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Change was in the air at the Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders' Association of New Zealand national sale on January 27.
The usual sheep pavilion at the Waimate Showgrounds was unable to be used this year, so the association improvised. With the help of auctioneers from Peter Walsh and Associates, it created a ''ring'' in an enclosure in the yards outside.
A team of helpers managed to run the animals through a complex series of gates before showing them individually to the gallery of bidders under a blazing sun.
All but one of the 40 entries were shown. An unregistered two-tooth Corriedale ewe from Jim Stewart, of Rakaia, was judged the Champion Animal of the Show, then sold for $200.
Top price of $375 was paid by Belfast breeder Janice Winter for a registered two-tooth Romney ram from Julie Howden, of Gore.
Miss Howden, who has been taking stock to the sale since 1994, said she was ''very pleased'' with this year's results.
Sale convener Reg Partridge, of Oamaru, was also pleased with the event's success. It was followed by an afternoon at Sue and Stuart Albrey's nearby farm for seminars and workshops.