Poll Dorsets recover after tough season

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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After purchasing most of the 1958-established Jolma Poll Dorset stud flock two years ago, Tim Stevenson, of Kojonup, continued the 17th annual sale tradition in Cunderdin last week.

Repeat buyers, along with a few new registered bidders, paid tribute to the Jasper family's property, where the past Poll Dorset show champions adorn the shed walls.

Before the sale, John Jasper, who established the stud, said he was exhibiting a few Jolma Poll Dorsets at the Perth Royal Show with the help of his grandson, Reece.

"We still own the Jolma registration and run a small stud flock to maintain our commercial sheep," Mr Jasper said.

Over the years, his son, Perry, set an even higher standard for the stud to become more commercially focused by using the LambPlan and CarcasePlus programs.

When the Jasper family decided to sell most of their stud flock because of other interests, their work in progress of breeding high efficiency sheep drew the interests of Mr Stevenson.

After the partial sale of the flock was finalised, Mr Stevenson, who already had an established Kaula Dale Poll Dorset flock at his Kojonup property, was keen to continue to satisfy the needs of Jolma's past clients.

Last year, hit by a very dry season, Mr Stevenson's offering of 136 Jolma-registered flock Poll Dorset rams resulted in 113 being sold for an average price of $592, far less than the norm had been before.

The sale topper at last year's sale was a stud ram which sold for $1400, also a far cry from the values seen previously.

The Jasper family's last sale in 2009 realised top stud prices of $3200 and a flock average of $974.

Despite being down on the peak prices, the latest sale was a return to higher values as the average for flock rams climbed to $733, $141 better than last year. Mr Stevenson said it was a good result.

The top-priced ram, out of a stud pen, sold for $1500 through Adam Becker, of Landmark, on behalf of Brad Jones, who trades as K & H Jones, of Mukinbudin.

"The Jones family are repeat buyers of Jolma Poll Dorsets and were after a few top rams to put over their Hurstdene blood Merino ewes," Mr Becker said.

Mr Becker also secured another $1000 ram for the Jones' commercial lamb enterprise.

The $1250 second-top priced ram caught the eye of regular top-line commercial buyers and a new stud interest, Kim McDonald, of Coorow, who was the successful bidder.

Mr McDonald said he would put the ram to work in his Maddsha Poll Dorset stud. "The big upstanding ram has smooth shoulders and a pure white face," he said.

The under-bidders, Tom and Donna Lynch, of Hyden, then proceeded to fill their buying order of 12 rams to a top of $1050 and average price of $958.

Landmark auctioneer John Wirth said he was pleased with the clearance of the Poll Dorset flock rams.

"All but one sold on the rail," Mr Wirth said.

The other breeds, including Kaula Dale Prime Samm and White Dorper rams, failed to draw much interest.

Jolma/Kaula Dale ram sale * BREED OFFERED SOLD TOP PRICE AVERAGE Stud Poll Dorset 4 1 $1500 $1500 Flock Poll Dorset 116 115 $1250 $733 White Suffolk 28 6 $500 $500 Samm 12 3 $500 $500 White Dorper 12 - - -

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