Victorian woolgrower G.J Cameron from Cavendish paid $1200 for his choice of the catalogue.
Speaking after the sale, studmaster Pete Lette expressed delight at the response from committed woolgrowers determined to continue to produce stylish and heavy superfine fleeces under the most trying seasonal conditions.
“At least sheep prices are high and the wool market is good,” he said.
“It is unusual to have such favourable markets through a drought as my father told me the other day.”
Mr Lette further noted clients had restricted their orders for replacement rams due to the drought and the ongoing cost of feeding their core breeding stock.
“At least those who could afford to, purchased at the top end to maintain the quality of their flocks,” he said.
Landmark Cooma settled the auction with studstock specialist Rick Power as auctioneer.