Hill Padua annual sale reaches $8600 top

Bob GarnantCountryman
Hill Padua stud co-principal Adam Thomas, of Three Springs, with buyers of the $8600 top-priced ram Kimble and Don Alexander, of Narrogin, Primaries auctioneer Craig Walker, Hill Padua studmaster Anthony Thomas and Primaries wool manager Greg Tilbrook.
Camera IconHill Padua stud co-principal Adam Thomas, of Three Springs, with buyers of the $8600 top-priced ram Kimble and Don Alexander, of Narrogin, Primaries auctioneer Craig Walker, Hill Padua studmaster Anthony Thomas and Primaries wool manager Greg Tilbrook. Credit: Bob Garnant

The Thomas family’s annual Hill Padua ram sale, held on Monday at Three Springs, captured a new benchmark $8600 top price with strong demand bringing new and repeat buyers in for a share.

The Multi Purpose Merino stud attracted 28 registered buyers as 123 head of big plain-bodied Poll Merinos were put through the sale ring through Primaries, with 119 sold for an average price of $1625, down $357/head on last year.

As experienced with previous ram sales this season, Primaries auctioneer Craig Walker said the near complete clearance ignored the tough seasonal conditions.

“It was a robust sale with a diverse clientele from across WA,” he said.

Return sheep producers Don and Kimble Alexander, who run their Narrogin farm with sons Russell and Morgan, secured the sale topper, Hill Padua 181211, with its top 10 per cent leading traits including 26 YCFW, 16.5 YSL, 6.8 PWT, and a Merino+ of 163.5.

“The ram had very balanced figures and will be used in our 400 head nucleus flock to breed flock rams for our 5500 self-replacing Poll Merino ewe flock, which goes back to Australian Merino Society bloodlines,” Mr Alexander said.

“We have been using Hill Padua rams for five years and since have noticed bigger and plainer types from the studs’ genetic influence.”

Mr Alexander said he ran a 3000-head crossbreeding program using Poll Dorset rams over Poll Merino ewes.

“We also select for Hill Padua rams with good eye muscle depth and YFAT, along with a good cut of wool,” he said.

New volume buyer at Hill Padua was Terry Cockman, centre, of Dongara, with his grandson Terrence Sgambelluri and daughter Jenny Cockman.
Camera IconNew volume buyer at Hill Padua was Terry Cockman, centre, of Dongara, with his grandson Terrence Sgambelluri and daughter Jenny Cockman. Credit: Bob Garnant

The underbidder on the stud record priced ram, sold as lot 123, was Murray Kowald, of Morawa, who settled for a $2000 ram with a Merino+ of 156.

Earlier in the sale and working off the catalogues Australian Sheep Breeding Value figures, Moora woolgrower Peter Nixon held back the competitive bidding to secure the $3800 second top-priced ram, Hill Padua 180530, which had a Merino+ of 158.5.

The return buyer secured a total of 10 rams for an average price of $2387.

Also working off high indexing rams, Northampton account Greenwood Farm, bought rams for $3400 and $1600 and Eneabba account Whites Barara paid $3100, $2800 and $1600.

Marchagee sheep producer Harley Sears, who supplies lambs to WAMMCO, was selective, securing his top pick for $2400 and two others for $1500 and $1400.

New to the sale, Terry Cockman, of Tepco Fishing at Dongara, was a volume buyer of 22 rams to a top of $1400 and average price of $1190.

Mr Cockman, who only recently stocked Merino ewes at his farm, said sheep were the alternative to cattle numbers during tougher seasonal conditions. “We bought a few lines of Merino ewes in September and October which now number 2500 as we cut back on our cattle numbers,” he said.

“Our selection of rams was on reasonable wool quality while eyeing off good lamb growth figures.”

Hill Padua studmaster Anthony Thomas said he was very pleased with the results and that as clients worked off of the ASBVs figures, they would have measurable results.

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