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Shirlee Downs sizzles to $5100

Rebecca TurnerCountryman
Elders auctioneer Preston Clarke, Shirlee Downs stud principal Sascha Squires, buyers Gail and Ted Hosking, Landmark Stud Stock agent Roy Addis and Shirlee Downs stud principal Adrian Squires with the top-priced Poll Dorset Stud Ram which sold for $3100.
Camera IconElders auctioneer Preston Clarke, Shirlee Downs stud principal Sascha Squires, buyers Gail and Ted Hosking, Landmark Stud Stock agent Roy Addis and Shirlee Downs stud principal Adrian Squires with the top-priced Poll Dorset Stud Ram which sold for $3100. Credit: Rebecca Turner

Despite an icy wind keeping everyone present at the Shirlee Downs ram sale this year a tad on the cold side, prices were hot with the superb line-up of both SAMM and Poll Dorset Rams well-received from buyers across the State.

The top-priced ram of the day was a SAMM ram offered by Shirlee Downs stud which sold for $5100 to Elders Stud Stock who was buying on behalf of an undisclosed stud.

The ram was well-sought-after by bidders, boasting a carcase plus index of 120.8, eye-muscle depth of 0.4mm, weaning weight of 3.6kg and a post-weaning weight of 4.4kg.

Not only did the rams figures impress but his bloodlines were also well-sought-after, being sired by Shirlee Downs 636, the Supreme Champion SAMM at the 2012 Wagin Wooloramma.

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The top-priced ram Shirlee Downs 817 was himself judged champion ram at this year’s Wagin Woolorama and is being shown by Shirlee Downs at the Perth Royal Show later this month before being delivered to his new owner.

Elders Stud Stock buyer Michael O’Neil said he could not disclose the buyer but that the ram was bought for his genetics, carcase traits and scale.

“The ram’s sire was what was of most interest to the buyer; he will be used to bring new genetics to the buyer’s stud,” Mr O’Neil said.

The second top-priced ram of the sale was a 2015 drop Shirlee Downs Stud Poll Dorset ram, selling for $3100 to Woodgrove Poll Dorset Stud owned by Ted and Gail Hosking of Northampton.

The ram boasted a carcase plus index of 187.9, Lamb 2020 score of 111.8, PEMD of 1.3mm, WWT of 9kg and a PWWT of 14.2kg.

The Hoskings are regular buyers at Shirlee Downs Ram sale and said it was the ram’s good figures and structure which impressed them.

The Hoskings run about 260 Stud Poll Dorset ewes, some of which would be put to their new top-priced Stud Ram Shirlee Downs 141.

Mr Hosking said their stud sale earlier this month had good results and they were happy with the quality of rams they were able to purchase at this year’s Shirlee Downs Ram sale. The Hoskings bought a total of three Stud Poll Dorset Rams for an average of $2100.

During the specially selected Poll Dorset flock rams section of the sale, a total of nine rams sold for the top price of $1900.

Shirlee Downs increased their offering of Poll Dorset flock rams this year to a total of 217, with 185 of these rams selling under the hammer for an average of $994.

Of the 59 registered buyers attending the sale, GC and CM Smart of Cunderdin were the volume buyers during the day, securing a total of 22 Poll Dorset flock rams for an average of $754.54.

John Smart was buying on behalf of the family farm and said they had not bought Shirlee Downs rams before but had been watching their success for a long period of time and knew they had a very good reputation as breeders of quality rams. The rams purchased during the sale would be used over the Smart family’s commercial flock of 1200 Merino ewes to produce prime lamb.

Other Poll Dorset volume ram buyers included the Bond Brothers of Quairading, DJ and BM Gors and Co of Beverley and BW James and Sons of Karlgarin.

There were also several volume SAMM ram buyers, including G and PM Della Bosca of Southern Cross.

The Della Boscas were also first-time buyers at the Shirlee Downs sale and bought a total of 14 SAMM rams for an average of $1014.28.

Mr Della Bosca said he has been using SAMM rams as part of their commercial prime lamb operation for 10 years and was looking for rams that were a good size and length as well as quick maturing.

The Della Boscas run about 2000 head in total as part of their prime lamb business, with SAMM rams used over about 1000 ewes.

JM and SJ Venemore of Shackleton were also volume SAMM ram buyers as were Bond Brothers of Quairading.

Shirlee Downs stud principal Chris Squires said he was happy with the sales results with the increased number of SAMM rams selling consistently throughout the sale. He said he was very happy and somewhat surprised by the top price achieved for the SAMM ram Shirlee Downs 817 and would be interested to see how he goes at this year’s Perth Royal Show.

Mr Squires said the early sales of Poll Dorset rams were buoyant with sales tailing off towards the end which he had expected due to an extra 60 rams being offered this year.

“We sold most of our Poll Dorset rams last year and had more enquiries for rams so decided to increase our offering this year,” he said.

Mr Squires said there was an increase in new buyers at this year’s sale as well as good support from regular repeat buyers which were both good signs for the future of prime lamb production.

Elders auctioneer Preston Clarke said the sale offered a good selection of well-bred and presented SAMM and Poll Dorset rams which were met with very strong demand.

“There were more rams on offer this year and buyers were very savvy about using breed values to select rams accordingly,” he said.

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