Bundara Downs defies fading season CATHERINE MILLER BUNDARA Downs White Suffolk and Poll Dorset stud passed a stiff seasonal test with flying colours at its 18th annual on-property production sale at Western Flat on September 19. In a South East season that is fading fast and with few new-season lambs sold, stud principals Steve and Ros and Greg and Selena Funke sold more rams than in any previous year. They also posted a $20 increase in overall sale average. In one of the state's largest offerings of terminal sires, they sold 226 of 286 stud, specially selected, and flock rams with high-ranking Lambplan figures, good growth and carcase merit, to 44 buyers from the Eyre Peninsula to the SE and into central Vic. The sale lacked the stud interest of some years, although buyers have already had plenty of opportunities this season to buy their stud rams. Bundara Downs' recent success included the $11,000 second-top price at the Adelaide Elite ram sale, and the $5000 equal-top price at the Bendigo White Suffolk sale in Vic. Friday's $2200 sale topper was tag number 133885, an April 2013-drop son of Detpa Grove 110429. The growthy ram had a post-weaning weight nearly in the top 10pc of the Lambplan terminal sires at 14.41 and very positive eye muscle depth at +1.75. It was bought by longtime sale supporters Trevor and Kath Pietsch and their son Nathan, Bordertown. "We liked his overall conformation and figures. His figures represent what he looks like," Trevor said. Karen, Mark and Logan Dennis, Kurrabi Park White Suffolk stud, Koppio, kicked the bidding off, paying $2000 for lot one. The 128-kilogram ram, born as a twin, was sired by Days Whiteface 84-11 and had been part of the stud's Royal Adelaide Show team. The sale's success came from the repeat volume commercial buyers who paid $600-$900 in the latter half. Among these were Leon and Tim Schwarz, Carramut, Vic, taking 43 rams averaging $850. "We had been looking for a stud with plenty of rams to select from and had been impressed with what we saw in Hamilton at Sheepvention (Vic) a few years ago," Leon said. MUSCLE MACHINE: Nathan, Kath and Trevor Pietsch, Bordertown, with the $2200 topprice ram they bought at the Bundara Downs annual production sale. Stud co-principal Steve Funke, holding the ram, is with Elders auctioneer Steve Doecke.