An infusion of South African genetics into the Lawral Park Prime SAMM stud's breeding program made for a ripping day out for principal Campbell Lawrie and clients at the stud's ninth annual on-property ram sale at Darvel, Ungarra, on Monday.
Mr Lawrie had every reason to be smiling after the sale, with a total clearance of all 84 rams, a top price up $400 on last year at $3800, and a healthy average of $1232 not too far off the pace set at the 2011 sale.
Buyers of the top price ram in lot three were repeat clients Brad and Kerry Claughton, Yallunda Flat.
The ram - a twin - weighed 101 kilograms with a weaning weight of 43kg, 200-day weight of 54kg, an eye muscle depth of 46 millimetres, 4.5mm of fat and a 20.8-micron fleece.
It was by a South African sire imported into Australia in 2008 as an embryo, making the genetics completely new to Australia.
Of the first four lots - all of which had South African genetics - three sold above $3000.
The Claughtons have been buying rams from Lawral Park for about five years and Mr Claughton said the quality-carcase big-frame sheep with Merino quality wool was what kept them coming back.
"The top price ram had good SAMM traits and good growth rates, which will enable us to turn out lambs quickly," he said.
The family runs a cropping and sheep enterprise and having previously run a Prime SAMM-Merino flock, Mr Claughton said they were heading towards a self-replacing SAMM flock.
The Claughtons also bought the second-top-price ram - which had a mixture of Australian and South African genetics - at $3400.
They bought seven rams at a $2371 average.
Strong support came from regular pastoral clients who took 23 rams. KVG&A Turner, Broken Hill, bought 12 to $1200.
Hurtlegrove Pastoral Co, Orroroo, took 10 to $2600 and PJ&SJ Whittaker bought five to $1800.
Mr Lawrie said before the sale that if the average price held on recent years he would be "chuffed", and was suitably delighted following the proceedings.
"Introducing the South African genetics to the stud is exciting stuff, so we hope to eventually target not only commercial breeders but stud breeders as well in the future," he said.
"By doing what we're doing, we are continually striving for improved production."
It was "always pleasing" to have total clearance of the rams.
"What was really promising was to have three new clients, which I think is a reflection of the quality of the genetics on offer," he said.
"Our genetic program has been given an overhaul in the past 24 months so next year's offering will hopefully be as good, if not better."
The sale was conducted by Elders with Craig Shearer auctioneer.
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