Hillcreston Merinos make $7500

Superfine wool Merinos average $1786

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The top ram pictured with Sam and Ella Picker, Hillcreston Merino stud, and Landmark's Mark Barton and Rick Power. Photo: Supplied

The top ram pictured with Sam and Ella Picker, Hillcreston Merino stud, and Landmark's Mark Barton and Rick Power. Photo: Supplied

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Stud interest for Hillcreston superfine wool

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Victorian stud-interest drove Hillcreston Superfine Wool stud's on-property sale to a top of $7500 on Friday.

The Picker family's Bigga stud sold 40 of 60 rams for an average of $1786 with another six rams purchased after auction.

Stud principal Murray Picker said drought and uncertainty about the wool market had a very significant impact on buyer confidence, but overall they were pleased with the sale.

"We were happy with the amount of client registrations, and while buyers were selective, quality rams were still well sought after and many clients went home with at least one or two rams," Mr Picker said.

The top priced ram sold for $7500 to HM Barty and Sons of Beverley Merino stud, Redesdale, Victoria.

The top ram was sired by Hillcreston Lord Andrew and had a 15.8 micron with a standard deviation of 1.9, coefficient of variation of 12.0 and a 99.9 per cent comfort factor.

"I think this ram was one of the best types, both in wool and structure, sold by Hillcreston," Mr Picker said.

The ram was one of many Hillcreston Lord Andrew sons in the draft this year.

Purchaser John Barty had been buying rams from Hillcreston since the stud started, almost 36 years ago.

"The Hillcreston rams sassy up our wool," Mr Barty said.

"They add a bit of extra quality. This ram looked like he had very thick, crimpy wool and that's what we were chasing."

Losing bidder on the top priced ram was David Bell from Neville, but he made up for it by purchasing five rams to a top of $3500 at an average of $2390.

Another volume buyer was long-time supporters of the stud, Peter and Neil Carey of Wee Jasper, who took home seven rams for an average of $1135.

Neil Carey said they used Hillcreston rams because of their superfine, high frequency, crimping wool.

"They produce very much what the Italian market is after, which is hard to find these days," Mr Carey said.

"Hillcreston probably has the best selection available."

Mr Carey said they aimed for a 1PP type wool, which their brand, Kashmir, achieved this year.

"We had the highest auction price for a commercial wool grower this year," Mr Carey said.

Th top priced poll ram was sold to Andrew Johnson of Bairnsdale, Vic for $1700.

The sale was conducted by Landmark with Rick Power acting as auctioneer.

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