Maiden Merino ewes $385 with sodden Jerliderie demand

Murray Arnel October 10, 2022

Repeat buyers Zak and Trent Gooden, Yirdeen Farms, Lockhart, with Ross Wells in the centre, paid $385 for Willandra’s young ewes to win the the John Wells Memorial shield at Jerilderie.


BREEDER lines of young maiden Merino ewes made up to $385 a head at the Elders John Wells Memorial sheep sale at Jerilderie, NSW on Friday.

Topping the sale and claiming the John Wells Memorial shield as the highest priced breeders’ lot was none other than the family of the late John Wells — his parents Ross and Irene Wells and his sister Carolyn Heath and her husband Craig Heath and son Angus.

Their 210 May/June 2021 drop line of Willandra blood and bred maidens weighing 70.9kg were the opening pen and sold to repeat buyers, Zak and Trent Gooden, Yirdeen Farms, Lockhart, New South Wales.

After the opening pen in the annual Elders sale, prices suddenly fell to a much lower level with the next best lot priced at $338 a head, followed by prices of $334, $330 (twice) and $320, also achieved on two occasions.

Elders Jerilderie livestock manager David Rankin, left, with brothers Tom and Sam Sleigh sold both maiden and aged ewes in the Jerilderie sale.

Noticeably, most vendors and in particular the selling agents were surprised and somewhat disappointed as the lower-than-expected results unfolded.

A smaller than normal gathering of buyers appeared pleased by their lower priced purchases, as the underpinning support normally provided via the interfaced AuctionsPlus platform was also not forthcoming. It was also that the usual northern NSW competition that normally attends the Jerilderie sale was missing because of the weather passing through an already sodden central west NSW.

Were prices really on the nose — easing $40-$80 — at Jerilderie, or was it a touch of reality setting in?

With a broad range of opinions rating the sale between $40 and $80 a head below expected prices, the recent wet weather and very sodden conditions spanning large parts of western NSW and northern Victoria was put forward as a reason for the mood shift to buyer apprehension.

The second-best price of $338 was paid for the highly regarded and lead draft of 380 from 1200 Willandra blood April/May 2021 drop September shorn Sleigh Pastoral Co ewes.

The ewes weighed 60.3kg and were secured by Elders Corowa. The remaining Sleigh Pastoral lots made $302 and $284.

The next lot was a line ‘Irroy’ Woodpark Poll blood young ewes (63.3kg) bred and prepared by Donald Bull and family of Conargo that sold for $334. The second pen of the Irroy young ewes made $320.

Jerilderie vendor Michael Bull sold 600 Caroonboon blood Amaroo maiden ewes to $330, average $325.

Michael and Claire Bull’s Caroonboon blood ‘Amaroo’ young ewes were the next best priced at $330 (58.8kg) with a second pen making $320.

In the full flock dispersal of the Willandra blood Cara Pty Ltd May/June 2021 drop ewes, unclassed lines made $315, $298 and $204 a head.

To view the opening run of sales, click this link:

Elders auctioneer Nick Gray knocks down another pen during a difficult Jerilderie sale.


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