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Edale Poll Merino ram tops at $1750

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Bob GarnantCountryman
With the $1750 top-priced ram was AWN WA wool manager Greg Tilbrook, with Merino selection specialist Tim Broad and his wife Deborah, of Albany, and Edale stud manager James Gardiner, of Moora.
Camera IconWith the $1750 top-priced ram was AWN WA wool manager Greg Tilbrook, with Merino selection specialist Tim Broad and his wife Deborah, of Albany, and Edale stud manager James Gardiner, of Moora. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

An Edale Poll Merino ram peaked at $1750 at the Gardiner family’s annual on-property ram sale in Moora as the stud continues its breeding objective to produce heavy cutting types that carry fine quality wools.

The fine wool stud, established in 1989 by Philip Gardiner, made its return to the WA sale circuit last year after a 16-year habitus — selling only privately in that period of time.

Now managed by Mr Gardiner’s son, James, the stud’s second-year return of offering rams to the public took place on September 8 on the lawn of the Gardiner’s idyllic homestead.

Conducted by AWN, the Helmsman sale offered 50 Merino and Poll Merino rams that averaged 16.7 micron and a comfort factor of 99.9.

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The catalogue line-up included 12 Merinos and 38 Poll Merino rams that resulted in five Merino rams sold to a top of $1550 and average price of $810, while 24 Poll rams sold to a top of $1750 and average price of $783.

The overall average price of $788 for a total of 29 Merino and Poll Merino rams sold was down $408/head on last year when 28 rams sold for an average price of $1196.

The sale topper, Edale tag number 21Z267, was secured by Albany-based Merino selection specialist Tim Broad on behalf of new buyer account RA & JA Quartermaine of Mingenew.

Mr Broad said he had been observing Edale’s genetic progress and selected the 17.2 micron Poll Merino ram, that carried 100 per cent comfort factor and was sired by Wallaloo Park 172032, for its combined pedigree benefits.

“The ram had one of the largest frames and carried white, bright and lustrous wool all over,” he said.

“The Quartermaines will put this outcross genetic ram over a line of elite ewe hoggets.”

Edale 21Z267 was the second-heaviest in the catalogue at 98kg and had the largest carcase eye muscle depth of 35.9, plus was in the top 10 per cent of Australian Sheep Breeding Values for yearling fibre diameter with a measurement of -2.4.

The $1650 second-top priced Poll Merino ram, Edale tag 21Z332, was sold to local account Homewood Farms that also paid $1550 for another Poll — both rams sired by Wallaloo Park 172032, with the ladder in the ASBV top 5 per cent for YFD at -3.1.

Edale stud manager James Gardiner, of Morra and volume buyer Daniel Gardiner, of Noondine Gardiner & Co in Moora.
Camera IconEdale stud manager James Gardiner, of Morra and volume buyer Daniel Gardiner, of Noondine Gardiner & Co in Moora. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Very familiar with Edale’s genetics, Daniel Gardiner of Noondine Gardiner & Co in Moora, returned to the sale as a 19-year repeat buyer and secured 10 rams to a top of $1000 and average price of $550.

“I was selecting for positive ASBV figures for fleece weight, eye muscle depth and fat and a negative on fibre diameter, “ he said.

“Our breeding with Edale genetics has paid dividends in both carcase and wool quality over the many years.”

Daniel and his brother Julian run 3600 breeding ewes that average 17.5 to 18.5 micron and cut up to 5.5kg of wool.

New buyer James Pepper of Mumballview Orchards in Mumballup, secured the lowest 14.1 micron Poll Merino ram, Edale tag 21X049 for $1200, and paid $500 for a 14.9 micron Poll ram.

“I will potentially use these rams to create a new family within my fine wool flock of 30 years,” he said.

“We run 250 non-mulesed ewes that average 15.5 micron — our hoggets average 14.5 micron.”

Mr Pepper and his wife Faye were WA regional award winners at this year’s 58th Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards.

Returning to the sale was Ian Metcalf, who trades as I Metcalf & Co in Wongan Hills.

Mr Metcalf secured five rams to a top of $1550 and average price of $887.

Walebing sheep producers Blair and Michael Humphry.
Camera IconWalebing sheep producers Blair and Michael Humphry. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Also back to the sale was Blair Humphry of GM Humphry & Co in Walebing, who secured to a top of $1200 and average price of $900.

“We were chasing wool cut,” he said.

AWN WA wool manager Greg Tilbrook said the sale attracted more registered buyers this year with a few new names added to the list.

“The rams sold to a bigger spread of buyers across the State,” he said.

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