*51 of 60 rams of sold to $32,000, av $3307
FOR only the second time in 30 years, a western district Merino stud has paid $32,000 for a ram.
Kerrsville Merino stud, Coleraine, paid the top price for the Roseville Park-sired ram at the Kedleston Park Merino and Poll Merino stud, Calivil, on-property sale.
Kerrsville stud principal Robert Plush said it was his first Kedleston Park purchase and would be the only ram he would buy this season.
"That'll do us," Mr Plush said.
It was the second time the stud had paid that amount of money for a ram; the first was 30 years ago.
"He's a very square ram with a great depth of girth, a type which I have been looking for for quite a while," Mr Plush said.
"He looks like a really good doing type, with beautiful wool."
He said the ram would help the stud "structurally wise, big time".
"He has a fairly bare breech, which is something we are looking for to go non-mulesing," he said.
He said the sale could prove a guide to the upcoming ram selling season.
"People are interested in good wools and good structure," he said.
The top-priced ram weighed 112 kilograms and had an 18.2-micron fleece.
He had a standard deviation of 2.9, a co-efficient of variation of 15.9 and comfort factor of 99.8 per cent.
His eye muscle depth measured 37 millimetres and fat was 7.5mm.
The ram has a yearling weight of 4.92kg, a yearling eye muscle depth of -0.36 and a yearling fat measurement of -0.34.
His Dual Purpose Index was 161.11 and he was in the top 5 per cent for yearling clean fleece weight at 31.06kg.
Kedleston Park stud co-principal John Humbert said there had been great interest shown in the ram at the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show and the recent Victorian State Merino Field Day.
"That's been reflected in the price," Mr Humbert said.
He praised the ram's structure and appearance and the animal's "beautiful, waxy, white wool".
Elders Bendigo livestock manager Nigel Starick said many repeat buyers took home rams.
"They were predominantly from within a 150-kilometre radius from here," Mr Starick said.
"I would think the strength was probably from Wedderburn, the Wimmera and local to Bendigo and Maryborough."
He said buyers were looking for consistency and increasingly chasing dual-purpose Merinos, something Mr Humbert had a reputation for.
"The nourishment in the wool and the Australian Sheep Breeding Values were very good, getting that eye muscle and other factors," he said.
"They are a proper wool-cutting sheep."