Buyers demand quality

Despite a large number of entries in this year's sale, breeders of coloured sheep were disappointed with how many were passed in.

The annual Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association of New Zealand South Island sale took place at Waimate on Saturday, attracting more than 50 entries - double last year's - but vendors agreed it was one of the poorer coloured sheep sales for a long time.

As auctioneer Snow Buckley suggested, everyone must already have all the breeding stock they need.

The top price of $640 was paid for an unregistered merino 2-tooth ram offered by Middlemarch breeder Will Gibson. The buyers were Leo and Karen Ponsonby, of Rolleston.

Mr Gibson said he now had about 180 coloured ewes, so it was time to sell some stock.

''I'm more than happy with the price. They all sold for above what I hoped for.''

Mr Ponsonby said buyers ''recognise quality and are only buying that.''