Coming off a very successful display at the 2021 Royal Sydney Show, where they paraded the Supreme Merino exhibit, the grand champion strong wool ram who had also been the champion August-shorn exhibit, Ken Wolf's Hollow Mount Merino stud at Bigga, conducted its inaugural on-property sale to keen interest.
As an indication of the genetic strength of the stud, four studmasters were active and each purchased rams to add to their sire battery and included Mark, Jodie and Charlie Pendergast, Cottage Park, Cooma, who paid top price of $8200 for their pick of the catalogue.
The March-shorn ram was sired by Yarrawonga DON 193 which was purchased in 2018 for $60,000 by a syndicate which included Hollow Mount.
His fleece figures were 19.7 micron, 3.1 standard deviation (SD) and 99.4 comfort factor (CF).
Hollow Mount manager David Zouch said the ram stood very correct and carried a really sweet, well nourished wool.
"He is a fantastic sheep, I think he should go on and throw some really handy offspring," he said.
"Don 193 has been breeding some excellent sheep, and we have managed to retain some handy ones by him."
Mark Penderghast has used Yarrawonga DON 193 in the past through an AI program and had good results.
"We thought we would see how they performed in a different environment than the Monaro," he said.
"He is a real Monaro type, with a free growing soft, bright wool on a loose skin.
"He stands square and has the correct confirmation that you look for in a potential sire."
Stud buyers included Phillip Carlon, Queenlee Merinos, Uralla, who purchased another August-shorn ram sired by Yarrawonga DON for $4200 and with fleece figures of 17.4 micron, 2.8 SD and 99.9CF.
Garry and Mary Seaman, Lochness Merinos, Laggan, selected an 18.4 micron ram for $4400, also sired by Yarrawonga DON, and Kim and Robyn Cartwright, Thalaba Downs, Laggan, were the fourth stud to secure a son of DON, a 17.9 micron ram for $3400.
Other purchasers included Bindawalla Pastoral Company, Narrawa, who took away two rams for $1400 and $1200 respectively, and Bruce and Daniel Fitzell who secured two rams to a top of $2200.
Philip Mahoney, Sunnyside, Crookwell, took two home for $1200 and $1600 respectively while Edolsten and Co. Pty Ltd of Edolsten, Walbundrie, secured three rams to top at $3700.
Angus Waugh, Piccadilly, Coolac, secured five to an average of $1520 and high of $2200.
Mr Zouch was extremely pleased with the sale results, and with the draft of rams presented.
"It is hard for the first sale, you never know who is going to turn up, or if the rams are good enough," he said said.
"But I was very happy with the result, there were a lot more people there than I expected, it was fantastic.
"I was hoping that everybody would be happy with the draft of rams and I got some good comments, so I am hoping they were up to standard."
The Helmsman auction was conducted and settled by Nutrien Ag Solutions, Crookwell.
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