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Sale success tops off centenary party

Brian OliverCountryman

Wallinar Merino stud celebrated its centenary last Friday with a bumper ram sale to the delight of owner Jerome Hardie.

The sale saw a 100 per cent clearance of the 166 rams offered, which Mr Hardie said was the first time he had experienced a complete clearance.

There were 36 registered buyers for the sale and the highest price paid was $2700 by Paul Ietto, of Grass Patch.

Mr Ietto said the ram's size and long, free-growing wool type were reasons why he was prepared to pay top price.

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"It will grow out really well in our country," he said.

Mr Ietto bought six rams and said it was the highest average he had paid at a sale.

Wallinar's sale average of $1388 was up nearly 80 per cent on 2010 when the average was $777. Last year 170 rams were offered but only 142 found buyers.

Elders agent Clarke Skinner said the sale results for Wallinar were very pleasing.

"It was as good as I could have hoped for," he said.

After the sale, past and present clients joined the Hardie family to celebrate the stud's centenary.

Jerome Hardie is the fourth generation to run Wallinar after it was established by his great grandfather in 1911.

In 2002, Mr Hardie took over Wallinar from his father, Mervyn, who retired after running the stud for 33 years. Mr Hardie, who lives at Wallinar with wife Emily and their three daughters, returned to the family business after working as a Jackaroo in New South Wales and attending agricultural college.

He said that over the years the stud had needed to adapt to many changes, including seasonal and generational adjustments.

The highest price paid for a Wallinar ram over the years was in 1981 at a Katanning sale when a ram fetched $32,000.

In 1986, Wallinar scored most points in the sheep and wool section at the Perth Royal Show, including the supreme champion ewe.

Mr Hardie said many younger farmers attended last Friday's sale which was a positive sign for the stud's future.

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