*28 of 48 rams sold to $2150, av $1004
Spirited bidding and an even line of rams helped Wattlebank Merino stud achieve their best result in three years, stud co-principal Stephen Glen says.
The Guildford stud offered 15 poll rams and 33 horned rams on Saturday, recording a clearance of 28 rams to $2150.
The stud's average was also slightly higher on year-ago levels at $1004.
Mr Glen, who runs the stud with his brother and sister-in-law, Ian and Connie Glen, and their children, said better bidding competition across the draft helped improve the clearance rate.
"It's been flat in the last two years but this sale we had both new and return buyers and they seemed to be chasing the same rams," Mr Glen said.
The larger gallery of buyers along with improved seasonal conditions underpinned the success of the sale, he said.
The dearest ram, Lot 11, was purchased by return to return top-priced buyers Bruce Zeuschner and son Matt Zeuschner, Lillicur Pastrol, Avoca.
"We've been buying rams from Wattlebank for well over 20 years," Bruce said.
"The quality and the micron stands out for us and we like fine, white and bright wool."
The rams will be joined to a commercial flock of about 2500 Merino ewes in November and December.
"We're a certified non-mulesed operation so these rams suit us because we don't see much flystrike with them," Bruce said.
The duo also bought another two rams at the sale for $1150 and $1000.
The top-priced ram's wool measured 3.88 standard deviation, 22.7 for coefficient of variation, 16.89 for spinning fineness and 17.90 micron.
Mr Glen said the gallery of buyers were mainly from the local area, as well as St Arnuad, Ballarat and the Western District.
Volume buyers included E & S Jones, who bought six rams through FP Nevins, along with J & S Taylor through Alex Scott & Staff and Daryl Troutbeck who bought three rams, respectively.
Mr Glen said promising seasonal conditions had improved the outlook in his region.
"We were wet earlier in the year but we missed most of the heavier rain in the late winter and early spring but last week were got an inch and that's set us up," Mr Glen said.
Representing Nutrien agent Barclay Dowling, Ballarat, said the rams sold at competitive prices.
"Buyers were selective in their pickings and were looking for finer-wool sheep with a larger frame," he said.
"An additional buyer along with return buyers ensured an improvement on last year's result."
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