Mt Challicum Poll rams make sale debut

Mt Challicum Poll rams make sale debut

Local Business Feature
TOP HONOURS: Chris and Phil Hartwich, Mt Challicum stud, Ballyrogan, with their reserve Victorian pair awarded at this year's Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo.

TOP HONOURS: Chris and Phil Hartwich, Mt Challicum stud, Ballyrogan, with their reserve Victorian pair awarded at this year's Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo.


Members of the Southern Victorian Merino Breeders Association will open their gates to visitors for the annual field day on Friday October 19


After a successful season of showing, Phil and Kim Hartwich are looking forward to welcoming visitors to their stud on Friday, October 19.

Based at Ballyrogan, Mt Challicum will have a selection of sale rams, fleeces and stud rams on display, all featuring the quality, long, bright white wools the ultrafine/superfine stud is renowned for.

“Wool quality has always been our emphasis, but we are also putting it on a larger framed sheep,” Mr Hartwich said.

“We have been excited to see our progress of the flock which is improving every year with the ewes regularly cutting five kilogram per head fleeces.

“We have been very pleased to record a lift in wool cut as each drop of lambs come through which has been the result of using top quality, pure, stable genetics.”

The stud ewe flock micron range is 15.5 to 17.5 micron and we are aiming for 16.5 to 18.5 micron with the Poll Merinos.”

Mt Challicum has had many achievements at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show (ASWS) in Bendigo including 2014 Australian champion fleece and 2010 Victorian ewe of the year.

This season the Hartwich family added to their broad ribbon success, winning the reserve Victorian Merino pair.

“The winning ram, Daniel, is a well grown two-year-old ram with very stylish 15 micron wool, while the ewe is a heavy cutting 15.9 micron sheep with bright white wool,” Mr Hartwich said.

“The ewe also won grand champion ultrafine ewe at Hamilton Sheepvention this year and both sheep were part of the team that won the group of five Merino sheep at Sheepvention.”

Other results at Bendigo included grand champion unhoused ewe, while Mt Challicum also took home top honours in the National Fleece competition, winning the grand champion extra ultrafine fleece which weighed 8.8kgs unskirted and measured 15.4 micron. The champion fleece is now on display at the wool selling centre at Brooklyn.

The Hartwich family are also excited about the results achieved at the ASWS with two 11-month-old poll rams.

The young sire Ultramax was shown in the ultrafine section winning the champion March shorn ultrafine Poll ram. He measured 15.5 micron and will be retained in the stud for breeding.

The other poll ram, which boasts a wool cut of 4.3kg in four and a half months and measures 16.4 micron, came second in his superfine section at Bendigo.

“The future of our poll stud looks very exciting with these young sires who will both be on display at the field day.”

The Mt Challicum stud ewes are classed in February by John Crawford ready to be joined in March for spring lambing.

The poll stud has been established through an artificial insemination program using genetics from RockBank Max which was the Victorian ram of the year in 2016. There will be a small selection of his progeny for sale at the field day.

Mt Challicum also purchased a poll ram from Rock-Bank at their sale last year, paying an equal second top price of $7000. The stud sire will be in display again at this year’s field day. 

“He is an 18 micron ram who has a big frame and is structurally very correct and this year we have his first drop of lambs on the ground.”

The AI program has also introduced genetics from Rock-Bank Rafa, which won this year’s Australian ram of the year, as well as the stud’s grand champion superfine poll ram Stevie.

“The progeny of these rams look very promising and are growing well.”

With a strong focus on biosecurity, the Mt Challicum flock is approved vaccines for OJD and accredited brucellosis free.

  • Details: For more information phone 03 5354 4218, mobile 0428 544 218, or email

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