Tattykeel has dedicated its Australasian Dorset Championship supreme exhibit win to the late Martin Gilmore, two months after his sudden passing.
After a three-year hiatus showing at the national event at Bendigo, Graham, James and Kirsty Gilmore and Andrew Whittaker represented the Oberon, NSW, stud, and said they wouldn’t have competed if it wasn’t for Martin, who made the decision to show a few months ago.
Martin’s nephew James Gilmore said it was a special but surreal win given the circumstances.
“The Tattykeel story is a real team and family effort, and the biggest piece of that puzzle is now at rest,” Mr Gilmore said.
“We’ve won a lot of show ribbons before but this one doesn’t feel the same without him.”
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And it was an August 2017-drop ram that took out the supreme win, against a high calibre of Poll Dorset and Dorset Horn rams, ewes and lambs.
Mr Gilmore said the ram, whose grandsire took out senior champion ram at the same event almost 10 years ago, had been a standout since it was a lamb, for its overall balance and carcase shape.
Judge Daryl Dixon, Ashbank Poll Dorset stud, Dubbo, NSW, said he couldn’t fault the ram, who was perfect right through, with good Poll Dorset characteristics.
Mr Dixon said there wasn’t much between the champion ram and ewe, so he purely picked the ram because he knows it’s slightly harder to breed a good ram than to breed a good ewe.
The champion ewe was exhibited by the Frost family’s Hillden Poll Dorset stud, Bannister, NSW.
The April 2017-drop ewe was sired by Hillden 295, the same sire of nearly half of the stud’s show team, who according to James Frost, has bred exceptionally well.
Mr Frost said she had always been a stand out.
“She’s really structurally correct, and true to Poll Dorset type,” he said.
He said she will be put in an embryo transfer program later in the year.
Judge Mr Dixon said she was the best ewe on the day thanks to her beautiful carcase, top line and hindquarter.
The supreme exhibit also had to beat out the senior champion ram and champion ram lamb to take out the ultimate title.
The senior championship was awarded to Springwaters Poll Dorset stud, Boorowa, NSW, for an April 2017-drop.
It was the ram’s first big show win, but the second senior champion win in a row for the stud, with the ram’s half brother winning the ribbon last year.
Stud principal Dane Rowley said their sire, Pocock, had been breeding beautifully, and those two were particular standouts.
Mr Rowley said the winning ram was muscly and balanced, and would be offered for sale at the stud’s upcoming on-property ram sale.
The champion ram lamb was won by Valley Vista Poll Dorset stud, Coolac, NSW.
The reserve champion ewe was awarded to Armdale Poll Dorset stud, Marrar, NSW.
Armdale stud principal Garry Armstrong said the ewe was well-balanced, muscly and structurally correct, and a good representation of what he is striving to breed.
Mr Armstrong said showing at the Dorset Championship was important as a way to benchmark against flocks nationally.