A Perendale ram from the Gardyne family's Klifden stud in the Ida Valley topped this year's Gore ram fair, selling for $15,500.

The ram was bought by Southland stud breeders Matt and Dave McKelvie and Warren Ayers. Vendor Robert Gardyne, who has been breeding sheep for more than 50 years, described it as "very humbling".

Gardyne had sold a ram eight years ago to the same buyers. It had bred very well for them and that had probably given them the confidence to buy another, he said.

The top priced ram had the "X-factor" and, during ram hogget shearing, it had the heaviest fleece, while the wool also had plenty of style and was very white, he said.

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Gardyne had used it as a ram lamb and its twin brother was sent to the national Perendale progeny trial at Smedley Station in Hawke's Bay so there was no point in retaining it.

Several years ago, Gardyne — who also has a Texel stud — was named Producer of the Decade for the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards.

With the top priced Perendale ram are Carrfields agent Callum Dunnett (left), vendor Robert Gardyne (holding the sheep), Matt McKelvie, Carrfields agent Roger Keach and auctioneer Andrew Holt, Grant Gardyne, Warren Ayers and Dave McKelvie. Photo / Wayne Roberts/In:Sync Images
With the top priced Perendale ram are Carrfields agent Callum Dunnett (left), vendor Robert Gardyne (holding the sheep), Matt McKelvie, Carrfields agent Roger Keach and auctioneer Andrew Holt, Grant Gardyne, Warren Ayers and Dave McKelvie. Photo / Wayne Roberts/In:Sync Images

He was a finalist in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 before winning the grand champion title in 2016 — the first time the competition had been won with a Perendale. In 2017, he was runner-up in the best of breed (traditional) class, with a Perendale lamb.

Carrfields stud stock agent Roger Keach said overall, the two-day ram fair was "reasonably sound" and quality sheep met strong demand.

"The offering overall was very very good".

There was a very good line-up of Perendale rams and the top-priced ram was a finer-woolled sheep which attracted attention for its scanning and performance data and its fleece, he said.