SHEEP: B&A BREEDS

Countryman - - WAGIN WOOLORAMA - Bob Gar­nant

The Squiers fam­ily, of Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud, Quairad­ing, won the supreme in­ter­breed ti­tle dur­ing the Bri­tish and Aus­tralasian Sheep Breeds com­pe­ti­tion at the Make Smok­ing His­tory Wa­gin Woolorama.

Stud co-prin­ci­pal Chris Squiers, whose fam­ily runs two sep­a­rate Poll Dorset stud pre­fixes, said it was the first Shirlee Downs ewe to win the top award at Woolorama. Their Don­gadilling stud won the cov­eted sash with a ewe in 2011.

“It takes a good ewe to pro­duce good rams and, in do­ing so, pro­vide on­go­ing pro­gres­sion to any stud and com­mer­cial en­ter­prise,” he said.

“We aim to breed sheep with good struc­ture with frames that pack a lot of meat.

“This un­der one-year-old ewe was a first drop sired by Ulandi Park North 55, a ram we bought in South Aus­tralia, and out of Shirlee Downs 20.

“Run­ning two sep­a­rate Poll Dorset studs al­lows us to push the ge­net­ics in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions which en­ables a pro­duc­tive com­par­i­son.”

The Squiers run 1000 stud sheep, in­clud­ing Poll Dorsets and Prime SAMMs, and have a com­mer­cial flock in the thou­sands, where they cross the two breeds over Merino ewes from their 3000-head sel­f­re­plac­ing Merino flock.

Judge Sandy Forbes, of Roys­ton SAMM stud, Napier, said the Shirlee Downs ewe edged out the in­ter­breed cham­pion ram, be­cause of its won­der­ful fem­i­nin­ity and long body with muscling through the hindquar­ter.

The in­ter­breed ram ti­tle was won by the Ditch­burn fam­ily, of Golden Hill White Suf­folk stud, Kuk­erin. “This is our first ram to win best ram in the shed,” stud co-prin­ci­pal Nathan Ditch­burn said.

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