Hillden tops Poll Dorsets

Hillden tops Poll Dorsets


Royal Melbourne Show Sheep
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Judge Graeme Hibbard did not hesitate to sash the Hillden junior ram supreme exhibit of the breed.

Poll Dorset judge Graeme Hibbard, Deepdene stud, Narrandera, NSW, did not hesitate to sash the Hillden junior ram supreme exhibit of the breed.

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“Well a quick decision is a good decision in my opinion, and I had no qualms in awarding it,” Mr Hibbard said.

“I’ve been breeding Dorsets for 51 years now, I think it is, and I consider this Poll Dorset to be one of the best animals I’ve ever seen.

“I think this is an outstanding animal for the breed.”

He described the late August 2016 drop son of by Tattykeel 70-12 as “...very hard to fault, true to type and all the way through a Dorset”.

He said its early maturing, structural correctness and true Dorset head were some of the key attributes that put it on top of the breed, which drew by far the most sheep at 145.

The ram, exhibited by the Frost family, Bannister NSW, went one further, and won interbreed champion ram, after an extra judge had to be called in to adjudicate a tie.

It weighed 127.5kg and scanned 9mm fat depth, 51mm muscle depth, 104mm muscle width and 40.8sqcm muscle area.

For supreme Poll Dorset, it beat the ewe exhibited by fellow NSW stud breeders the Scott family, Valley Vista, Coolac. This ewe also went onto win interbreed champion.

Mr Hibbard said grand champion Poll Dorset ewe was a magnificent example of breed, which retained its femininity with impressive size.

Both the Hillden and Valley Vista studs also had the reserve champions to their respective winning ram and ewe.

Hillden’s senior champion ram was sired by a home-bred ram that sired three class winners. The senior champion ram weighed 147kg and scanned 11mm fat, 56mm muscle depth, 106mm muscle width and 45.7sqcm muscle area.

Valley Vista also won the ​sires progeny group, as well as the Poll Dorset ram lamb that weighed 61.5kg and had a 24.3sqcm muscle area. It won the same class at last week’s Australasian Dorset Championship.

The supreme exhibit had won the champion ram at the Australasian Dorset Champion in Bendigo last weekend, supreme at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show (ASWS) also in Bendigo in July, and won its class at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

When it topped the rams at the Dorset Championship last weekend, it was in wool, and the brothers said showing it bare shorn this weekend was a great way to fight back at comments, including some made online, that showing sheep in wool could hide faults.

Anthony Frost said they thought showing sheep in wool was important, because their fleece is another important breed attribute.

He said it was also commercially relevant because sucker lambs were sold in wool and that’s what they were aiming to breed.

He said nice down type wool for helped keep suckers fresher.

James Frost said first and foremost, they bred rams for their own commercial operation, in which they’re running 3500 commercial crossbred ewes.

The brothers said they selected sheep for their stud based on visual assessment, supported by Stockscan information on muscling.

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