AN increased offering at Rices Creek Poll Merino stud's South East ram sale at Tintinara provided plenty of top picks but also brought the average back off the red-hot highs of 2018.
At Thursday's sale, bids again flew on the top end of the catalogue offered by the Vandeleur family with an $8000 top price.
But there was some great value for money among the April/May 2018-drops with 18 rams knocked down between $1000 to $1200.
In the breakdown, 81 of 96 well-grown, well-nourished rams averaged a sensational $2770- back on the 2018 sale when there was a total clearance of 80 rams for a $3051 average.
Duane Simon, McPiggery, Lameroo, outlaid $7000 for Lot 3, a 21.2 micron ram with exceptional tests including a 100 per cent comfort factor .
But the very next lot, Peter Glynn, Glynnard Pty Ltd, Rhynie, topped that at $8000, making it the third year in four years he has bought the sale topper.
Each year he buys a top ram for his self-replacing Merino flock of 1200 ewes, breeding a few of his own rams.
The heavy cutting ram, sired by Roemahkita 126, had a great combination of wool and meat traits.
The 22.4M ram which weighed 111.5 kilograms had an eye muscle depth of 40.5mm and fat depth of 6.5mm.
"The ram is big and bulky (wool) with a sirey outlook that looks like he will breed some great sheep," Mr Glynn said.
The sale's 32 registered bidders came from a wide geographical area from central Vic to the Eyre Peninsula.
Long-time client Michael Doering, Walmona Pastoral, Truro, led the volume buyer list with 12 rams for a $2028 average.
Lake Hawdon Props, Robe, secured 11 top end rams to $5500 three times, averaging $4250.
Richardson Brothers, Culburra, bought eight rams to a $5000 high.
Spence Dix & Co's Luke Schreiber, who shared the auctioneering duties with Elders studstock manager Tony Wetherall, said it was a "very consistent" offering with the wool cuts and wool quality ever increasing.
"The wools are getting softer, whiter and sweeter without compromising wool cut and maintaining that terrific frame and size they (Rices Creek) have a reputation for," he said.
Mr Wetherall said it was a "strong commercially-based sale".
"Buyers of all budgets would have to be happy with the selection and walked away with the rams they required," he said.
There was also plenty of interest in the stud's five rams reserved for the Adelaide ram sale next month which were on display.
- More to come