WARM sunshine greeted buyers to Alfoxton's 19th annual on-property Dohne ram sale on Monday afternoon.
Bidders from across the state gathered at the Clonan family's Armidale property, while many more followed the sale online via AuctionsPlus to get their hands on the 80 2020-drop rams on offer.
In total, 68 of the 80 rams offered were sold at an average of $2200 as demand for dual-purpose sheep helped drive the sale's success and inspired the stud to offer 10 more rams than last year.
Despite many of the rams in the draft looking like they may take out the honour of being the sale's top seller, it was the 29th ram in the catalogue, Alfoxton 20-424 which rose to the top.
By Alfoxton 18-044 and out of Alfoxton 15-714, the top seller weighed 95 kilograms, had an eye muscle depth of 29, a 16.0 micron fleece, a 2.8-standard deviation, a 17.6 per cent coefficient of variation, a 99.91pc comfort factor and was purchased by, Millgalarr Pastoral, Warialda for a sale high $4500.
"When I arrived, his figures really stood out to me and his overall style really stood out to me," Millgalarr Pastoral's Annabelle Horne said.
"His style really fits into what we are trying to do and in saying that, it was such an even draft of rams you could have picked any of them and not been disappointed."
The top seller was among three rams to sell for $4000 or more, with Alfoxton 20-573 selling to Tablelands Dohnes, Armidale for $4250 and Alfoxton 20-428, which was purchased by Oaklands Partnership, North Star for $4000.
Millgalarr Pastoral was among the sale's volume buyers taking home nine rams at an average of $3000.
Also featuring in the sale's multiple buyers was Bucknell Grazing, Inverell, which purchased 21 rams at an average of $2130, Oaklands Partnership, North Star, which bought 18 rams at an average of $2833 and the Bishop family, Mullaley, which purchased five rams at an average of $2300.
"We've been buying here for years and they are always good carcase rams but I think the wool is getting better and better as well," Bucknell Grazing's Geoff Bucknell said.
"They're basically a Merino with their wool quality with the added size and frame you get from the Dohne.
"We run about 8500 ewes, some of them are Dohnes but we do also have some Poll Dorsets as well and the plan will be to join these rams with them."
Alfoxton stud principal Chris Clonan said this year's sale team was "the most even draft of rams we've offered".
"We're very happy to have a strong clearance again this year like we did last year even though we offered 10 more rams," Mr Clonan said.
"There were still rams in the last few pens that were selling quite well which I think really shows there was a great selection for the buyers this year.
"It was also really good to sell the second top-price ram to another stud and that ram was sired by the Calga C18-1491 ram and I think all of his sons in the draft were sold.
"That was also really pleasing but overall we are really happy with the result and grateful to everyone involved in this year's sale."
Monday's live auction sale was conducted by C.L Squires and Company Inverell with Robbie Bloch auctioneering.
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