WARM sunshine and blue skies greeted a big crowd of buyers to Queenlee Merino stud's 33rd annual ram sale on Tuesday.
Producers from across the district gathered at the Carlon family's Uralla property to get their hands on the 53 Merino and Poll Merino rams on offer.
For the second consecutive year, the sale's top price ram was snapped up by return buyer Ralph Price, Kooringle, Pyramul, who purchased the second ram in the catalogue, Queenlee tag 364, for a sale high $4250.
The two-year-old son of the Mr Incredible ram, boasted a clean fleece weight percentage of 112 per cent, measured 18.2 micron, had a comfort factor of 99.6 per cent, a 2.9-micron standard deviation and a 70.2pc yield.
It was one of two rams to sell for $4000 or more with the first, Queenlee tag 334, being purchased by the Gall family, Wilson's Creek, Uralla, for $4000.
Tuesday's sale high marked back-to-back years where Mr Price had purchased the top-priced ram, however this year's high was up from the $2000 benchmark set in 2021.
It was one of two rams Mr Price bought during the auction, the other being knocked down for $3000 giving him an average of $3625.
"I really liked the size and wool quality of the top-price ram and the second ram I bought wasn't too far behind him in regards to those qualities," Mr Price said.
"Now we'll pick some better ewes for them to join up with in mid-March and hopefully we can get more size and a bigger wool cut into our flock at home."
Stud principal Phil Carlon echoed Mr Price's sentiments saying the top-seller was "a clear standout" in this year's sale team.
"Both of the rams Ralph bought were very good wool sheep with a power of wool on them," Mr Carlon said.
"Considering the amount of rain these rams have had on them during the past two years, we were really pleased with the way they presented.
"It was also really pleasing to see so many new and return buyers come along to this year's sale as well."
In total, 25 of 53 rams were sold at an average of $1777, which was up from the $1096 average last year, with volume buyers such as Rockvale Trust, Kentucky, six rams at an average of $1366, the Easy family, Bundarra, four rams at an average of $1125 and the Bourke family, Carthona, Bundarra, two rams at $1350, helping spur on the sale's success.
The sale was conducted by Schute Bell Badgery Lumby and Nutrien Armidale with John Settree auctioneering.
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