Ram prices sail at East Strathglen

Bob GarnantCountryman

Another outstanding East Strathglen ram sale had average prices reaching the top end of the market last week at Tambellup.

Although the $1515 average price for 145 rams sold was down $383 a head on last year when the Sprigg family sold 143 for an average of $1898, the result was still by far one of the richest ram sales in WA for the season.

With more than 40 registered to bid, Landmark auctioneer Neil Brindley said it was a very solid sale with many repeat buyers active throughout the catalogue.

Missing for the first time from the sale, East Strathglen stud principal Rowland Sprigg, who is recovering in hospital, told Mr Brindley by phone that son, Rohan, was to be moved from the back pocket to full forward with the old man temporarily out of action.

The $7000 top-priced Merino ram was bought by repeat buyer Gerald Saunders, of HA Saunders & Co, Narrogin.

The Saunders family, who run a 3500 Merino ewe flock, will use the ram in their 330 nucleus to breed flock rams.

Murray Saunders said they selected on staple length and wool quality.

"The ram cuts a lot of wool," he said.

The Merino recorded an 18.1 micron, 2.6 SD and a 99.9 comfort factor.

The Saunders also paid $3250 each for another two Merinos off the top-line and $1000 and $500 for two other rams.

The underbidder on the sale topper was Iain Nicholson, of Boorabbin stud, Wannamal, who was successful on two rams at $3000 and $2000.

Neil Jackson, of Kojonup, acting on behalf of Nerstane Merino stud, of Woolbrook, New South Wales, bid successfully to the $5000 second top-price for a Merino, from pen three.

Mr Jackson said it was Nerstane's first purchase of an East Strathglen ram.

"Nerstane was interested in the pedigree on offer," he said.

Peter Bunker, of Pardee Grazing, Kendenup, was looking for wool cut when he paid $4750 for one out of pen two.

Two Poll Merino rams shared the $4000 equal top-price with both going to two different studs.

Ivan and Jack Lewis, of Lewisdale-Corrigin stud, were after the low 17.8 micron and 16.4 CV from their first pick of the polls.

Ivan said it was the first time they had bought a ram from East Strathglen but had previously used sourced semen from the stud and did very well with AI progeny.

The Box family, of Dowellen stud, Northampton, selected their poll topper on frame size and wool quality.

"The ram is just dropping its lamb's tooth so he is going to be a big ram," Ron Box said.

Bill Morey, who trades as WE & GE Morey, of Kojonup, bought to a top of $3000, securing a total of nine rams for an average price of $2839.

Volume buyer KR & DH O'Keefe bought 12 rams to a top of $3000 and average price of $1937.

Rob and Lisa Morey, of Kojonup, also bought 12 rams, for an average price of $979.

"We were able to select rams with white bright wool throughout the catalogue," Mr Morey said.

Rohan Sprigg said he was very pleased with the sale results and that his father was expected to be back on the farm very soon.

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