FATE may have played a part in Lyndon Frey's decision to go shopping last week but he admits to a sentimental side as well.
The well-known Inglewood sheep producer bought a significant portion of the merino breeding stock offered by Margaret Cleary and the late Raymund Cleary, at the Warwick sheep sale last week.
The ewes and lambs should have sold for around $100 each but most people just don't have the feed to be buying stock in.
Mr Frey took home 78 ewes, 41 lambs and both of the rams from the Well Station draft.
The fine wool merinos represented the end of an era at Well Station, the Greymare property where the Clearys bred quality sheep for 25 years.
While McDougall and Sons agent Ross Ellis said the sale represented an emotional decision for Margaret Cleary, he was positive she would be relieved to see the core breeding flock stay in the wool sector.
Meanwhile, Mr Frey said the quality on offer and the timing of the sale had worked in almost perfectly with his own plans.
"I sold old ewes two weeks ago," he said.
"Then I heard Raymund's sheep were coming on the market and I was well aware of their reputation.
"While I love the thought of continuing a line of sheep that Raymund has put so much time and energy into, I was also thinking about getting back into wool-growers."
Before his Well Station flock investment, Mr Frey was running hereford breeders and 250 cross-bred ewes, along with 100 stud poll dorset ewes and 20 dorset horn ewes, his pride and joy.
"We've had a wild dog problem and it's an ongoing battle," Mr Frey said.
"But we went into cross-bred ewes to spread the risk and now with wool pretty buoyant, it's time to get back into merino wool. The wool market is pretty good, especially when you compare it with the cattle market."
On the home front, he said good storms through December had helped maintain dam levels and refresh paddock feed.
"We were very fortunate. We had two storms before Christmas that ran water, so after that our dams were about three-quarters full," Mr Frey said.
"So, we do have the feed to take these new sheep home."
Mr Frey described his latest purchase as "good buying".
"I paid $40 for ewes and lambs; $40 for the rams and $39 for dry ewes, so it was good from a buyer's perspective," he said.
"But in reality the ewes and lambs should have sold for around $100 each but most people just don't have the feed to be buying stock in."
Agent Ross Ellis said the Cleary draft had been offered in the best possible condition, given seasonal conditions.