The deal – news of which quickly spread through the Merino shed at Bendigo – saw Mr Polkinghorne secure a half-share in Buddy 23 from the Lustre family for $20,000.
The sale values the ram at $40,000, making it not only the Polkinghornes’ biggest buy but the most expensive ram in theory sold in Victoria so far this year.
The big upstanding 19.3 micron ram measured a co-efficient of variation of 15.7, standard deviation of 3.0 and a 99.7 per cent comfort factor.
Mr Polkinghorne first spotted the ram among a pen of sheep on East Bungaree’s Hallett base in South Australia during the Mid North Merino field days in March.
While he failed to convince East Bungaree owners Mark and Tony Brooks to part with him on the day, he kept at it.
“I was instantly attracted to him,” Mr Polkinghorne recalled.
“He was very plain and for a bare shorn sheep he was quite special in the skin.”
The ram’s pedigree sealed his convictions.
Buddy traces back through six generations of the Lustre line to the $450,000 world record priced ram JC&S Lustre 53 sold at the 1988 Adelaide Merino ram sale in the industry’s heydays.
Buddy himself was sired by EB Plugger – the champion strong wool ram at the 2007 Royal Adelaide Show.
Mr Polkinghorne plans to use him in the family’s Charinga and Banavie studs, based at St Arnaud and Marnoo, where his task will be infusing his lovely natural stance and faultless structure into the studs’ ewes.
The Brooks brothers, who took over the running of East Bungaree two and a half years ago, said they had never had any intention of selling Buddy who they rated as one of the best sheep they’ve ever bred.
However they were excited about the potential impact he would have on the three South Australian and Victorian studs through extensive AI and ET programs.
“He is an exciting package with great structure and with top wool,” Tony Brooks said.
Merino breeders will be able to inspect Buddy at the upcoming Hamilton Sheepvention with semen available from both studs.