*23 of 48 rams sold to $1700 (twice), av $1283
THE progeny and performance of Hynam Poll Merino rams lured return buyers back to the second on-property sale at Longwood on Friday, where prices reached $1700 twice.
It was the Hynam family's second on-property sale at the north-east property, which was actively supported by local clients, as well as clients from the Mallee where the stud was previously located.
Overall, 23 of the 48 ram catalogue sold for an average of $1283.
Major supporters of the genetics were the Bassett family of Seymour, who returned to buy two rams, Lot 5 and Lot 2, at $1700 and $1600 respectively.
The rams, both sons of Hynam 170891, will join the 11 Hynam Merino rams purchased by the Bassetts at sales last year.
Hynam Merino wool classer John Bassett, together with his wife Lisa, said this year's rams were selected for their wool capabilities, in particular good nourishment, style and bold crimp.
The Bassett family join 1000 Merino ewes annually as part of a self-replacing Merino operation, which recorded more than 100 per cent marking rate this year.
It was this year's "brilliant lambing" that was behind Mrs Bassett's strong bidding on the day.
Elders St Arnaud wool broker Glendon Hancock said wool growers were attracted to the stud's dual-purpose sheep with soft elite wool and meaty frames.
Chasing fat and muscle traits, Mr Hancock purchased four sires at the sale on behalf of two Mallee clients, including Lot 6, the equal top-priced ram.
At 17-months-of-age, the Orrie Cowie 310 son had a yearling eye muscle depth (YEMD) of 0.4 millimetres, yearling fat depth of 0.0mm, with a 18.8-micron fleece.
He also secured Lot 7 for $1500, sired by Orrie Cowie Casper, with YEMD of 0.7mm, YFAT of 0.5mm, and 18.8-micron fleece.
Hynam Merino principal Kevin Hynam said he was happy to see so many return buyers and new, local clients.
Mr Hynam said the use of Australian Sheep Breeding Values had advanced the performance of dual-purpose traits within the stud, as he continued to select for leading fat, muscle and growth qualities in sires.
While wool qualities dominated the ram selection criteria for buyers on the day, he said there was a growing increase from buyers wanting Merino sires to have leading muscling and fat qualities.