*54 of 65 rams sold to $3800, av $1986
A SNAP lockdown for the Geelong and Surf Coast regions did not stop buyers participating in Burnbrae Merino stud's inaugural sale at Inverleigh last Wednesday.
A draft of 65 Merino rams was put together by Alan, Janene and Steven Wishart, and was secured by buyers from Hamilton to Pakenham.
The top-priced ram of the sale was Lot D - BP200124 - a specially-selected 2020-drop ram in the top 5 per cent for yearling staple length, and top 10pc for late dag and yearling fat depth.
Lot D was secured by Tim Paulet, Millring Pastoral, Toongabbie, who was a new client to the stud.
"We were after the moderate frame size, with good wool, and Lot D had that shape and had the figures to back it up with good eye muscle and fat," Mr Paulet said.
"The climate at Burnbrae is similar to what we have at our mixed farming operation north of Traralgon.
"Overall, I was impressed by the use of the ASBV (Australian Sheep Breeding Values) figures by the Wisharts and what they have focused on and chased."
New buyer to the sale was Waratah Pastoral, Cavendish, who secured equal second top-priced Lot 4 and 31 for $3600.
"The two rams we selected had good structure and stance," Waratah Pastoral manager Adam Berwick said.
"[The rams had] traits that we were looking for in lambs weaned, good eye muscle, breach wrinkle and wet count.
"They were complete packages, with their structure, figures and wool."
Also purchasing two of the equal second top-priced rams were Nutrien agent Tim Gubbins, and Mark Howie, Excel Farms, Ararat, who secured Lots 1 and 54.
"We selected Lot 1 for his great figures, and he had a good square structure, which we are trying to keep, and the wool has come along for the ride," Mr Gubbins said.
"At the moment we have really good wool on the sheep, but we are trying to increase our fat and muscle into them."
Excel Farms purchased seven rams for an average of $2085.
S & T Reich, Ararat, also secured the fifth top-priced ram, Lot 22, for $3600.
Burnbrae stud co-principal Steve Wishart was very happy with the results of the family's inaugural sale.
"It is a great starting benchmark for us, the result of the sale has certainly strengthened that drive to have that real dual-purpose maternal Merino," Mr Wishart said.
"I think the focus on breeding values, fat and muscle-based traits is what has brought a large portion of the new buyers to us.
"We have still focus on the good wool type and structure, which was another drawcard."
A volume buyer from Branxholme picked up a draft of 18 rams on AuctionsPlus to average $1689.
Charles Stewart & Co Colac were agents, with Jamie McConachy as auctioneer.