Bidding reached a top of $2700 at the 26th annual Waverley Downs Merino ram sale at Lecoin near Delungra on Saturday.
A mix of new and repeat buyers attended the Ballinger family’s sale where 34 of 56 rams were sold for an average of $1559.
The O’Brien family of Pine View, Bundarra, were the top bidders, purchasing a sire for $2700.
The 18-month-old ram, Waverley Downs W913, weighed 94.5 kilograms, had a fibre diameter of 19 micron, standard deviation (SD) of 4.2 micron, co-efficient variation (CV) of 22.3pc, and a comfort factor (CF) of 99.5pc.
Described as a “big bodied ram with dense, bright wool” the horned ram was the O’Brien family’s only purchase on the day.
“Our entire flock is based on Waverley Downs genetics,” Shaun O’Brien said.
“Sean (Ballinger) is a renowned judge of sheep and we benefit from his program with improved wool cut, brighter wool and a good staple coming through into the wethers.”
Geoff Hilton, Cruachan, Texas, bought the second-top priced ram for $2500.
The 18-month-old, Waverley Downs W534, weighed 104kg, had a fibre diameter of 18.6 micron, SD of 3 micron, CV of 16.4pc, and a CF of 99.7pc.
It was the ram’s sire, Wurrook Supreme, that drew Mr Hilton to purchase him for his ultrafine operation where he typically joins around 2500 ewes.
“I’ve been using Wurrook rams and like the bloodline,” he said.
“He is a very good dense ram that will suit our trap rock country well."
Volume buyer, Uralla ultrafine wool grower, Matthew Martel, wanted to increase the fiber diameter in his flock and purchased six rams for an $834 average.
“I average 15.5 micron and my aim is to get another half kilogram on the sheep and drop two micron,” he said.
Other purchasers included, Andrew Sewell, Hillgrove, who secured four rams at $2200 each.
The Taylor Family, Delungra, selected four rams to average $1700 while Peter Hindmarsh, Ballandean, picked up four rams to average $1475 and Jessica Martin, Armidale, loaded five rams to average $1580.
The sale was conducted by Schute Bell Badgery Lumby, with John Croake, Australian Wool Network, the auctioneer.