Ridgway Advance Continues Momentum

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 The stud maintained its mantle as one of the benchmark SA Merino sales of the year with a near repeat of last year's outstanding $1885 average.
In the main auction 95 of 100 March-shorn Poll Merino rams from David & Karen and Devon Ridgway topped at $4800 and averaged $1815. In the mini auction 46 of 70 rams averaged $732.
The first 40 rams set a cracking pace averaging $2370, including nine rams making $3000 or more.
The $4800 sale topper - Lot 2 - was a 20.7 micron April-May 2014 drop with great presence and a lovely white wool.
The 104 kilogram ram- W005- also had impressive carcase figures with an eye muscle depth of 44mm and fat depth of 5mm.
The son of home bred sire Ridgway Advance 100 was bought by Paul and Chris McPherson, Allanvale, Wentworth, NSW, who said the ram was a stand out for "structure and length of staple" and a "good, plain bodied sheep."
"We bought our first ram here eight years ago. They have bred long bodied sheep and good wools," Mr McPherson said.
Two lots later Senior Park, Bordertown, bid the $4200 second top price for another upstanding, fine wool ram which was ET bred.
The 17.4 micron ram had good wool measurements with a 2.4 standard deviation, 13.9 coefficient of variation and 99.8 per cent comfort factor and weighed 114 kilograms with 42 millimetre EMD.
Volume orders among the 35 registered bidders helped ensure the sale's success.

Mr Ridgway was thrilled with the positive comments he received from repeat clients both about the state of the industry and the performance of the Ridgway Advance bloodlines."It doesn't come along all that often that all the industries are good together but they (Merinos) are really money making machines now."
Nearly all of the sale rams were progeny of homebred sires helping the stud's goal of consistently breeding production and performance.
"We are really happy that what you see up front carries through and buyers can have the same genetics and same type right through the catalogue," he said.
He was also pleased in the genetic progress of their carcase tests with nearly all of the rams above 40mm for EMD and fat cover of 5-7mm.
Landmark SA stud stock manager Gordon Wood said the geographical spread of buyers from arid areas such as Broken Hill and Orroroo to higher rainfall areas including Kingston and Bendigo was testament to how Ridgway Advance sheep stand up in all conditions.
"The good nourishment in the wools keeps the water out in high rainfall areas but also the dirt and vegetable matter," he said.
"They are a real modern dual purpose Merino with fast growing carcases and long stapled, white,crimpy wool."
Mr Wood said buyers had to compete to obtain their pick rams early in the sale but later in the sale there were some very good opportunities.
Ridgway Advance has rams available for private selection and 6 rams reserved for the Classings Classic sale at Murray Bridge next on Monday 7th of September.

Written by Stock Catherine Miller
Livestock Editor and South East Journalist