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Cranmore’s 72nd ram sale a sale-off

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Bob GarnantCountryman
With the $5600 top-priced Poll Merino ram, was Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Grant Lupton, buyer Matt McKinley, of Moora, and Cranmore stud co-principal Kristin Lefroy, of Walebing..
Camera IconWith the $5600 top-priced Poll Merino ram, was Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Grant Lupton, buyer Matt McKinley, of Moora, and Cranmore stud co-principal Kristin Lefroy, of Walebing.. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

The Lefroy family hosted their Cranmore Merinos stud’s 72nd annual ram sale at Walebing that resulted in a total clearance and a $5600 record top-price.

Overall, the sale conducted by Nutrien Livestock offered and sold 214 rams for an average price of $1938, “slightly” down by $322/head on last year when 199 rams sold for an average price of $2260.

Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Grant Lupton said it was a pleasing result for the Lefroy family, who were thrilled that every ram sold to many of their loyal repeat buyers.

“These buyers secured their requirements with confidence,” he said.

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“There was plenty of quality to select from as the presentation of rams was extremely good.”

The sale topper, Cranmore tag number 21083 PP, was secured by repeat buyer Matt McKinley of Moora, who bought last year’s top-priced ram.

“This ram was well rounded with solid figures,” he said.

The 19.4 micron double polled Merino ram with the most recorded “balanced” Australian Sheep Breeding Values including 18.47 YCFW, -0.16 YFD, 0.49 YEMD, 0.44 YFAT and its indexes were 162 MP+ and 178 DP+.

It carried a very productive fleece measuring 17 CV and a 130 GFW.

Mr McKinley said the ram had good wool cut with a mix of “meaty” carcase attributes.

He was confident in his bidding which ensured he secured a total of six Poll Merino rams from the top-line for an average price of $3350.

“These rams will go over a self-replacing flock of 1800 ewes,” Mr McKinley said.

The McKinley family also run a crossbred enterprise using terminal Poll Dorset rams over Cranmore blood ewes to produce commercial lambs.

The $4800 top-priced Merino ram, Cranmore tag 21020 HH, was secured by Brendan Van Beek of Koolena Farm in Gillangara.

With the $4800 top-priced Merino ram, was Cranmore Merinos co-principal Kristin Lefroy, of Walebing, Nutrien Livestock Moora agent Craig Williamson and buyer Brendan Van Beek, of Koolena Farms in Gilliangara.
Camera IconWith the $4800 top-priced Merino ram, was Cranmore Merinos co-principal Kristin Lefroy, of Walebing, Nutrien Livestock Moora agent Craig Williamson and buyer Brendan Van Beek, of Koolena Farms in Gilliangara. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Mr Van Beek said the “top Merino” carried a good styled fleece that was soft and white while the ASBV figures backed his visual assessment.

This 19.4 micron horned ram recorded in the top 5 per cent for YCFW ( 32.27) and its ASBV indexes were a respectable 178 MP+ and 169 DP+.

“My family has been buying Cranmore rams for near 40 years,” Mr Van Beek said.

“The progeny of these rams carry fleeces that can handle weather conditions very well.”

Mr Van Beek secured a total of six rams — four Merino and two Poll Merino for an average price of $3183.

“We will run these in our self-replacing ewe flock of 1200 breeders,” he said.

“Our older ewe flock consisting of 2400 breeders produce crossbred lambs bred from a White Suffolk terminal sire.”

The two top-priced buyers both enjoyed the friendly, but spirited bidding during the early auction proceedings, as is common place at this annual gathering of many long-time repeat buyers of Cranmore genetics.

Beermullah woolgrower and Cranmore ram buyer of many years Gavin Drew, 91, attended the 72nd annual Cranmore Merinos ram sale - not missing a beat in his love for the golden fleece.
Camera IconBeermullah woolgrower and Cranmore ram buyer of many years Gavin Drew, 91, attended the 72nd annual Cranmore Merinos ram sale - not missing a beat in his love for the golden fleece. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

There were 30 registered buyers including Gavin Drew, 91, who doesn’t miss a sale, even if he doesn’t require a ram on a particular year.

“I am been on Cranmore genetics for 60 years,” he said.

“My time goes back to when Peter Lefroy ran the stud.”

Mr Drew caught up with Peter’s son and grandson — Bruce Lefroy and Kristin Lefroy — with Kristin being the current studmaster at Cranmore Merinos.

Many other avid woolgrowers kept true to the Lefroy family’s sale offering including volume buyer Kim House, of Wong Wong Pastoral Co in Moora, who with his son James took home 16 Merino rams to a top of $3700 and average price of $2650.

Chasing “wool cut”, Michael and Tracy Humphry, of GM Hunphry & Co in Moora, secured 13 Merinos to a top of $2900 and four Polls to a top of $2800 for a total average price of $2170.

“We were selecting on wool cut and above average fat measurement,” Mr Humphry said.

From the northern Wheatbelt, Mullewa woolgrowers Jeremy and Jemma Mills, who trade as Wellsford Nominees, secured 21 rams to a top of $2700 and average price of $2153.

From the Great Southern, Ravensthorpe woolgrower Jody Duncan was back at the sale to secure 13 rams for an average price of $1693.

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