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Pyramid Polls to $10,000

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian

It was a record result for the Pickering family's Derella Downs and Pyramid Poll ram sales, held at their Ringlea farm, Cascade, which is enjoying an exceptional season.

With an offering of a record 200 rams, Scott and Sue Pickering were pleased that 175 sold to an average of $1326 per head, which was up $110 on last year.

"We have a good following of regular clients - approximately 75 per cent from the Esperance surrounds, with the balance from other parts of WA," Mr Pickering said.

Added to that was this year's stud record $10,000 top-priced ram that set the benchmark for Landmark Brindley & Gale auctioneer Neil Brindley, who was very quick to move the positive mood of the sale along.

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At the entrance to the ram selling shed, visitors were able to admire Poll Merino stud sire Gunnallo Pride 008 (Fred).

The impressive 145kg ram with wool and carcase qualities made its presence known, as did its 41 sons, which were offered for the first time.

Condingup woolgrower and repeat buyer Roger Nankivell was quick to find his pick of GP Fred's best in lot two, which resulted in the sale topper.

"This ram is square and meaty with good wool quality traits," he said. "His sire is a huge, big-framed Poll."

The 112kg, 20.5-micron ram had a trait-leading ASBV yearling weaner weight of +7.84 and was also a trait leader for Merino Plus, with a recording of 145.27.

Mr Nankivell and his wife Joanne run 1000 Poll Merino ewes and will use the outcross bloodline ram over their 120 nucleus flock to breed flock rams.

There was a good spread of buyers bidding on the top line, which also included the $3500 top-priced Merino ram, with a weight of 104.5kg and a fibre diameter of 17.8 microns.

Regular buyer Rod Taylor, of Epasco Farms, Condingup, said the ram had an excellent frame, good spring of rib and its wool type suited Epasco's flock.

Mr Taylor bought three other Merino rams to use in Epasco's 800-head nucleus ewe flock to breed rams for an expanding commercial flock.

"We are increasing our pure Merino commercial flock size to 20,000 head," he said.

Also taking advantage of the quality line-up, Todd and Amanda Fiegert, of Dajan Park, Condinup, secured five Poll Merino rams to a top of $3300 and average price of $2220.

The couple bought two GP 008-sired rams.

"We selected for good frames and white wools," Mr Fiegert said.

The couple run 2200 Poll Merino ewes and have been buying from Pyramid Poll stud for six years.

Brad and Vanessa Whiting, of Munginup, were bidding throughout the catalogue, securing a total of 20 Merino rams to a top of $2700 and average price of $1125.

"We were selecting for soft- handling wool types with plain bodies for our 3500 commercial ewe flock," Mr Whiting said.

Three new undisclosed buyers were active at the sale through Elders Williams, securing 20 rams for an average price of $1335.

The Pickerings were gracious hosts, inviting celebrity butcher Vince Garreffa to serve a delicious lamb roast.

Mr Garreffa also carved up three carcases, which were auctioned for a total of $4650, with the proceeds going to the Cascade Recreational Club and Liberal Party.

Proceeds from lot six of the ram sale, which was bought by Young Hill Farms for $2500, were donated to the Lifeline charity.

Also pitching in was Australian Wool Innovation marketing and communications manager Marius Cuming, who added a West Coast Eagles pure wool jumper to the fundraising auction proceeds, which raised $800 for Lifeline.

AWI chief executive Stuart McCullough donated a pure wool jacket, which raised $600 for the Cascade Fire Brigade.

Derella Downs and Pyramid Poll Ram Sale * Stud Offered Sold Top Price Average Pyramid Poll 124 104 $10,000 $1401 Derella Downs 76 71 $3500 $1215 TOTAL 200 175 $10,000 $1326

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