Bids flew in for the roughly 10,000 sheep offered at the 18th annual John Wells Memorial Sheep Sale at Jerilderie on Friday, young ewes making prices never seen at the sale before.
Auctioneer Nick Gray, Elders Deniliquin said prices were at least $100 dearer than last year's sale, which topped at $285, with young ewes averaging around $322.
However, due to the great season numbers were almost half of what was yarded last year.
The top price was a staggering $382, paid for 156 May/June 2019-drop ewes, September shorn with Willandra blood from Caroline and Craig Heath, Wiraki, Jerilderie. They were bought by Mannes Agencies, Coleambally.
The pen was awarded both the John Wells Memorial Shield (for the top priced pen) and Best Presented, a new award which was introduced this year in honour of previous shield winner Mark Wettenhall, Cara, Jerilderie who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Best Presented was judged by Clyde McKenzie, Elders Deniliquin. Mr McKenzie said the Wiraki classed in breeders were very well presented at 73.9 kilograms.
"They were magnificent ewes, you don't usually see those ewes up for sale, they're usually keepers," Mr McKenzie said.
Mr Heath said they were their last pen of ewes to be sold as they will move to running solely wethers at Wiraki to concentrate on their family's other property and stud, Willandra.
The ewes were the sisters of the wether lambs which topped Jerilderie's November store sale last year at $147.
The second highest priced pen was $378 paid for 225 June/July 2019-drop Merino ewes, August shorn with Caroonboon blood, offered by Amaroo, Conargo. Their second pen of 225 sold for $368.
Just behind were Craig and Kate Smith, Innesvale Pastoral Company, Oaklands, who sold 200 May/June 2019-drop Merino ewes, July shorn, with Caroonboon blood for $374.
The Cameron family of The Yanko, Jerilderie sold a large run of 382 May/June 2019-drop Merino ewes, August shorn, The Yanko blood for $368. Their second pen of 200 sold for $300.
The Wettenhall family, Cara, Jerilderie kicked off the sale to a great start, with 203 May/June 2019-drop, August shorn, Willandra blood selling for $362.
Sleigh Pastoral Company, Jerilderie sold a run of 380 April/May 2019-drop Merino ewes, August shorn, Willandra blood for $360, a second pen of 390 went for $305.
Willandra, Jerilderie sold 160 ex stud Merino ewes, May 2019-drop, August shorn, Willandra blood for $346. A second pen of 147 July/August 2019-drop sold for $300, while a third pen of 104 went to the Leech family, Conargo for $296.
Even the older ewes sold for up to $285, paid for a pen of 174 May/June 2018-drop Merino ewes, August shorn, Woodpark Poll blood from Riversdale, Jerilderie.
Willandra topped the 2015-drop, a pen of 400 ewes, March shorn, Willandra blood selling for $262 to John Rae, Coonamble.
Buyers were from throughout the Riverina, Central West and Victoria.
"We've had sheep go in every direction," Mr Gray said.