Detpa Grove hits a top of $32,000 twice

Detpa Grove hits a top of $32,000 twice

Over 12 hours of continuous rain, on top of already wet ground failed to dampen the enthusiasm of stud and commercial buyers at the Pipkorn family’s 34th Annual Detpa Grove White Suffolk sale at Jeparit last Thursday (13th October).

The magnificent quality offering of 247 stud ewes, stud rams, specially selected rams and flock rams saw a 97% clearance at a $2539 average, twice topping at $32,000.

Results like this are achieved when the quality matches the buoyancy within the prime lamb industry. Four decades of dedicated breeding and astute genetic selections has propelled the Detpa Grove stud to the top echelons, not only within the breed, but right across the prime lamb industry.

The quality of offer certainly matched all expectations and 63 registered bidders at the sale, plus the further 23 active on-line through Auctions Plus, competed very strongly from lot 1 to the sale’s end.

The outstanding line-up of 73 White Suffolk stud ewes commenced the sale on the strongest of notes. It is an ill wind that does no good, and the COVID related travel restrictions from the last two years forced more to use on-line bidding and gain confidence in the system as a result.

Of the 71 ewes to sell, 52% sold to on-line bidders across five states. This ewe draft topped at $3500 and averaged $1577.

It was Chris Squiers, Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading, WA, operating through Auctions Plus who got the sale off to a cracking start. He jumped in on the first pen of two ewes, taking lot 1 at $2750, then its pen-mate at $1750. He ended up being the volume ewe buyer, adding another eight; his 10 ewes averaging $1725.

Fresh from his outstanding successes at the major sheep shows this year, Tim Jorgensen, Mertex stud, Antwerp, Vic was very selective, picking out two top ewes and paying $2750 and the sale top of $3500 to get them.

The top ewe, DG210453Tw was a standout, with exceptional phenotype backed by elite performance figures, being sired by Wingamin 192459, the $19,000 sire purchased by the Pipkorns two years ago.

JP ON Venture Trading, operating through Elders Midland, WA selected two ewes including the second top priced ewe, DG210246ET at $3250.

Not far behind Shirlee Downs in the volume buying stakes was fellow Western Australian, Laurie Fairclough, Stockdale stud, York. Operating via phone hook-up with Brett Shepherd, Kybybolite, SA, he purchased nine select ewes, paying to a top of $2500 and averaging $1778.

Charles Rowett, North Ulandi stud, Marrabel, SA also gave volume support through Auctions Plus, on a lesser budget but not far behind on quality, purchasing eight ewes at an $1125 average.

Andrew Mills, Jindivick, Vic (six averaging $1667), Elli McDonald, Hopea stud, Dadswell Bridge, Vic (five ave $1600) and Patrick Mulqueeney, Forbes, NSW (five ave $1150) were the most prominent of the other 12 successful bidders on this outstanding draft of ewes.

The much-anticipated draft of 28 stud rams followed the ewes. If you wanted to see elite performance in sheep with outstanding phenotype, then it was on offer in this draft.

The first ram in the ring, DG210193 at lot 74 typified that description. Extremely long, full of muscle, structurally correct and displaying great breed type, this 16.5 month old son of Ella Matta 190004 strongly endorsing his growth figures of 12.9 for WWT and 19.69 for PWWT.

He was quickly snapped up by the Hull family, Katatta Well stud, Streaky Bay, SA, connecting to the sale by phone. At $16,000, this was possibly another case of the first lot being the best value.

The next ram, DG210410Tw by Wingamin 192459 was not far behind in the volume stakes, plus had a touch of real class, being purchased for $18,000 by Gary Armstrong, Wagga, NSW, buying for his son Sam who has recently commenced a White Suffolk stud.

However, it was not until lot 84 that the first of the two $32,000 sale topping highlights stepped into the sale ring. With a slightly more moderate frame than the first two rams, but with extreme performance and muscling, DG210325Tw was another hefty lad at just 17 months of age.

The strong bidding competition it attracted finally settled on two, with repeat top end buyer, Roger Wilkinson, Camborn stud, Pooncarrie, NSW, operating through Elders Mildura, outlasting the Armstrongs to place the winning bid.

Besides its extreme weight for age, performance figures of 11.69 for weaning weight, 18.45 for post weaning weight and 2.16 for EMD placed this ram in a standout position in many observers’ eyes. It was also sired by the Wingamin ram that sired the top priced ewe.

It was not until 12 lots later that the Armstrongs settled on their next selection in the quest to purchase two top rams, DG210093Tw at lot 96. They persisted to the final bid at the equal sale top of $32,000, having been pushed all the way by Ian Gilmore, Baringa stud, Oberon, NSW.

With a real sire presence, this son of DG200452 commanded the ring, but more importantly for many, he possessed great Lambplan performance figures, having the highest Eye Muscle Breeding Value (3.48) and TCP index of 163 in the draft.

In explaining the family’s determined bidding and selections, Gary Armstrong said Sam had recently purchased the Pambria stud ewes and now had serious numbers of over 200 ewes to breed from. In going after the very tops, Gary said, “If you’re going to breed them, it’s no use hanging around the bottom.”

Detpa Grove principal, David Pipkorn has successfully blended infusions from performance focused studs like Somerset, Ella Matta and Felix in the last few years, and when combined with the decades of entrenched excellence for structure and breed type that Detpa Grove is renowned for, the top end results are impressive.

Another one of these was DG210533Tw, sired by Felix 191175. Boree Park White Suffolks, WA connected via phone to secure this ram for $20,000.

The other ram to hit five figures was DG210402, another absolute muscle machine on a more moderate frame, being sired by DG Regal 200477. It was purchased for $10,000 by Brett Picker, Bigga, NSW, operating through Auctions Plus.

The 28 stud rams averaged $8143, which was a national seasonal high stud ram average for the breed.

The top six were justifiably the headline makers, but arguably the bigger story was the outstanding value still to be found. These six sold for more than the other 22 combined, those averaging just $4545; extreme value when considering only a minor drop-off in performance and phenotype quality.

The quality and performance levels of the stud ram draft flowed on through the specially selected and flock rams drafts, with these being eagerly snapped up by commercial producers.

37 were successful in purchasing 140 of the 147 on offer, topping at $3250, with buying volumes ranging from just one ram to a top of 12 purchases.

T & E Farms, operating through HF Richardson, Kaniva was the standout commercial buyer for volume and price. They selected five from the specially selected draft, then added seven more from the flock ram draft, paying to the $3250 top and averaging $2604.

Cherrymount Pastoral Co, through Elders Hamilton certainly appreciated the quality and purchased 10 rams in total, including two from the stud draft, one specially selected ram and seven flock rams, topping at $3000 and averaging $2575.

JR & MJ Kilpatrick through AWN Stawell was another strong bidder this year, purchasing seven rams to $2750 and averaging $2214.

Simon Mulraney, PPH & S Naracoorte agent servicing Edenhope area clients, has recognized the quality of the Detpa Grove rams and the benefits they bring to his clients for a long time, regularly bringing several to this sale.

This year the PPH & S Naracoorte buying list of eight lamb producers purchased 39 rams collectively. Most prominent were Craig Bennie, a long-time purchaser (seven rams ave $2179), Lake Kemi Kemi (eight rams ave $1219), TN Bourke (six at $1000 each) and D & K Selkrig (six ave $2208).

Elders Bendigo branch has also long supported this sale, this year bringing four clients who collectively purchased 15 rams to $2750.

Despite the problems associated with staging a sale in such testing weather conditions, the Pipkorn family were ecstatic with the result.

“We were blown away by the level of support we received this year, not just at the top end by fellow breeders from across the country, but also from the many commercial producers who continue to sit through the stud sale and compete on our flock rams year after year, giving us valuable commercial feedback on how our genetics are working where it matters most in this industry,” David Pipkorn said.


Sale SummaryOfferedSoldTopAverage
Stud ewes7371$3500$1577
Stud rams2828$32,000 (x2)$8143
Specially selected rams3333$3250$2606
Flock rams114107$2750$1689


Elders Warracknabeal
AuctioneersRoss Milne & Matt O’Connor

Courtesy Ian Turner