Trigger Vale, Lockhart had their breeding program validated on Friday, selling 206 Poll Merino rams for a top of $18,500 and average of $3369, along with 87 White Suffolk rams for a top of $3600 and average of $2113.
It was the most rams ever offered by Trigger Vale, a 20 head increase on last year, but an overall clearance rate of 98 per cent showed the demand was there.
"We had this vision 20 years ago about what a Merino might look like," Trigger Vale stud principal Andrew Bouffler said.
"To have rams sold into the wider Merino industry, stud sires, just means our vision and our type of sheep, with a real focus on dual-purpose, non-mulesed, I think it validates our breeding program, which is very satisfying."
The top price of $18,500 was a huge record for the stud, and a jump of $8300 from the top price of $10,200 achieved last year.
The sale-topping Poll Merino ram was bought by Phil Edwards of Pindari Bond Stud, Yerong Creek.
He was by Trigger Vale 170423 and had a post weaning weight (7.7), yearling weight (9.2), yearling eye muscle depth (3.9) and fat (1.7) values in the top five per cent of the breed.
Mr Bouffler described the ram as "bulletproof" and said he was in their top 10 for the year, just missing the cut as one of the eight sires kept by the stud themselves.
"He had extraordinary staple length, he wasn't extreme in everything but he was very good in everything," Mr Bouffler said, noting he was glad he had gone into a ram breeding program.
Purchaser Mr Edwards said it was their second time buying rams from Trigger Vale and the top-seller was the one they had their eye on this year.
"I just liked his nice, big square, long, crimpy wool, he just stands up well," Mr Edwards said.
The second top priced ram was just behind at $17,500, paid for a son of Trigger Vale 170478 by Ulingala Pastoral Company, Wellington.
Mr Bouffler said the July-drop ram was out of a ewe lamb and would usually be sold as part of that cohort later in the catalogue, but was brought to the front given his impressive growth for age.
"He actually didn't look small even though he was a couple of months younger," Mr Bouffler said of the ram who tipped the scales at 88 kilograms.
The twin-born ram had a post weaning weight of 9.3, yearling weight of 11.1, yearling EMD of 3.5 and yearling fat of +1.9.
He was one of 15 rams with ewe lamb dams offered and the group sold for an average of $3713.
The third-highest priced ram was the first lot of the day, a son of Trigger Vale 160095, sold to a ram-breeding operation in South Australia under account Bougher Family Trust, Karoonda, SA.
"I'm really happy he's going to be measured and bench-marked," Mr Bouffler said.
"His dad 160095 has been an unbelievable breeding ram for me."
The top 20 Poll Merino rams sold for an average of $8150, but there was still rams to suit most budgets throughout the draft.
The highest-priced White Suffolk ram was purchased for $3600, by Phillip Bouffler, Trigger Vale, Lockhart.
The White Suffolk draft included six individual lots, which sold for an average of $2800. The rest were sold with the option to purchase the pair.
Volume buyers included local clients Sunbury Park, Lockhart who came away with 11 Poll Merino rams and three White Suffolk rams.
Clutterback, Edenhope, Vic bought 12 Poll Merino rams, while Trigger Vale neighbours, the Perryman Family Trust, Woodbrae, Lockhart took home seven Poll Merinos and four White Suffolk rams.
The sale was a team effort between Elders and H Francis and Co, with Elders agents Nick Gray and Matthew O'Connor selling the Poll Merinos and Alex Croker of H Francis and Co selling the White Suffolks.
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