*89 of 100 rams sold to $5000, av $2384
IN A packed gallery full of potential buyers, it was a first-time client that took home the top-priced ram at Stud Park South Merino stud's on-property ram sale at Willaura on Tuesday.
The stud sold 89 of 100 rams, to a top price of $5000, and an average of $2384.
And it was Sheepscope sheep classer Rob Russell who bought the top-priced ram on behalf of his client Nareen Station, Coleraine.
Mr Russell is also a classer at Stud Park South, and said the connection was logical.
"I know what [Nareen Station] is after, and I know what [Stud Park South] could offer, so it made sense," he said.
And what Nareen Station was looking for was early maturity, high fertility and heavy cutting fleece.
"They sell all as wether lambs, so early maturity is very critical," he said.
"They're one of few properties that don't put their secondary ewes to a terminal sire, they choose to sell the young ewes, to keep things simple."
He said it was the depth of body, long staple and wool coverage that drew his attention to the top-priced ram.
The ram, Lot 10, was sired by Coddington Poll 5034, and recorded fleece measurements of 19.7 micron, 3.2 standard deviation, 16.4 co-efficient of variation and 99.5 per cent comfort factor.
The ram would be joined to a selection of Nareen Station's stud ewes to breed their own rams, in mid-January.
Stud Park South stud principal Pat Millear agreed that Lot 10 was a stand-out.
"He's a really well made, great, polled ram, who's punching out a long staple," Mr Millear said.
The ram weighed 103 kilograms and Mr Millear said these big body weights were present throughout the entire catalogue.
"The body weights averaged about 100kg and that's the highest we've ever seen," he said.
"It was the best draft I've put up to date."
He credited that to focusing on three main profit drivers - carcase, wool cut and fertility.
Those three profit drivers attract Rob Lawrance, Banool, Condah and Cavendish, back year after year.
This year, Mr Lawrance purchased 15 rams, making him the biggest volume buyer of the day.