WHITE River Merino and Poll Merino stud's 40th annual sale produced a very fitting and celebratory result, with the Daniell family notching up their highest ever average price at Poochera last Thursday.
In a total clearance, 181 rams sold to a top of $18,000, averaging $2962.
While the top matched last year, the average was up $526, and $11 higher than the stud's previous sale record of $2951 set in 2017.
A much better season in most areas of Eyre Peninsula than the previous couple of years, created plenty of optimism and positivity among the 46 registered bidders.
In the breakdown, 132 poll merinos averaged $2914, while the 49 merinos averaged $3090.
The heat was on from the very first lot of the 16 prepared rams that started the sale.
Stud principal John Daniell described lot 1 as "probably as good a poll as we've ever offered".
The 132-kilogram son of Old Ashrose 445 got several bidding hands raised as it quickly jumped to $10,000. From there, two bidders continued the rapid fire action until Paul Cousins, Cousins Merino Services, Burra placed the winning $18,000 bid on behalf of first-time buyers Mark and Todd Hoffrichter, Maramville stud, Ceduna.
"It has carcase, size, structure, constitution and bone, plus a great crimpy, white and nourished wool which is ideal for our Ceduna area," Mr Hoffrichter said.
The underbidder was regular White River supporter, Nick Lienert, Oak Farms stud, Buckleboo.
He compensated by purchasing lot 12, a very impressive and heavy-cutting 21.7 micron son of Moorundie 388 for $7000, then later added another poll merino son of White River 546 for $5800.
While these sale toppers were the headline makers, it was 10 regular commercial White River clients who had the biggest influence on the result, buying 64 per cent of the offering.
Stephen, Graeme and Elijah Fuss, WG Fuss and Son, Cummins and supported by their SAL North West Tumby Bay agent Colin McFarlane are always exceptionally astute top end buyers at White River. They dug in deep and early this year, with nine rams to $6600 and averaging $4667.
Jim and Jay Fischer, Yanac, Vic have supported this sale for a long time and bought nine rams, mostly merinos to $3800 and averaged $2889.
The Rethus family, West Wimmera Beef were the day's biggest spenders buying 17 rams at a $2953 average.
The Reynolds family, Lairg Station, Elliston, was again the biggest volume buyer, purchasing 25 rams, paying to $2400 and averaging $1540.
Les, Terre, Josh and Matt Williams, trading as WL and MB Williams, Elliston are also long term volume buyers at White River and stepped their annual purchasing up a couple of notches this year, picking up 13 rams at a $2000 average, topping at $2800.
Adam Desmazures, Newton Pastoral, Tintinara secured 10 rams, six merinos and four poll merinos, paying to $3600 and averaging $2680.
Stud co-principal Wes Daniell said it was a wonderful way to celebrate the stud's 40th annual sale with such a fantastic result.
"When we relocated to our present sites here at Minnipa and Poochera, we set out with the objective of broadening our enterprise mix and working towards having a big on-property sale with paddock-reared rams, and that is basically what we have achieved; other than just a few of the very tops with some shed preparation for the potential stud market."
"It was good to see new bidders, buyers and underbidders amongst the crowd today, while many regulars went harder on numbers and quality; we are so thankful for all their support."
Elders and Landmark conducted the sale with Tony Wetherall and Gordon Wood the auctioneers.