Curlew Creek sale to $5000

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantThe West Australian

The full impact of the Garnett family's past and present investment into the sheep industry made its presence known last week at their annual on-property ram sale at Gnowangerup.

Stud breeders Dick and Collyn Garnett and their team filled to capacity a newly renovated shed with 180 Willemenup Poll Merinos and 200 Curlew Creek Poll Dorsets, giving buyers every opportunity to fulfil their requirements.

With the recent purchase of half the Hillcroft Farms Poll Dorset stud flock, the Garnetts have doubled their total ram numbers on offer.

Selling agents were quick to say it was one of the biggest single-vendor offerings of quality genetics in WA.

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Elders auctioneer Preston Clarke said the logistics and presentation of such a big number of rams was first class.

"Poll Merino prices were consistent with recent past years and the addition of the Poll Dorsets has brought new clientele to the sale," Mr Clarke said.

Willemenup Poll Merinos *

Big-framed, heavy-cutting Willemenup Poll Merinos were highly sought after with prices reaching a top of $3400 paid by Greg Hinkely, of Gnowangerup.

Mr Hinkley said his single ram purchase was the heaviest ram in the catalogue (110kg) and would be ideal in converting his family's 2500 breeding ewe flock over to Poll genetics.

The 21.3 micron ram by Willemenup sire 439 recorded an eye muscle depth of 37mm.

"We will put the ram over our nucleus of 140 ewes to breed flock rams," he said.

This was the Hinkleys' second year at the sale as they continue to select for quality Polls with big frames.

While Three Springs woolgrower Jim Heal paid the $3300 second-top price for another heavy performing ram (99kg), there were three buyers securing $3200 rams in the top line-up.

Regular repeat buyers Trevor and Allyson Ross, of Jerramungup, secured two at $3200 followed by another nine rams for a total of 11 for an average price of $2573.

"We selected for good quality free-growing long-bodied types with clean white wool for our 2000 ewe-breeding flock," Mr Ross said.

The Letter family, of Tambellup, were also buying off the top order, securing rams for $3200 and $3100.

The sale's opening bids included volume buyer Stephen Thompson, of Newdegate, who secured lot one for $2200 and finished up with a total of 20 rams for an average price of $1350.

"With a change in our farm's logistics, pure Merino matings are up by 40 per cent," Mr Thompson said.

Other regular buyers included Brett Green, of Allawah Grazing, Tambellup, who bought six rams to a top of $3000 and average price of $2017.

The Egerton-Warburton family, of Cranbrook, bought eight rams and account Capemont Farms, Katanning, bought 10 rams.

Curlew Creek Poll Dorsets *

The Garnett family were extremely pleased that all 200 Poll Dorset rams offered were sold to a top-price of $5000.

The sale topper sold over the phone to Stephen and Bessie Roks, of Rokslee Downs Poll Dorset stud, Whittlesea, Victoria.

Mr Roks said Landmark agent Roy Addis inspected the rams on behalf of his family's stud which led to the purchase of two Hillcroft Farms sired rams.

The $5000 ram recorded a post-weaning weight of 11.6kg, had a PFAT of 1.0 and an eye muscle depth of 4.8mm.

Mr Roks also bought another ram for $2000 and told _Countryman _ that a ram was purchased in March for $3500 along with 20 ewes from Curlew Creek for $550/head.

"I am increasing growth, muscle and fat with these particular bloodlines," Mr Roks said.

Mr Addis said the Poll Dorset sale (conducted by Landmark) was very strong with terrific support from past and new clients who are following the Hillcroft Farms breeding objective.

Former Hillcroft Farms Poll Dorset stud principal Dawson Bradford said about 70 per cent of his regular clients attended the sale.

These included Mt Barker sheep producer Iain Mackie, who secured seven rams to a top of $1700 and average price of $1367.

John and Ali Birch, of Karalee Farms, Coolup, also former Hillcroft Farms clients, were selecting for good weaner weight and quick growth. The couple secured seven rams to a top of $1500 and average price of $1200.

Account Lavieville Grazing, of Tambelup, bought 15 rams to a top of $1300 and average price of $1153. Other volume buyers included Glenorchy Grazing, which secured nine rams for an average price of $1100.

Willemenup and Curlew Creek Ram Sales * Stud Offered Sold Top Price Average Willemenup Poll Merinos 180 164 $3400 $1402 Curlew Creek Poll Dorsets 200 200 $5000 $1080

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