A lack of buying competition meant agents Landmark, Elders and Westcoast Livestock only managed to clear 27 of the 62 rams offered under the hammer for an average of $3924 and to a top of $11,500 for a Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset sire.
In comparison last year when the sale was scorching 45 rams from 68 offered sold for an average of $4828 and to a top of $20,000.
Eastern States competition was again present in the sale and this saw many of the top Poll Dorsets heading east.
Both Landmark auctioneer John Wirth and Elders auctioneer Don Morgan agreed it was an extremely tough sale and the result was not a reflection of the quality.
Mr Wirth said the quality was outstanding as the sale was where the top sires in the State from each breed were sold.
"People made their mind up before arriving at the sale and on inspection saw what they liked and as a result these sheep sold very well," Mr Wirth said.
Mr Morgan said it was an extremely tough sale but the quality of rams on offer was excellent.
"The better rams with good figures sold well, but a lack of buying support meant the sale didn't reach the extreme highs of last year," Mr Morgan said.
Once again the Poll Dorset breed was the most popular with buyers so it was not surprising the sale's $11,500 top price was paid for a Poll Dorset ram offered by the Squiers family, Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading.
Bidding started at $5000 on the long-bodied, upstanding sire and quickly rose before the ram was knocked down at the $11,500 price tag to return Shirlee Downs buyer Allen Hathaway, Longdale Poll Dorset stud, Brookton, who was assisted in his bidding by Landmark Brookton agent Chris Turton.
Mr Hathaway, who has been buying at the Royal Show sale for 50 years, said he picked the ram out three weeks ago and liked everything about it.
"He is a really good ram structurally and has very good figures," Mr Hathaway said.
The ram was by Shirlee Downs 20-09 and had LambPlan figures of 0.4 BWT, 7.5 WWT, 10.9 PWWT, -0.8 PFAT, 1.1 PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 171.2.
The very square ram already has progeny on the ground in the Shirlee Downs stud including a ewe lamb which won the woolly ewe lamb class at the show.
The losing bidder on the ram was Collyn Garnett, Curlew Creek stud, Gnowangerup.
The South Suffolk breed kicked this year's sale off to a solid start when the Iveston stud, Williams, offered and sold two rams at an average of $2500.
The Iveston team topped at $3000 when a stretchy, well-muscled ram sold to return client Bryce Sinclair, Blackman South Suffolk stud, Newdegate.
Mr Sinclair said the ram would be a new bloodline for his stud and that it stood out due to its correctness and muscling.
The 131kg ram, which was supreme British Breed exhibit at the show, was sired by Iveston 386-08 and had scan figures of 30.8mm for EMD and 2.8mm for fat in February.
The stud's second sire in the catalogue sold for $2000 to CJ & JM Moffat, Norring Park stud, Wagin.
The Pamellen Suffolk, stud, Clackline, was the only stud to offer Suffolk rams in the sale this year.
The stud offered two rams but only managed to clear one at $1500 when it was knocked down to Rohan and Sharon Crombie, Windsor Suffolk stud, Babakin.
Mr Crombie said the ram had good size, length and depth of body and carried itself very well.
The ram was sired by Stoneylea 87-09 and represented the first progeny of this sire to be offered in Australia.
The ram, which was a twin and showed excellent muscling, had LambPlan figures of 9.7 for PWWT, -0.7 for PFAT, 0.5 for PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 156.2.
p White Suffolk
The White Suffolk breed was next into the ring with five vendors offering 14 rams and three ewes but with buyers on the light side only six rams and one ewe sold.
The six rams averaged $2617 and topped at $3000 on three occasions.
The first White Suffolk ram into the ring was the grand champion White Suffolk exhibit from the Bingham family's Iveston stud, Williams.
After a slow start bidding quickly fired up before the 131kg, well-muscled ram was knocked down to Primaries livestock agent Brian Barnsby, who was bidding on behalf of BR Wiese & Son, Narrogin, at $3000.
The ram by Warburn 250-08 had LambPlan figures of 0.4 BWT, 8.1 WWT, 12.4 PWWT, -0.5 PFAT, 0.4 PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 168.5.
The Iveston stud also sold two more classy White Suffolk sires in the sale at $2500 and $2200.
The $2500 sire, was purchased by John Argent, JT & SJ Argent, Yanda stud, Karlgarin, while the $2200 ram, was secured by the Fairclough family, Stockdale White Suffolk stud, York.
The other two White Suffolk rams to make the breed's $3000 equal top price were offered in the sale by Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco, Brimfield stud, Kendenup.
Taking home the first Brimfield ram to hit $3000 were repeat Brimfield clients the Watterson family, AT & JI Watterson, Tenterden,
The ram which was sashed the all breeds champion at this year's Williams Gateway Expo was by Waratah 79-09 and had LambPlan figures of 15.2 for PWWT, -0.8 for PFAT, -0.1 for PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 177.42.
Buyer Terry Watterson said it was the size, frame and muscling which were the ram's greatest assets.
Securing the second Brimfield ram to make $3000 was first-time Brimfield buyer Daniel Griffiths, Danhaven White Suffolk stud, Karragullen.
Mr Griffiths will use the ram over Wesswood ewes he purchased and said it showed good depth of carcase and fat coverage.
The ram was also sired by Waratah 79-09 and had LambPlan figures of 12.3 for PWWT, -0.9 for PFAT, 0.0 for PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 165.01.
Rounding out the studs to sell a White Suffolk sire in the sale was the Ridge Top stud, Mt Barker.
The stud offered two rams but only managed to sell one for $2000 to Andrew Greenup and Tamesha Gardner, Ida Vale White Suffolk stud, Kojonup.
Mr Greenup said the ram had very impressive LambPlan figures with 10.5 WWT, 16.7 PWWT and a CarcasePlus index of 199, while its sire Gemini 298-09, is one of the best performing and sought after White Suffolk sires in Australia.
In addition to offering rams in the sale the Ridge Top stud offered two 2012-drop ewes in the sale but they both failed to sell under the hammer.
However after a post-sale inspection Luke Harding, Quairading, purchased one at $400.
The Sasimwa stud, York, also sold one ewe in the sale.
The ewe was purchased by the Ambergate stud, Busselton, for $300.
The Poll Dorset breed was the biggest by number in the sale with 43 rams offered by nine studs.
However like the rest of the breeds it was not immune to the lack of buying support around the sale ring and as a result only 18 rams sold under the hammer for an average of $4653.
However the clearance for the breed was improved post sale with four of the passed in rams being snapped up by buyers.
In comparison last year there were 38 Poll Dorsets offered and 28 sold for an average of $5977 and to a top of $20,000.
Along with selling the sale's top-priced ram at $11,500 the Squiers family, Shirlee Downs stud sold another four rams out of their offering of six head.
The stud averaged $5550 over the five rams it sold to top the averages for the sale.
Also taking a liking to the Shirlee Downs rams was Gary Mitchell, Glencraobh stud, Kojonup, when he paid $6000 for a well-muscled ram sired by Morton 13-08.
Brookton operation Hillroy Farms Pty Ltd also took a liking to the Shirlee Downs sires purchasing two at $4750 and $2000.
Hot on the heels of the Shirlee Downs stud in terms of the sale's top price and average was the Bradford family's Hillcroft Farms stud, Popanyinning.
The Popanyinning-based stud had an excellent sale clearing eight of its 10 rams offered under the hammer to a top of $9500 second top of the sale and an average of $5531.
The result for the stud was further improved when its two passed in rams were quickly snapped up after the sale for $3000.
Like in past years there was strong interest from Eastern States buyers on the Hillcroft Farms run and that was where the stud's $9500 top-priced ram was headed after it was knocked down to Landmark stud stock representative Roy Addis who held a buying order for Matt Reid, Rowallan Poll Dorset stud, Crowther, New South Wales.
Bidding started at $5500 on the deep, muscley ram, which the stud was offering a half share in, and quickly rose until Mr Addis outlasted Elders stud and commercial sheep manager Tim Spicer
who was on the phone to Victorian breeder David Ingpen, Ingpen Farms, Ancona Rams, Euroa.
The Reids were no strangers to the Hillcroft Farms genetics having purchased a ram at last year's sale as well as using semen in the past.
Mr Reid, who had seen pictures of the ram and knew its breeding, said it was the ram's combination of high growth at post weaning and a high eye muscle which stood out.
"It is pretty rare to get high figures for both, so we think he is something special," Mr Reid said.
"We have also used his sire and have been happy with the results so we are pretty confident in what he will produce."
The ram was by Polambi 2025-07 and had LambPlan figures of 0.64 BWT, 10.3 WWT, 15.30 PWWT, -0.9 PFAT, 3.4 PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 220.2.
Taking home the $8000 second top-priced Hillcroft Farms ram were return buyers of 20 years Don, Moira and Matthew McKinley, Moore Park Poll Dorset stud, Moora.
It was the total balance of the ram which appealed to the McKinleys.
Don McKinley said the ram was a well-balanced sire with a great outlook and good sound figures.
The ram was by Hillcroft Farms 135-10 and had LambPlan figures of 0.4 BWT, 9.3 WWT, 15.0 PWWT, -0.7 PFAT, 2.5 PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 206.
The McKinleys also purchased one of the Hillcroft Farms' passed in rams after the sale for $3000.
After losing out on the top-priced Hillcroft Farms sire David Ingpen, who has used Hillcroft Farms genetics in the past, purchased two Hillcroft Farms rams at $7000 and $3750 over the phone.
He paid $7000 for a ram by Hillcroft Farms 1068-09 which had LambPlan figures of 17.0 PWWT, -1.6 PFAT, 2.6 PEMD and a CarcasePlus index of 221.8.
Three other Hillcroft Farms will be headed east when they sold for $6000 to Lamb Pro, Holbrook, New South Wales; $4500 to Stokes Bay Genetics, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia and $3000 for Dargeeling Estate, Colerain, Victoria.
The Willow Park stud, Mardella, offered a team of six rams in the sale but only managed to clear two under the hammer for an average of $2375.
The top-priced Willow Park ram sold for $2750 to Wes Graham.
The other Willow Park sire to sell was purchased by the Phillips family, Kanangra stud, Manjimup, at $2000.
The Brimfield stud, Kendenup, also only managed to clear two rams for an average of $2250 from the six it offered.
Taking home the $2500 top-priced Brimfield sire was Curlew Creek stud, Gnowangerup.
Also securing a Brimfield ram at $2000 was Deeside Muirs, Deeside stud, Manjimup.
Rounding out the studs selling a ram in the sale was the Dongadilling stud, Quairading.
It offered six rams in the sale and only cleared one at $2500.
The ram, which was by Kurralea 570-09 and had a CarcasePlus index of 172.6, was purchased by Dargeeling Estate, Colerain, Victoria.