Home > Improved Season Gives Kurralea Sheep Breeders a Huge Boost and Record White Suffolk Sale

Improved Season Gives Kurralea Sheep Breeders a Huge Boost and Record White Suffolk Sale

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article image Jim Prentice, Kurralea Poll Dorset & White Suffolk studs, Ariah Park, NSW, holds the ram he sold for a new Poll Dorset on-property record price of $26,000. With the ram is Kevin Moore, Penrise stud, Campania, Tasmania, one of the purchasing syndi

After five years of very average seasons, the loyalty of Kurralea clients was being seriously tested. However, the current very good seasonal conditions flowed through to renewed buyer confidence at this year’s Kurralea sale at Jim & Kim Prentice’s home property, Ariah Park NSW.

A huge crowd, including buyers from all states, competed very strongly for the 378 Poll Dorsets and White Suffolks, resulting in a total clearance, and what is believed to be first single vendor sale for meat sheep breeds in the country, to gross over ½ million dollars.

Another highlight was the setting of a new national on-property Poll Dorset stud ram record at $26,000, one of 3 rams to sell for $20,000 or more. This surpassed the $25,000 set at Kurralea’s 2003 sale. The 32 Poll Dorset stud rams averaged an exceptional $6,056 to be the standout section of the sale.

The sale commenced with the 59 Poll Dorset stud ewes and they received steady demand. They averaged $368, $14 less than 2004, but had far less price variance than last year. The 2 top priced ewes at $650 & $500 were purchased by Eric Dudley, Finley, including a Shellal ‘Elvis’ 230/02 daughter that had a muscle EBV of +2. Volume buyer was DC & DJ Wallace, Blayney, NSW, who paid from $300 to $475 for 16 quality ewes. Other prominent ewe buyers included JW&LG Lloyd, Junee (7 from $400 to $450), Glen Hartwig, Temora, (6 to $300), and A&T Frick, Lochiel, SA (also 6 to $300).

The 32 stud Poll Dorset rams followed with heightened anticipation of strong competition because of the number of prominent stud breeders in the crowd. The first star lot at lot 31 was Kurralea 319, the Supreme Champion from this year’s Canberra Royal. He lived up to expectation, & after rapid fire bidding from several prospective buyers, he sold for $21,000 to a Western Australian partnership of Bruce Buswell, Mt Barker, & KJ & EJ Bushby, Lake Grace, bidding via the phone through Elders Wagga agent Colin Weissel. Sired by Shellal ‘Elvis’ 230/02, this impressive sire also had outstanding performance EBVs and a carcase plus index of 191.3.

The next ram in at lot 32 was also a very similar quality son of Shellal ‘Elvis’, and went for $14,000 to Andrew Hiscock, Kilmore.

Brought forward in the catalogue from lot 38 & offered next was K809/04Tw, a very impressive spring drop son of Shellal ‘Elvis’. Animated bidding quickly saw the price reach $20,000 before settling down to a dual between Clayton & Andrew Rowett, Ulandi Park stud, SA, and the eventual winning bidders, a syndicate of the Gererdan, Penrise & Punchgrove studs for $26,000. This price was a new on property record price for the Poll Dorset breed, eclipsing the $25,000 Kurralea received in 2003.

Rod & Chris Marr, “Generdan” Eugowra, NSW are the major syndicate partner in the ram and will take physical possession of him, while Kevin Moore (Penrise) and his son Dale (Punchgrove), Campania, Tasmania, will take semen shares.

The ram’s twin brother sold shortly later for $11,000 to a Victorian syndicate of Graeme Hooper, Goorambat; and Wallace Binnie, Yarrawonga. Another son of Shellal ‘Elvis’, and the highest ranked Lambplan ram in the offering, K317, came in at Lot 48, and also reached $20,000. He was brought by RJ, JM & AJ Smith, Yaralla stud, Tocumwal Vic, after a strong dual with Graeme & Andrew Oxley, Wyndamah stud, via Swan Hill Vic. The Oxley’s compensated somewhat with the purchase of 2 quality performance rams for $7,000 & $3,500.

WR & MM Honner, through Elders Wagga, was the volume stud ram buyer, picking up 3 Poll Dorset rams at $5,500, $4,000 & $3,750, and later a White Suffolk for $2,200.

L Hartwig, Greta, NSW went to $9,000 for another Shellal ‘Elvis’ son. Eleven sons of this ram averaged $11,342 to more than vindicate the $20,000 Jim Prentice outlaid privately for him 2003.

The 32 stud rams averaged a fantastic $6,056, which was well up on the $3,547 average last year, & even up on the $5,601 average at the record breaking 2003 sale. However with the depth of performance genetics offered, there was still excellent value buying to be had. The average was up primarily because of the exciting top end sales, but over half (17) of the Poll Dorset stud rams sold for $3,500 or less, which is exceptionally good value in today’s lamb industry.

The White Suffolk stud rams did not reach the dizzying heights of the Poll Dorsets but nevertheless still had a successful result.

The 11 rams averaged $3,691, which was double the 2004 average for 8 rams. The top of $9,000 was for Lot 65, K207 Tw, a high index son of Leahcim 9/01. The purchaser was Bruce Buswell, WA, again operating via the phone, after being in partnership in the earlier $21,000 Poll Dorset ram.

Graham Wilson, Kismet, Howlong, NSW went to $6,000 for Lot 66, K216, another high index ram of the same breeding as the top $9,000 ram.

Ian Kyle, Ashley Park, Bairnsdale Vic paid $6,250 for Lot 68 (K212 Tw), another L9/02 son.

Anthony Hurst, Seriston, Average Range, SA, purchased 2 terrific sires for his stud operation, picking up the Canberra Reserve Champion for $4,000, and later a very impressive son of the $20,000 Accelerator 396/02 sire, at $5,200.

After a short break, the large offering of high performance flock rams was auctioned. The 200 very even Poll Dorset flock rams were offered in 2 drafts, with the 76 White Suffolks offered in between these 2 drafts.

Competition was strong throughout the offering with very consistent returns. Generally a vast majority of the Poll Dorsets sold in the $900 to $1,300 range, peaking at $1,800, & selling down to a real value figure of $700 near the end of the offering. The 200 rams averaged $1,041, which was $139 up on last year’s result, but still $108 down on the 2003 record sale.

EG Murray & MJ Moran, Bribbaree, NSW paid the top of $1,800 in their purchases. Other key buyers here included long term & loyal clients Paul Graham Trust, Coolac, NSW (20 rams from $800 to $1,400); Tracton Pastoral Company, Mirrool, NSW (10 rams all at $1,000); & FS Falkiner & Son, Deniliquin, NSW (46 rams from $700 to $900). 41 individual buyers purchased Poll Dorset flock rams.

The White Suffolks also sold very solidly, peaking at $1,600, & selling down to a bargain $600 near the end of that draft. The average of $874 was also very good, & was well up on the 2004 average of $795, despite an increased offering of 76 rams, up from the 37 offered last year. 15 individual buyers purchased White Suffolk flock rams this year, dominated by 3 in particular.

FS Falkiner & Son also put a solid floor in this offering, purchasing 21 White Suffolks from $600 to $900. Carboonboon P/L, Wanganella, NSW, purchased 10 White Suffolks in total from $800 to $1,000, while the Jackson family, Lake Repose Partnership, Glenthompson, Vic, also purchased 10 in the same price range. The top price of $1,600 was paid by Ian Maslin, Poinsete P/L, Ardlethan, NSW. He paid this for 2 of the 4 White Suffolk flock rams he purchased, adding to the 6 Poll Dorsets he purchased from $900 to $1,300.

Auctioneers Michael Glasser & James Tierney did a splendid job in the marathon four & a half hour sale, being clear & easy to understand, & kept the sale moving along as fast as possible, yet still giving all buyers enough selection time.

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