*102 of 108 sold to $11,500, av $3862
POLL Merino rams averaged a whopping $5100 at Glenpaen Merino and Poll Merino stud's 25th on-property sale on Friday, as confidence in the wool market translated to a jump of $800 on last year's sale average.
It was a bumper sale on behalf of Rod, Sue and Harry Miller, who were "blown away" with 102 of 108 rams offered selling to a top price of $11,500.
Competition on the poll rams was the strongest, including the top price paid by Somhill Mellis Pty Ltd, Warracknabeal, for Lot 9.
In total the 45-head Poll Merino draft averaged $5100, while the 57 horned rams averaged $2885.
The top ram was Lot 9, a poll ram by Glenpaen Romeo - the grand champion fine-medium ram at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in 2019 (and grand-sire Willandra GP son) - whohad figures of 16.1 micron, standard deviation (SD) of 3.4, co-efficient of variation (CV) of 21.1 and comfort factor (CF) of 99.3 per cent.
He was one of four rams purchased by Somhill Mellis, av $6625.
Fleece data and ongoing performance lured clients to the auction, with three new buyers and 32 return clients bidding at the sale.
"We are known for that good body and frame, without jeopardising wool cut," Mr Miller said.
"Clients say their sheep are getting finer while cutting more wool and increasing lambing percentages - micron is king at the moment.
"The poll genetics are getting better and better all the time.
"We just don't need horns for animal handling and husbandry."
The second-highest price of $10,500 was set twice, paid for lots 5 and 12, with the latter of the two rams purchased by account GK & LE Sambell, av $8500.
Lot 12 was a son of Glenpaen 55 (grand-dam Charinga) and had a micron of 18.2, an SD of 2.9, a CV of 15.9 and CF of 99.8pc.
He's equal-valued paddock mate, Lot 5, was byWillandra White 13 and had a micron of 16.2, an SD of 2.5, a CV of 15.4 and CF of 99.8pc.
The ram was one of two purchased by Rod Marshall, Pomonal, and included Lot 16,a son of Snowvale, for $9000, who recorded a micron of 18.6, an SD of 2.5, a CV of 13.4 and a CF of 99.7pc.
Volume buyers at the sale were new clients Banongill South, Skipton, who paid to a top of $6500, for a draft of 13 rams, av $4000.
The top of their draft was Lot 42, by supreme Merino exhibit at ASWS 2019, Glenpaen Patriot (grand-sire Glenpaen Magic), who recorded a 17.7 micron, with an SD of 2.8, CV of 15.6 and a CF of 99.5pc.
Other volume buyers included Gorlona Pty Ltd, Glenisla, who purchased seven rams to a top of $5000, av $3000, and MJ & LA Sudholz, Natimuk, who also bought seven to $5500, av $2642.
Mr Miller said the stud would aim to offer more rams in the coming years, "to pull that average back".
"We have a fair bit of work ahead of us putting more rams up but that won't happen overnight as we don't want to lower our standards," he said.
Glenpaen recently purchased an "all rounder" Terrick West Poll Merino ram for $30,000 - a super sire with "muscle, fat and doing ability".
"I'm concerned the way everyone is chasing fat and muscle and forgetting about the structural correctness of the sheep," he said.
"But this fat and muscle train everyone is on will make us breed better-doing sheep."