*255 of 310 sold to $35,000, av $3584
HAMILTON is proving a happy hunting ground for South Australian stud Moorundie after topping this year's sale with a ram selling for $35,000.
The Keith, SA-based stud is operated by Geoff and Bernadette Davidson, and has been selling at Sheepvention for just four years, topping the sale on each occasion.
The buyers of this year's top-priced ram were Jesse and Kirk Hull, Minta stud, Mount Cooper on the Eyre Peninsula in SA.
Elder stud stock auctioneer Ross Milne said the ram beat the previous record of $31,000.
Mr Milne said the Moorundie stud had "a bit of a run on" and were obviously bringing the right sheep to the sale.
He said the clearance rate of 82 per cent, or 255 from 310 rams, was up to expectations, given there were a number of areas outside the local area that were suffering from dry conditions, particularly in NSW.
"But those who bought showed a lot of confidence at a solid average," he said.
"It's a good start to the ram selling season."
The 89 horned Merino rams averaged $3575, while 156 Poll Merinos averaged $3666.
There were also 10 Corriedale rams offered by Peter Blackwood, Blackwood Corriedale stud, Evandale, Tasmania, with nine selling to a top of $3250, av $2375.
Mr Davidson said the top-priced ram was by Moorundie 388 that they sold in 2017.
"We always keep semen from the top rams we sell and 388 had bred very well at our place," he said.
He said the ram had been on display at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo and was seen by a few people.
The ram was Lot 161 and measured 20.3 micron at 16 months, with a standard deviation of 3.7, co-efficient of variation of 18.2 and comfort factor of 99.1 per cent.
Jesse Hull said when they saw the ram in Bendigo it was "a standout for what we were looking for".
Mr Hull said they had purchased a semen share of the ram's father previously that had bred exceptionally well.
Moorundie shared the second top price of $16,000 with the Pendarra stud of Kelvin and Jackie Pendergast, Benambra.
Pendarra's polled ram went to Elders Hamilton account Nareen Station.
The ram measured 19.6 micron, 3.3 SD, 16.1 CV and 99.8pc CF.
Mr Pendergast said the buyer of his top-priced ram was one of six new ram buyers at this year's sale while four were return buyers.
The Moorundie ram that sold for $16,000 sold to Ballantyne Ag.