WA ram sets national record

Rebecca TurnerThe West Australian

A Hillcroft Farms Poll Dorset ram sold for $31,000 at the IGA Perth Royal Show's annual All Breeds Stud Ram and Ewe Sale, in what was a national record sale price for the breed.

The 2013-drop ram, which was bought by syndicate Meat Elite Australia, recorded impressive figures, with an Intra Muscular Fat of 0.02 and Shear Force of -0.53.

The ram also boasted a BWWT of 0.6, WWT of 10.96, PWWT of 18.84, PFAT of 0.74 and PEMD of 3.13, as well as a Carcase+ Index of 224.1.

MEA spokesman Steve Funke said the ram would be distributed among the group's 18 members, both through live cover and artificial insemination and embryo transfer programs.

"We are a progressive group that focuses on figures and Estimated Breeding Values," he said. "We liked this ram's sirey outlook and structural soundness, backed up by excellent breeding values."

Hillcroft Farms stud proprietor Dawson Bradford Senior said the rams figures were a culmination of years of work to improve both IMF and ShearFS.

"He is a trait leader in IMF and ShearFS and is in the top 2 per cent for both growth and muscle," he said. "There are very few rams with these eating qualities."

This was the last Royal Show sale for the Bradfords under the Hillcroft Farms banner. Earlier in the year, their Poll Dorset stud was sold to Gnowangerup-based Curlew Creek Poll Dorset stud and Eastern States breeder Tom Bull. The Bradfords plan to continue breeding UltraWhite sheep - a mix of White Dorper and Poll Dorset genetics, aimed at producing an easy-maintenance prime lamb.

Underbidder on this year's top-price ram was Craig Heggaton, of Sherwood stud in Kojonup.

Mr Heggaton said the ram had exceptional make and shape, with a rare combination of high-ranking Australian Sheep Breeding Values and Research Breeding Values.

The second top-price ram at the sale was a 2013-drop Bundara Downs White Suffolk, which sold for $8500 to Ross and Nathan Ditchburn, of Golden Hill stud in Kukerin. It was a WA State record price for a White Suffolk ram.

Nathan Ditchburn said it was the first time they had bought a Bundara Downs ram and it represented outcross genetics for his family's stud. "The ram had plenty of depth and was very square at the rear end, with excellent structure overall," he said.

Steve and Ros Funke, of Bundara Downs in South Australia, said they were pleased with how their White Suffolks had showed and sold at the show.

It was the first time the stud had made the trip from South Australia to exhibit and sell rams, with the $8500 ram judged supreme exhibit in its class earlier in the week.

The ram was sired by Detpa Grove 3582 and boasted impressive figures, with a BWT of 0.4, WWT of 9.1, PWWT of 13.6 and PEMD of 1.8.

The ram also had a Carcase+ Index of 190.5, PFAT of -0.2, Trade $ of 111.7 and Lamb 2020 Index of 112.1.

The third top-price ram was a 2013-drop Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset, which sold for $7250 to AJ and CM Lawrence.

The ram boasted a BWWT of 0.2, WWWT of 7.0, PWWT of 11.2, PFAT of -0.8, Carcase+ Index of 185.3 and Lambplan 2020 Index of 111.5.

Buyer Nathan Lawrence said he and Primaries agent Sean Gillespie, of Yow Yow stud in Wagin, had pooled their money to buy the ram, which would be shared between Mr Gillespie's stud and the Lawrence's stud, Canternatting, in Northam.

"We both saw the ram the day before the sale and decided to buy him together," Mr Lawrence said. "I like the way he stood and he has a really good back end."

Mr Lawrence said his family hadbeen buying rams from Shirlee Downs for 40 years.

This year was also the first year that Ile De France rams were offered at the sale.

CL and RP Batt's Alcostro stud in Wagin and Ray Batt's Goldenover stud in Narrogin offered two rams each, with all four selling under the hammer.

CF and IA Piesse bought both the 2012 and 2013 Alcostro rams for an average of $1550, while Liberty Charolais bought one 2013 Goldenover ram for $1400 and DA and AE Thompson, of Boyup Brook, bought the remaining 2013 ram for $1200.

Three White Suffolk ewes were also offered at the sale, with Lockridge Senior High School's Kiara stud selling its 2013-drop reserve champion ewe for $1800 to Lane Farming, of Wongan Hills.

Bundara Downs offered two 2013-drop White Suffolk ewes, with their champion ewe selling to BJ and LJ and JK Fairclough's Stockdale stud in York for $2300 and the second ewe selling for $1600 to Burra Park.

All Breeds Stud Sale * Breed Stud Offered Sold Top Price Average White Suffolk Sasimwa 2 1 $1500 $1500 Ridgetop 4 - - - Matilda Downs 4 - - - Kiara 4 4 $2000 $1825 Brimfield 4 4 $3600 $2450 Iveston 3 2 $5500 $5100 Ashbourne 2 2 $3500 $2750 Codji 1 - - - Bundara Downs 5 5 $8500 $3880 Kohat 1 1 $2000 $2000 South Suffolk Iveston 2 2 $2700 $2600 Suffolk Pamellen 2 1 $2000 $2000 Sasimwa 1 - - - Ile De France Alcostro 2 2 $1600 $1550 Goldenover 2 2 $1400 $1300 Poll Dorset Shirlee Downs 6 5 $7250 $3690 Dongadilling 6 6 $5750 $4025 Hillcroft Farms 9 6 $31,000 $8383 Jolma 2 1 $3000 $3000 Brimfield 4 2 $4200 $3100 Willow Park 5 3 $3200 $2400 Ridge Top 1 - - - Sandown 2 1 $2000 $2000 WACA, Cunderdin 1 - - -

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails