Summary: 95 rams sold, 100pc clearance, top price $2800, av $1192
In what was a great boost for their faith in the Merino industry and perseverance through very tough conditions for woolgrowers, Terrick Merinos recorded an increased top price at its annual ram sale at Blackall on Tuesday.
Twelve commercial breeders from Hughenden, Longreach, Stonehenge, Barcaldine, Blackall, Quilpie and Narrabri, NSW paid an average price of $1192 for the 95 rams on offer.
The top price of $2800 was paid by the Bredhauer family at Lambert, Blackall, for lot three, a poll ram who was the heaviest sire on offer.
This compares to the 2018 top price of $2300 and average of $1391.
Stud principals Rick and Jenny Keogh said it had been a pretty good day in what was a tough selling environment, given the current wool price hiccup and continuing dry times.
"Our average was back a little but there are things at play globally and confidence is back a bit," Mr Keogh said.
"We were pretty happy to see the Bredhauers buy the top ram, partly because of the connection between our two flocks and because of our partnership on the sale day."
In recent years the Lambert Merino Stud was sold to Terrick Merinos.
Read more: Terrick Stud stands test of time
According to Scott Bredhauer, the ram stood out as the biggest of the draft, an important factor in the chase for dual purpose characteristics.
"He stands well, he's got beautiful figures, soft wool, and he'll grow even bigger," Mr Bredhauer said. "We wanted a poll - we were in polls before we sold the stud - and he will cross back over our ewes well."
Mr Keogh agreed, describing the ram sired by Charinga 303 from St Arnaud, Victoria, as a very safe sheep and very structurally sound.
"We used their genetics in our 2004 AI program and had a lot of success then too," he commented.
Second top price, $2300, was paid by Peter and Elizabeth Clark, Leander, Longreach for lot twelve, who had the most impressive fleece weight breeding values in the catalogue.
Peter and Donna Batt, Eldwick, Stonehenge were the volume buyers on the day, paying $21,100 for 19 rams, up to $1400.
Almost matching them were Brendan and Jane McNamara, Abbotsford, Hughenden, who purchased 18 rams for a total of $18,100.
Mr McNamara, who paid a top of $1500, lost a lot of sheep in the monsoon storm in February and said he needed to source replacement rams.
He was once again in the market for poll rams.
Mims Grazing Co, Tucson, Longreach, won the bidding battle for 14 rams, while David Cameron, Bungara Enterprises, Narribri, finished with 10 rams.
The Mims family paid an average of $1107 while Mr Cameron paid $1460 for his sires.
A notable new buyer was Bruce Henderson from Eurolie at Barcaldine, stepping into the sheep and wool market for the first time, paying $6900 for four poll rams.
He paid a top price of $1900.
Mr Keogh thanked old and new clients alike for their support in tough times.
He was especially pleased to welcome Australian Estates-era Terrick Terrick manager Peter Harvey, 89, to the sale.
Mr Harvey was managing the prestigious Merino stud south of Blackall when Mr Keogh arrived as a jackaroo 42 years ago, after travelling across the Nullabor and turning left for western Queensland.
"He was a nurterer of men and a great sheep man," he said. "He commented today that our wool and sheep were very even, which shows a good combination of subjective and objective measurement."