Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Assoc annual sale

Anyone who wants coloured wool - or to breed interesting sheep - should mark January 25 as a red-letter day.

That's when the Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association of New Zealand is holding its annual South Island sale. It has been held at the Waimate Showgrounds since the turn of the millennium - a central location with facilities ideally suited to the event.

Convener Reg Partridge said he would like to see lots of buyers take advantage of the stock on offer.

''There is quite a demand for different colours of wool, especially for handcrafts.''

Lifestyle block owners were another target market, he said.

The association would also be selling copies of a book - The World of Coloured Sheep - by Roger Lundie and Elspeth Wilkinson.

''It contains papers by 80 New Zealand and international contributors covering breeding and handcrafts and it's a valuable resource for anyone interested in the subject,'' Mr Partridge said.

Vendors were likely to come from all over the South Island for January's sale.

This year's sale was notable for a record price. A registered Romney ram bred by P.C. and M.J. Gould, of Pleasant Point, attracted fierce bidding before the auctioneer's hammer fell at $1050.

The successful bidders were Kate and Bruce McLachlan, of Clarendon, near Lake Waihola, south of Dunedin. Mrs McLachlan said she selected the ram for the ''handle'' of his fleece.

Vendor Peter Gould was chuffed with the sale. He and the McLachlans had similar goals with their breeding programmes and often favoured the same sheep at sales.

Mr Gould sold another registered Romney for $200, had one passed in at $150 and achieved $160 for an unregistered Romney ram.

Altogether the sale offered 28 animals: two ewe lambs, 11 two-tooth ewes, six adult ewes and nine two-tooth rams.