Brisk bids at Woodpark

135 rams sold for average $2437

By Stephen Burns, The Land

Long-term clients of Woodpark Polls, Donald and Ann Bull, Deniliquin with their $8000 purchase paraded by Stephen and Lily Huggins. “He has good soft and crimpy wool on a bold a well structured body”

With continuing confidence in Poll Merinos, bidding was determined at the Woodpark Poll ram auction at Jerilderie on account Stephen and Carol Huggins when 140 rams were penned to see 135 sold at auction to average $2437.

Top price of $8,000 was paid for a sheded ram, when 30 were sold for $3408, while $5,000 was top price paid for unsheded ram when 105 sold for average price $2160.

A further seven flock rams were sold after the auction for $1500 average.

Indicative of the strong interest in Poll Merino sheep, the sale was underpinned by many returning clients with new buyers also making their presence felt.

The top priced ram at $8,000, a AI son of the highly successful stud sire WP12-342, was bought by long term clients Donald and Ann Bull, “Mungarra”, Deniliquin.

“He has good soft and crimpy wool on a bold and well structured body,” Mr Bull sad.

Mr Bull and his family have been buying Woodpark-bred rams from the time his father purchased sheep from Stephen Huggins’ grandfather, the late Eric Huggins.

“He will be joined to our stud ewes for replacement rams in our self-replacing Merino flock.”

The fleece of the ram measured 18.8 microns, with 3.1 SD and he was in the top 10 percent on Merino Select for Dual Purpose Index.

Mr Bull was assisted in his purchase by Clyde McKenzie, Elders Deniliquin manager who advises Mr Bull on his ewe classing.

“He is a very well balanced sheep with bright, waxy and crimpy wool,” Mr McKenzie said.

Also coming out of the sheded draft was the $5,000 ram purchased by Wagga Wagga-based sheep breeding consultant Craig Wilson for the Glasson family, Jimenbuen Past Co, Dalgety.

Sarah Houston (sister of Jack Glasson, Jimenbuen Pastoral Co, buyer of this ram) and Tom and Craig Wilson, Wagga Wagga with the $5000 purchase.

Sired by WP 14-204 who had been joined to hand-picked elite ewes, will also be used in the ram breeding project for the self-replacing flock on “Jimenbuen”.

“We are aiming for high performance using high index rams through AI, and this ram will be utilized as a back-up,” Mr Wilson said.

“He was a trait leader for yearling clean fleece weight and has a good balance of the other figures like yearling weight, eye muscle and is moderate for fat.

“We can use him with confidence because he is also structurally sound and backed by the genetic depth at Woodpark.”

Mr Wilson also bought two further rams at $3,000 and $2,500 for the Jimenbuen Pastoral Co.

Coming south for their first foray into the Woodpark Poll offering, Dougal McLeish and his wife Susan Ainge, Thurn Merinos, Coonamble, purchased the top priced ram at $5,000 in the unsheded offering, along with one sheded ram for $4,250.

Dougal McLeish, Stephen Huggins, Susan Ainge and Lily Huggins with their $5000 purchase made by Dougal and Susan for their Coonamble-district property.

The McLeish family have been breeding Merino sheep for over 80 years at “Thurn”, and have changed to Poll Merinos three years ago for ease of management but still retaining the essential attributes of heavy cutting fleeces on a sound body.

“We like the fact Woodpark have been breeding Poll for a long time,” Susan Ainge said when speaking on behalf of her husband.

“They are true to type, with nice well-defined crimp and bright wool.

“We love the fibre … and the market is now paying for it … thank goodness!”

The ram, with micron 16.6 and 2.8 SD will be used in Thurn Merinos’ self-replacing Merino flock to bred new sires.

Also paying $5,000 were D.J. Boland and J.L. Peavey, Giffard, Victoria who selected the son of WP14-102.

Significant prices included $4,500 paid by Grassy Creek Merinos for a ram with micron measurement 17.6 and in the top ten percent for Merino Select Dual Purpose Index: and $4,250 paid by Coghill Farming, “Dewhurst”, Urana for a young sire who was also in the top ten percent Merino Select for Dual Purpose Index.

Volume buyers included Budgewah Pastoral Co, Hay who bought 16 rams to top $3,500, J.C. and L.M. Clark, “Merriola”, who paid to $3,000, twice in their selection of nine rams and MV Ag, Alectown who paid to $4,500 in their draft of eight rams.

Stephen Huggins thought the prices paid reflected the genetic and structural depth of the sheep, but also the present values paid for sheep and wool. “It was a great sale and it is wonderful to see everyone rewarded for years of hard work,” he said.

The sale was conducted by Elders, Jerilderie and Landmark, Finley, with Ron Rutledge, Peter Godbolt and Nick Gray taking the bids.


Best Pen of Three Rams at Loddon Valley . . . again

Stock and Land reported: “Huggins family wins best pen of rams” – March 9, 2017.

“Woodpark Poll stud, Eurolie, Hay, has won the best pen of three rams competition at Loddon Valley field day every second year since 2011 – and 2017 was no exception.

“All three rams’ pedigrees go back to Woodpark Poll 10 0015, which Carol Huggins said had a huge impact on the stud. Two (of the winning Pen of three) rams were sired by Woodpark Poll 12 0241 and one was sired by Woodpark Poll 12 0342.

“The three Poll Merino hoggets impressed the judges for their quality wool (lustrous, soft handling, with great lock density) and huge carcase attributes”.

“Mrs Huggins said they strove to breed sheep that combined those traits so could take advantage of both the wool market, now at record highs, and the growing global demand for protein.”

“Paul Hendy, Belbourie and John Barty, Beverley, were the judges and put Terrick West’s entry in second and Kedleston Park’s in third.”


Woodpark blood breeders top three blue ribbon sheep sales

The Woodpark and Woodpark Poll blood flocks had a great run of sales in the Spring Merino Breeders’ sales, topping at the renowned Hay, Jerilderie and Wycheproof sales last year.

Stock and Land’s store market analyst Murray Arnel said the Huggins fam­ily’s top priced offering at Jerilderie had “capped off a special month of sales for the Woodpark Poll stud as it collected a major double”.

At Hay, the Butcher family’s Bronte, Mossgiel, bred Woodpark Poll blood 1.5 year old ewes made the sale top price of $274 in what Mr Arnel called a “sizzling” sale.

In October, Mr Arnel wrote in the Stock and Land that the Jerilderie sale had backed up the Hay results:

“In a sale lasting only one hour, young ewes made to a high of $263 a head in a highly competitive and evenly priced Merino breeders’ sheep sale at Jerilderie. Competing for the John Wells Memorial Shield (for highest priced pen of sheep in the yard) the Huggins family, Eurolie, secured sale honours for the highest priced yard of 1.5 year-olds with their Woodpark Poll blood 15-drop ewes sold at $263/head.

“For Stephen and Carol Huggins it was their first win of the prestigious John Wells Shield which has been highly prized among the district’s prominent sheep breeding community.

“Stephen Huggins said they were fortunate that in such a wet year their property Eurolie, south-east of Hay, had not had the rain as most others.

Although it was wet enough, their slightly drier weather allowed their Woodpark Poll ewe hoggets to grow and bloom on the improved season. In other Jerilderie sale results, Donald and Ann Bull’s Woodpark Poll blood, Irroy bred ewes from Conargo, ewes sold at $258/head.

The Studleigh, Deniliquin, bred 1.5yo ewes made $250/hd. The Sleeman family’s, “Riversdale”, Woodpark Poll blood ewes made the second top price for older ewes of $158.”

And at Wycheproof it was another healthy day out for Merino breed­ers when the highly regarded Fernihurst Estate bred 1.5yo, longstanding Woodpark Merino blood ewes topped the offering at $224/head.


Bronte’s $274 ewes top Hay sale

Image: courtesy The Weekly Times. Keeping track: David Butcher, Bronte at Mossgiel, NSW records prices at Hay. His family’s young ewes had topped the sale at $274. Picture: Jenny Kelly

David and Barbara Butcher’s careful management paid off when their 900 May/June 2015 drop Woodpark Poll blood ewes topped at $274/head at the Hay September sheep sale. The Butcher’s “Bronte”, Mossgiel bred ewes were joined in the price stakes when the operation’s four year old ewes topping the older ewe portion of the 30,000 head yarding, at $183/head.

“The top price of $274 was achieved a few pens on for David Butcher’s 412 young ewes from the family’s Mossgiel property, Bronte. The ewes were May-June 2015-drop, Woodpark Poll blood, and had been shorn in August. They displayed some of the best bloom and condition of the yarding.”

“There was a trend of buyers dropping back on to some of the prove breeders to save money and also access better lambing percentage. It resulted in the four-year-old Bronte Merino ewes making up to $183/head.” – Jenny Kelly, The Weekly Times, 28/09/2016.

“The most successful vendor of the day was David and Barbara Butcher, “Bronte”, Mossgiel, who achieved the highest price of $274 for the tops of their 900 May/June 2015 drop, Woodpark Poll-blood, August shorn, ewes.”

Merino ewes to $274 at Hay

By Stephen Burns, The Land, Thursday September 29, 2016

Image: courtesy The Land. Barbara and David Butcher, “Bronte”, Mossgiel, with their $274 a head young ewes sold at the Hay sheep sale last week. Photo by Murray Arnel.

About 30,000 sheep were yarded on a perfect Riverina spring day for the Hay Annual September Sheep Sale last Friday.

Elders Hay branch manager Bill Haygarth said supply was back a bit due to wet conditions restricted stock movement, but interest in station-bred Merino ewes continues to be strong.

“Sheep presentation throughout the entire yarding was exceptional with the current season highlighting the superior genetics of the Riverina,” Mr Haygarth said.

“Restockers attended from Bendigo, Deniliquin, Swan Hill, Griffith, Ballarat, Echuca, Narrandera, Yarrawonga, Corowa, Forbes, Kerang and Hay, with processors purchasing very few lots.”

Prices for the autumn/winter drop Merino ewes ranged from a top of $274 to $158, with 2014 drop ewes selling $175 to $161, 2013 drop ewes sold to $180, 2012 drop ewes $156 to $182 and 2011 drop ewes sold from $183 to $130.

About 5000 Merino wether weaners were yarded and sold from $91 to $112.

The most successful vendor of the day was David and Barbara Butcher, “Bronte”, Mossgiel, who achieved the highest price of $274 for the tops of their 900 May/June 2015 drop, Woodpark Poll-blood, August shorn, ewes.

Other successful vendors included Yarto Pastoral Company, “Yarto”, Booligal, who sold the top line of their offering of 1000 March/April 2015 drop ewes, Alma-blood and August shorn for $262, with the second pen selling for $216, and GM and HM Morphett, “Yamba”, Booligal, received $226 for their offering of 500 April/May 2015 drop, Alma blood and August-shorn ewes.

The McKindlay family, “Mooloomoon”, Moulamein, yarded 1200 June/July 2015 ewes, Goolgumbla-blood and August-shorn, selling them for $265, while Caroonboon Pty Ltd, “Caroonboon”, Boorooban, sold 300 June/July 2015 drop Caroonboon-blood ewes, April shorn for $272.

Among good sales in older ewes, the McKindlay family, “Mooloomoon”, Moulamein, received $181 for their draft of 1000n June/July 2011 drop, March-shorn Goolgumbla-blood ewes, and PM and GM Lawrence, “Formosa”, Hay, sold the tops of their 1600 May/June 2011 drop, Charinga-blood and August-shorn for $147, with the second line selling for $131.

Wether weaners attracted keen competition, with A and R Hiscock, “Waiko”, Ivanhoe, receiving $112 for the tops of their draft of unshorn 1500 May/June 2016 drop, Alma-blood and $105 for the second line, while Brett Schiller, “Tarwong”, Hay, sold the tops of his unshorn 1200 May/June 2016 drop, Bluebush-blood wethers for $105.

Hay Associated Agents, Elders and Landmark conducted the sale.


Wycheproof Merino young ewes to $224

Murray Arnel, October 14 2016,

Merino young ewes, Woodpark-blood, made to a solid $224 a head at the Rodwells/Landmark spring store sheep sale held at Wycheproof on Thursday.

Being the third sale in the spring series for the Wimmera/Mallee saleyards, the market toppers were a line of 398 offered by JH Evans & Sons, Fernihurst Estate that were sold to Corcoran Parker, Corowa for the Everitt family of Brocklesby, NSW.

Other sales for smaller framed Merino young ewes made $150-$175 while two year-old ewes, Lewisdale-blood, made $180, and Panarama-blood four year-olds, $164.

Other yards of 4-5 year-old Merino ewes made $140-$162 while a small selection of crossbred young ewes made $225-$245, and five year-olds $146-$160.

Image: courtesy Stock & Land.

JH Evans & Sons partners Dallas and Barry Evans, with their Fernihurst Estate Woodpark-blood young ewes sold at $224 a head.


Jerilderie ewes to $263

Jerilderie number plunge, $263 ewes

By Murray Arnel, The Stock & Land, October 13, 2016

Image: courtesy Stock & Land. Completing the Hay/Jerilderie double for Woodpark Poll, Carol and Stephen Huggins, Eurolie were proud first-time winners of the John Wells Memorial Shield at Jerilderie. They were congratulated on their win by Ross Wells, Willandra, father of John Wells.

In a sale lasting only one hour young ewes made to a high of $263 a head in a highly competitive and evenly priced Merino breeders sheep sale at Jerilderie on Friday.

Competing for the John Wells Memorial Shield, the Huggins family, Eurolie secured sale honours for the highest priced yard of 1.5 year-olds, with their Woodpark Poll-blood 15-drop ewes sold at $263.

This sale was closely followed by the Sleigh Pastoral ewe hoggets, Willandra-blood, sold at $262/head, The Yanko blood and bred ewes sold at $260/head and Donald Bull’s Woodpark-blood, Irroy ewes from Conargo, sold at $258 a head.

For Stephen and Carol Huggins it was their first-ever win of the prestigious John Wells Shield which has been highly prized among the district’s prominent sheep breeding community.

It also capped of a special month sales for Woodpark Poll Stud as it collected a major double snaring also the highest priced line at Hay’s Merino breeder sales, where David and Barbara Butcher, Mossgiel sold their Bronte-bred, Woodpark Poll ewes to the Hay top of $274 a head.

Seven breeder’s lines sold at prices above $250 a head in the Jerilderie line-up while four out of its six lots of five year-old ewes secured prices between $150 and $160.

However the sale of 8000 offered merely one-third of the number it yarded and cleared in this fixture last year when 22,000 head came forward.

Riversdale sold 365 Woodpark Poll-blood, Riversdale-bred, August-shorn five year-olds at $158.


Small yarding’s big result

The Weekly Times, October 12, 2016

Image: courtesy The Weekly Times. Winning smiles: Isobel Huggins, 13, Lily Huggins, 12, Skye Lilburne, 10 and Olivia Huggins, 10, of Woodpark Poll Merinos at Hay, with Ross Wells (centre) presenting the John Wells Memorial shield for the top price pen.

Numbers were less than half of last year, and prices jumped more than $60 at the Jerilderie Merino ewe sale.

About 8000 ewes were offered by Elders last Friday, compared to 25,000 in 2015, and prices reached a high of $263 for 18-month-old Merinos.

Elders auctioneer Jason Andrews said the yarding number was affected by the weather, and the water coming down the creek system at Jerilderie.

“I can’t say it enough, anyone who wants to buy sheep in the Riverina we probably have another month where we are going to have numbers of sheep coming about, and then our spring sales will be over,” he said.

“We came off the back of a very ordinary season last year, so reduced numbers from the dry, and there is a lot of grass about so they are keeping more numbers now to restock.”

All but one pen (which had fewer than 200 sheep) in the first 15 made $250 or above, and the remainder of the young ewes sold from $118 to $244.

“The prices were very, very strong, particularly repeat buyers on the sheep they have been buying out of Jerilderie for a number of years,” Mr Andrew said.

“What was significant was a couple of the second runs of the drafts made almost the same as the top drafts to those buyers.”

This was the case for the vendors of the top-priced pen, and winners of the John Wells Memorial trophy, the Huggins family of Woodpark Poll Merinos from Hay.

They sold their top line of 559 May-June 2015-drop, August-shorn Merino ewes at $263, to Tungamah producer Laurie Ford.

The Woodpark Poll seconds pen then sold to Rodwells Wangaratta at $236, which compared to a $170 averages across the whole line in 2015.

Woodpark co-principal Stephen Huggins said he didn’t have expectations, but was optimistic given recent stronger sales, and the price was a big improvement on last year.


Volume buyers from interstate

The Land, Thursday September 22, 2016

Long-term Woodpark supporters Gregor and Andy McNaughton, “Burong”, Seaspray, Victoria, who have been buying rams from the Huggins family for in excess of 35 years, lead the volume buyers securing 11 rams for an average of $1882, reaching tops of $2600.

MV Ag, “Mountain View”, Alectown, paid to $2800 as they put together a line of 10 rams for an average price of $1980. Fox and Lillie Rural, operating for an undisclosed client, went to highs of $3600 as they purchased nine at auction for $2556 average.

Winning the auction on eight rams was B and R Lourie, “Auchmore”, Raywood, Vic, topping at $2800 on the way to an average price of $1525.

L.D.S. and M Farrant were again amongst the volume buyers at Woodpark, selecting eight rams to average $1463, paying to a top of $1900.

D.J. Boland and J.L. Peavey, Giffard, Vic, also made a significant contribution paying to a top of $3000 and they secured seven rams at an average of $2243.


Nathan O’Sullivan


Woodpark Poll $2202 av

By Nathan O’Sullivan, The Land, Thursday September 22, 2016

Strong, consistent demand for Poll Merino genetics was evident at Monday’s Woodpark Poll Merino auction offering held at Jerilderie.

The Huggins family sold 137 of the 141 rams offered for an average price of $2202 – a 10 per cent increase on last year for the same number sold, with only a modest top of $5600.

Stud classer Michael Elmes, Smartstock, Narrandera, was active throughout the sale and secured the top-price rams on behalf of repeat Woodpark purchasers, Keith and Noelene Davies, “Gladys Park”, Carabagal, for $5600.

The son of lead Woodpark Poll sire 12-342 had 18.2-micron fibre diameter with a 2.8 standard deviation (SD), 15.4 coefficient variation (CV), as well as top 10pc yearling weight at 7.7, and in the top 10pc for both Merino production index and dual purpose index at 147 and 143 respectively.

Mr Elmes said the ram was selected for his correctness, good staple length and doability.

“He is a nice and square sheep and will be mated over as many elite ewes as possible,” he said.

The Davies also purchased a second ram from the front line for $3200, a 16.2-micron ram with 2.5 SD, 15.4 CV.

The second highest money of $4800 was paid for a 19.1 micron son of heavy cutting , broad-wool type sire 12-407 with 3.7 SD, 19.4 CV, biggest yearling weight and yearling clean fleece weight in the catalogue at 9.2 and 26.3 respectively. He was purchased by Bogo Merinos, Wee Jasper.

Bogo Merinos manager, Mal Peake, selected the ram for his constitution, good wool, and balance of figures.

Werona Park, Charlton, Victoria, paid $4600 for a 18.4-micron ram with 3.0 SD, and 16.3 CV, and $4000 for a 16.8-micronram with 3.0 SD and 17.9 CV.

Burrupa Partnership, Tatyoon, Vic, paid $4400 for a 162 micron ram with 2.5 SD and 15.4 CV as well as two others later in the catalogue to purchase three in total for a $3567 average.

Woodpark Poll co-principal Carol Huggins expressed the Huggins family’s delight with the result.

‘’A very solid sale with a good clearance, and a happy clientele who went away pleased with the rams they had bought,” she said.

The sale was conducted by Elders and Landmark with Ron Rutledge and Peter Godbolt sharing the gavel for their respective companies.

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