Challara rams intrigue with $4500 top price

Bob GarnantCountryman
With the $4500 top-priced Challara 176 are Primaries agent Greg Wootton, Challara classer Bill Walker, Challara stud co-principal Peter Wilkinson and auctioneer Jay Macdonald.
Camera IconWith the $4500 top-priced Challara 176 are Primaries agent Greg Wootton, Challara classer Bill Walker, Challara stud co-principal Peter Wilkinson and auctioneer Jay Macdonald. Credit: Bob Garnant

Challara Poll Merino Stud has attracted intrigue from buyers across the border, with its sale-topping ram purchased by South Australian producers.

Challara Poll Merino rams sold to a stud on-farm record top-price of $4500, to first time South Australia buyers Stuart and Gavin Brophy at the Wilkinson family’s annual sale at Badgingarra on September 5.

This followed the stud’s first offering of stud rams at the Classings Classic Ram Sale at Murray Bridge in South Australia on September 2, which created strong Eastern States interest at Badgingarra.

Challara stud co-principal welcomed the 33 registered buyers and referenced Challara’s impact sire, Terrick West 160191 has having sons in the sale.

“Our sire Challara 150245 has been measured in sire evaluations with encouraging results in staple length and carcase traits,” he said.

The sale topper, Challara tag number 176, lot three and sired by Gunallo 150055, was secured by account SN & GP Brophy, of Keith, South Australia, through Challara stud classer Bill Walker.

Mr Walker said Stuart and Gavin Brophy were the underbidders on Challara’s stud record $6000 ram at the Classic sale.

“The Brophy brothers said they were impressed with the Challara rams at the Classic sale and put in a buying order with me at Badgingarra,” he said. “They are passionate Gunallo genetic fans as well.”

Challara 176, one of the first drops of Gunallo 150055, measured 18.2 micron, 3.2 SD, 17.6 CV and has a 58.7 per cent yield plus carried Australian Sheep Breeding Values including a DP+ index of 146.

Also active on the top-line of Challara rams, Beacon woolgrower Jeff Munns, of Synandra Farms, secured the $3750 second top-priced ram, Challara 369, sired by a Leahcim sire, as lot four.

Mr Munns returned to his second Challara sale, after buying ewes from the stud in the past, and was keen to secure an outcross genetic ram to breed flock rams for his 3000-head commercial non-mulesed ewe flock.

“I was selecting for long, white and soft wool types on multi-purpose frames,” he said.

“We shear every eight months, with intentions to move to a six-month shearing program, so were stringent on long staple length.”

Account CP & SA Walker, of Tambellup, secured the $3400 third top-price ram, Challara 831, sired by a Terrick West sire, from lot 59.

Primaries Badgingarra agent Greg Wootton, kicked off the sale securing lot one, Challara 428 for $2750 on behalf of the local Birrawong account.

Following the Classic sale trail to Badgingarra, first-time accounts RP & J Gates, of Casterton, Victoria, secured two rams for $2500 and $1100, and AC & JL Dunn, of Ceduna, SA, paid $1700 for a ram, with Mr Walker bidding on both.

Volume buyer Andrew Kenny, of Rubicon Trust, at Badgingarra, secured a total of 13 rams to a top-price of $2000 and average $1640.

“I was selecting for dual-purpose, easy-care types with free growing wool and strong fertility traits for my flock of 4000 ewes,” he said.

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