METICULOUS attention to structure as well as all the essential carcase traits meant that rams from the Ida Vale stud were hot property at the stud's sale at Kojonup last week.
The White Dorper rams were still the flavour of the month and it was in that section of the catalogue that a sale top price of $4000 was paid twice.
Lots two and three attracted the highest sum and hitting the mark first was Darren Pulford, Preston Vale White Dorper stud, Donnybrook.
The Pulfords are in the process of building up numbers in their fairly new stud and the top ram was among a team of rams they purchased on the day.
"We were on the lookout for rams specifically with the best possible foot score assessment and shedding ability," Mr Pulford said.
"The rams we chose were strong on both of these attributes as well as having strong eye muscle scores.
"The top ram was a very well balanced sire with excellent muscling and overall sire appeal."
With these specific requirements in mind, the equal top ram rated highly for PEMD at 2.2 with 134 for SRC and 12.1 for PWWT.
He also scored four out of five for both his foot and shedding scores.
The Pulfords bought an additional nine White Dorper rams which included the sale's second top price of $3300 and paid an overall average of $2160 across the team of 10 rams.
Also paying $4000 was Phil Tomlinson, Chesterfield Dorper and White Dorper stud, Albany, who secured the ram as a new stud sire.
"I thought he was just a very well balanced ram with good feet and structure," Mr Tomlinson said.
"He has excellent conformation, good shedding ability and overall is a really stylish well put together sire with excellent fleshing."
Mr Tomlinson plans to use the ram over a select group of ewes which are by a Jilakin Downs sire.
On the figures front, this ram had the best possible rating for foot score rating five out of five as well as shedding ability also scoring five out of five.
Also a feature of the rams credentials was his PWWT of 11, 0.2 for PFAT and 1 for PEMD.
Ida Vale stud principals Andrew Greenup and Tamesha Gardner have paid particular attention to structure within their stud with the Dorper and White Dorper breeds experiencing a few issues in the past.
The stud has therefore adopted this structural-foot scoring system and the efforts they had gone to ensure the best possible structural soundness was well appreciated by the large crowd of buyers.
The top price in the White Suffolk portion of the catalogue was also in the first run of the breed offering with the first White Suffolk to be offered snapped up by stud breeders Nick and Jenny Hosking, Paringa Park White Suffolk stud, Duranillin, for $2900.
The Hoskings had purchased from Ida Vale before and this time round were chasing different bloodlines to use as an outcross to existing genetics in their stud.
"The previous ram we bought was by a Depta Grove sire," Mr Hosking said.
"This ram is of Woollumbool bloodlines and he will be used over a select group of the Depta Grove ewes.
"He is extremely long in the body and well-muscled through the hindquarter."
While its physical attributes spoke volumes, the top White Suffolk had figures which complemented its outlook scoring it highly for WWT at 9.4, 14.6 for PWWT and 190 for the CarcasePlus index.
While it was clear that the White Dorpers were a favourite among the buyers, there was still solid interest on the Dorper rams and the top price in this section was $1700 which was again paid by Phil Tomlinson of the Chesterfield stud.
Also purchased for stud use, the Dorper ram again scored a perfect five out of five for foot score consolidating Mr Tomlinson's requirements for perfect structure and four out of five for shedding ability.
He also purchased another Dorper ram, this time paying $1500 for the sire.
Another real highlight in the White Dorper section was the presence of volume buyer Banyanda Farms, Walkaway, which purchased 20 of the meaty beauties all up.
Hugh and Eva Levett of Banyanda Farms made the long trip down from Walkaway to the sale to make their selections and were very happy with what they had to choose from.
"Our main focus is on the structure within our flock," Mr Levett said.
"It is great to see the Ida Vale stud making a conscience effort to score on structure and maintain the best possible conformation in the breeds and we are here because of that focus.
"The types we chose today all scored highly on the foot score and we are also trying to cut down on fat with our lambs so our sire choices also reflected that."
The Levetts mate about 4000 Dorper ewes with the majority pure (or heading towards pure) Dorper.
They have been breeding Dorpers for more than 10 years and it was the second year they had purchased rams at Ida Vale.
The Levetts also bought rams in the Dorper section of the catalogue buying two at $600 apiece.
Buying a large team of Dorper rams was CM & JL Stade, Katanning, who picked out seven Dorpers paying to a top of $1000 and average of $714.
Volume buying in the White Suffolk portion of the catalogue was Robinson Brothers Farming, Kojonup, bought 15 meaty White Suffolks to a top of $1000 and average of $683.
Conducted by both Landmark and Elders, the sale was deemed a success by both parties with Landmark auctioneer Mark Warren saying that the quality of the catalogue was testament to the hard work stud principals Andrew and Tamesha had been putting in.
"With a real focus on having that structure spot on in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds, the quality of the rams was outstanding," Mr Warren said.
"There was a lot of competition on the White Dorpers in particular, which seem to be the popular choice at the moment.
"The White Suffolks again were excellent but buyer support just tapered off towards the end."
Elders stud stock auctioneer Dennis Roberts said it was a solid sale which improved upon the results from the previous year.
"The White Dorper rams dominated with an excellent clearance and average while bidding support dwindled a bit on the Dorper and White Suffolk offerings with buyers a bit more selective," Mr Roberts said.
"Overall, the quality of the rams was excellent and the sale was solid."
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