NEWBRIDGE local Gary Judge snapped up his first draft of Merino ewes today at the Merryville Merino stud's 35th annual stud and flock ewe sale.
Paying the top price of $182.50 for a pen of 21 head of 1.5-year-old fine wool, May-shorn stud ewes, Mr Judge then put together a truck load, securing eight pens of ewes in total.
Previously breeding solely Hereford cattle on his Shamrock property, Mr Judge said it was too good of a buy to let these Merino ewes pass.
"This was the first lot of Merinos I have bought, but they were a good buy," he said.
"I was chasing the younger ewes in the line-up."
He also purchased the first offering of a pen of 19 Poll Merino ewe hoggets for $130/hd.
Looking at Merryville for his first Merino purchases due to of the great name behind the stud, Mr Judge all up bought 176 head for an average of $151.03/hd.
In total the Merriman family sold 1363 of the 1523 Merino ewes they offered during the sale held on-property at Geegullalong.
Of this 719 stud ewes sold of 740 offered, to average $124.71/hd and top at $182.50, while 644 of 783 flock ewes sold to a top of $130/hd.
Since 1971 the Glen Brothers from Wattlebank Merino stud, Guildford, Victoria, have been on Merryville bloodlines, with their presence again noted when they picked up two top pens.
They secured a pen of 32 head of cast for age (CFA) fine wool, May-shorn stud ewes that had lambs just weaned for $150/hd, along with a pen of 22 head of CFA May/June-shorn Poll Merino stud ewes, with lambs just weaned, for $115/hd.
Stephen Glen said for 48 years now they have been on Merryville blood, buying both ewes and rams annually.
"In January my brother and nephews bought a Merryville ram at GSSM (Great Southern Supreme Merino show and sale) in Canberra," Mr Glen said.
"Today we purchased the top of the fine-wool CFA ewes, along with the top of the Poll CAF ewes.
"Last year Rick Power (Landmark) bought the only pen of Poll Merino ewes in the sale for us for $220/hd."
Increasing the offering this year, Merryville co-principal George Merriman said he was pleased to move so many ewes considering the difficult year.
"Most people commented the sheep looked good for the year, and with most sheep sold I am happy with the sale," he said.
The sale was conducted by Elders with Steve Ridley, Elders Goulburn, taking bids for the stud ewes while Rick Power, Landmark Boorowa, took over for the flock pens.