Livestreaming the 2021 South Island Premier Ram Auction has opened up new possibilities for ram buyers and breeders throughout the country.
The auction was hosted by the Gore A&P Association at the Gore showgrounds last week.
The Perendale Sheep Society started the auction by offering Perendales and Cheviot sheep, and then the Gore A&P Association ram fair committee organised the auctioning of other breeds.
About 170 rams were on offer.
Gore A&P Association ram fair secretary Joanne Hall said it was the first time the auction had been livestreamed.
"It is quite a big step forward for the Gore A&P Association," Hall said.
It was a great opportunity for Southland ram sellers.
"It widens our pool of purchasers and gives North Island breeders a good opportunity to see what Southland rams have to offer.
"There were successful bids to North Island bidders."
Ram fair committee member Trevor McCall said the auction was held on one day this year, instead of two as in the past.
"It really went well," McCall said.
The stewards who efficiently moved the sheep in and out of the auction ring played a big part in the success of the new format.
"They never had any muck-ups and that makes a great difference - everything goes smoothly."
The top selling ram in the A&P Association part of the auction was a Romney ram bred by Andrew and Ruth Mitchell, of Ferndale, which sold for $7000.
"It was a very good ram."
The Suffolks sold well with an average price of $2061.
The highest-priced flock ram was a Charollais bred by McCall and his wife Doris, which sold for $1300.
However, the top price of the day was $9500 paid for a Perendale ram bred by Kerry and Richard France, of Moa Flat.
Mr France said it was the first time in 18 years the couple had received the top price for a ram.
"We've been second about three or four or five times," Mr France said.
The ram had stood out since he had been a lamb.
"He's such a clean ram," he said.
"We thought he would get good money," Mrs France said.
The ram was bought by Lloyd Brenssell, also of Moa Flat.
Brenssell said when he looked at the ram he expected it was worth about $10,000.
"Just a really good all-round type of sheep," Brenssell said.
The ram was "ideally suited for what we use him for which is going over Romneys".