Lewisdale celebrates in style

Sally HincksCountryman

There was optimism and a decidedly gala atmosphere at Lewisdale's 50th Anniversary Sale last week where $6800 was top price.

Principal Ray Lewis handed out specially-made 50th anniversary hats and wine to past and present clients, with one of these winning a trip to Bali for two - or $2000 to go wherever they wanted.

And not forgetting the great spread put on for the visitors by Helen Lewis and her hard-working helpers.

But everyone was there to see the sale of rams by Elders auctioneers Dennis Roberts and Rohan Vaughan - and under their expert direction, the rams sold like proverbial hot cakes.

Of the 305 offered only three were not sold under the hammer but immediately after the sale two were bought at $3000 each, making it an almost 100 per cent clearance.

The sale started with an offering of five 2010-drop rams, all of which fetched $3000 each with return buyer Steve Fowler, of Jumbuck Plains, Esperance, taking four home.

In that quartet was the sale's $3000 top price for a Poll Merino.

All up, Steve bought 38 rams (averaging $1460) to use in his 12,000-head ewe flock. There were five Poll Merinos and the rest Merinos.

He bought 250 of Ray's stud ewes last year and already a third of his ram battery is homebred.

Next to be offered were 10 2011-drop stud Merino rams with return buyer Nigel Faulkner, of IC & C Faulkner, Kukerin, the successful bidder at $6800, the sale's top price, on the Merino ram in pen seven, a ram from the Lustre family.

He'll be used over 100 nucleus flock ewes to breed their own rams.

"He has beautiful long-stapled, bright wool on a nice frame and a good long body," Nigel said.

The ram's May test wool figures included a 19.95 micron and 99.3 comfort tactor.

Like Steve Fowler, the Faulkners bought ewes from Lewisdale last year and annually join 2000 ewes to Merinos. They have been buying from Lewisdale for at least 25 years.

The main player in the volume stakes at the milestone sale was Michael Rutledge, from the Riverina.

At $3000 he bought the first ram offered - the 2010-drop stud Merino ram - followed by another 52 rams.

The Rutledges run a flock operation, joining 4000 ewes, and had bought from Ray between 12 and 15 times, Michael said.

They were also in the running for the Bali trip and their number was drawn at the close of sale, much to their delight.

Return buyers were at the sale in droves, including LJ & CJ Tyson, of Kulin, who bought 19 rams to a $1700 top.

Boka Holdings, of Wickepin, returned to buy 26 rams to a $1000 top price (six at this price), while repeat buyers DP Dunbar & Co, of Southern Cross, bought 18 to a $1400 top.

Woodland Farms of Yealering bought 20 rams to a $1100 top, PS & RA Dean, of Mullewa, 15 to a $1000 top price (five at this price) while EJ, LK & TM Sewell, of Geraldton, bought 10 rams to $1400 top and E & A Bormolini & Sons, of Narembeen, returned to buy eight rams to a $1600 top (two at this price).

Marlu Farms, of Hyden, returned to buy 11 rams to a $1600 top price.

Lewisdale ram sale * BREED OFFERED SOLD TOP PRICE AVERAGE Merino 103 101 $6800 $1335 Poll Merino 202 201 $3000 $1061 TOTAL 305 302 $6800 $1152

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