Stud's Polls centre of attention

Kate MatthewsCountryman

Poll Merinos were in strong demand at the Anglesey on-farm sale last week in Gnowangerup where bidding reached a top of $2400.

Ahead of the sale, stud principal Geoff Shepherdson told buyers it was a great time for the sheep industry.

"We've waited for it and should enjoy it," he said.

This year, Anglesey competed strongly in the show arena, winning reserve grand champion March-shorn Poll Merino ram and the production award and pen of fours at the Rabobank Katanning Sheep Show, all proud achievements.

"One of the most satisfying parts of stud breeding is the relationship with clients and seeing them get good results," Mr Shepherdson said.

Under the hammer first were Merinos with lot six, tag 738, purchased by Geoff Jones, of Kojonup, for $2200.

Their figures included 19.3 microns, 2.6 SD, 13.5 CV, 99.8 CF, 7.3 GFW, 94 BWT and 40 EMD.

The average for Merinos was 21 microns, 3.2 SD, 15.1 CV, 99.1 CF, 7.9 GFW, 96 BWT and 39 EMD.

Mr Jones purchased 10 rams, a mix of Poll Merinos and Merinos, for an average of $1565.

The long-term buyer first bought from Anglesey in 1983 with four private selection rams costing $250 each.

Since then, Mr Jones has purchased 197 rams from Anglesey over 29 years.

Maurice O'Neill, from Ongerup, took home the top-priced Poll Merino in a team of 11 rams. The $2400 ram's figures included 19.7 microns, 3.1 SD, 15.6 CV, 99.2 CF, 8.4 GFW, 94 BWT, 41 EMD, compared with an average of 20.7 microns, 3 SD, 14.7 CV, 99.2 CF, 8 GFW, 96 BWT and 40 EMD.

Mr O'Neill said the style and softness of the wool were appealing.

He said the ram would be a good cutter and was consistent with the rest of his sire battery.

Mr O'Neill has been using Anglesey genetics for two decades. In the past six years, he has fined up his micron by two through sire selection and by culling ewes.

Father and son team Garry and Jaxon Peakall, from Borden, also supported the sale, taking home 11 rams from across the catalogue. They were chasing heavier cutters with bold crimp and plain bodies.

During the sale, it was announced that ram 064, from Anglesey's winning group of fours at Katanning, had been bought by Ross and Chad Mills, from Quairading Poll Merino stud Morockdong.

Their classer, Westcoast Wools' Philip Russell, helped to broker the $3000 sale.

After the auction, Mr Shepherdson said he was pleased with result and had overestimated the demand for horns.

Landmark auctioneer Mark Warren said the line-up of rams was very even, and they showed good size, length of body and wool cut.

Anglesey Ram Sale * BREED OFFERED SOLD TOP PRICE AVERAGE Merino 42 33 $2200 $1062 Poll Merino 54 51 $2400 $1262 TOTAL 96 84 $2400 $1183

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