Breeders flock to second sale

Sally HincksCountryman

Fellow Merino and Poll Merino stud breeders flocked to Lewisdale's second dispersal sale at Wickepin last week.

It was an excellent sale with all 30 pens of stud Merino and Poll Merino ewes selling to a $300/head top price twice - 28 pens under the hammer and the other two immediately after.

"In comparison to where markets are at the moment, it was a fantastic result," Elders key accounts manager Andrew Farson said.

"There were about 100 people here and there was not one negative comment about the industry and the sheep. 'We're sticking with it' were the comments and general attitude."

In the 20-head ram offering the top price was $3100 with the buyer being long-time Lewisdale client, Steve Fowler of Jumbuck Plains via Esperance, who also bought another three rams. All up Steve bought 152 ewes to a $180/head top price - paid for a pen of 28 Merino ewes.

"The ram is one of the Magic family. We have Magic, Chogm and OB65 families," said Steve, who joins 12,000 ewes at Condingup.

The other major buyer of Lewisdale ewes was the Esperance Cattle Company (ECC), with Bill Richards of Elders Wagin bidding on behalf of the enterprise.

Under the hammer, he was the successful bidder on 263 ewes, all at $150/head on behalf of the ECC's Stephen Blair, who plans to join 20,000 to 30,000 ewes on several properties and then fatten the progeny at Young River.

"I've known Ray for 20-plus years and am impressed with what he does and have bought a lot of his rams over the years. This was the last opportunity to buy them and we'll now breed our own rams," Stephen said.

The Poll Merino ewes were sold first and the Belmont Park Poll Merino stud was the successful bidder on pen one, at $300/head, the equal top price for ewes. "The ewes will be sponged tomorrow and AI'd in a fortnight," Belmont Park principal Malcolm Edward said.

The other $300 ewes (also polls) were bought by Kolindale principal Luke Ledwith, who will AI them to the $39,000 Collinsville ram he bought in Adelaide in 2010.

He also bought the $240 top-priced Merino ewes, taking home a total of 95 ewes.

Arra-Dale stud principal Les Sutherland bought 49 Merino ewes, 25 at $190/head and 24 at $160 each.

In the stud sires, Elders stud stock representative Kevin Broad bought a Poll Merino ram for $2100 on behalf of the Barnett family's Seven Oaks North stud.

He also bought Poll Merino ewes for $180 for South Australian enterprise Fairvale Proprietors, run by Tony Bray of Jamestown.

"He was losing bidder on two or three top lines last year and is looking for a bit more size and constitution in his flock," Kevin said.

Dyson Jones' Andrew Kittow bought one ram on behalf of Fern Park stud's Kevin Pauley.

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