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Wurrook achieve record average

Stock & LandReported by:
Joely Mitchell

Top-priced buyers Mark and Jake Pilley, 'Ullamalla', Mudgee, NSW, with Wurrook stud principal Paul Walton (middle).


*Total clearance of 98 rams to a top of $8500, av $2643

IT TOOK the Pilley family 12 hours to drive to Wurrook Merino stud’s Rokewood property, so they planned to do whatever it took to secure their top-priced ram.

After a tense bidding war, Mark and Jake Pilley, 'Ullamalla', Mudgee, NSW, secured Lot 27, the ram they said was “the best sheep here”, for $8500.

The purchase was made at Wurrook’s record breaking Merino and Poll Merino ram sale, which saw the stud reach its highest ever average price, $2643, on a total clearance of 98 rams.

Mark Pilley said he liked everything about Lot 27.

“He’s a very productive sheep, is very correct, and will be well-suited to my operation,” Mr Pilley said.

He has been buying from the stud for over 10 years, having purchased the top-priced ram on a number of occasions.

“They’re good, heavy cutting, productive sheep,” he said.

“These rams have really uniformed our sheep, so we’ve stuck with the stud, I don’t believe in chopping and changing.”

The ram recorded fleece measurements of 16.3 micron, 2.2 standard deviation, and 100 per cent comfort factor.

Peter Young, ‘Eulong’, Cavendish, purchased the second top-priced ram, Lot 5, at $6500, as well as another for $6000.

Mr Young said he was returning to buy from the family after being absent for about 20 years.

“I wanted to get a couple of polled rams, so thought it was time to come back,” Mr Young said.

“They have nice, soft wool, and both that I selected were pretty similar.”

He said they would be joined to a selection of ewes in December to breed his own rams.

Return clients of many years Terry and Shayne Bedggood, Napoleons, bought four rams to a top of $3000, av $2250.

Terry Bedggood said the rams do really well in their area.

“They’ve got really nice, white, stylish wool, and they have good size in them,” Mr Bedggood said.

“They’ll be joined at the start of May to our Merino ewes.”

Catherine Friend, Barwonleigh Agriculture, Inverleigh, bought two, one at $4000, and one at $2500.

Ms Friend said her family has been buying from the Walton family for over three decades.

“We like the purity of the bloodlines, and the body, conformation, structure and productivity of the sheep,” Ms Friend said.

“The ones we selected had good heads and good conformation.”

She said they would be joined at the end of December, to their flock of ewes that all come from Wurrook bloodlines.

Wurrook stud principal Paul Walton said he was very happy with the result of the sale.

“We were really happy with how rams looked, it was a very consistent lineup, and when you put that with the way the wool market is looking, it’s a good time to be selling rams,” Mr Walton said.

Elders auctioneer Ross Milne agreed.

“It was a very solid sale, which is on the back of an increase in the wool market in the last 12 months,” Mr Milne said.

“The conditions locally have been favourable, and people are looking to rebuild and improve their flocks.”

The stud also sold an additional 20 rams following the sale.

  • North Queensland Register
  • Queensland Country Life
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