Tintern finds another Romney export market

Tintern's export program expands to Kazakhstan


Sheep and Wool Show News
Tintern Grammar students Gracie Touliatos, Ines Delepouve, Raphael Taylor, Sean Harris, Chloe Hartshorn and Freya Bryson with the supreme Romney exhibit. Photo by Ruby Canning.

Tintern Grammar students Gracie Touliatos, Ines Delepouve, Raphael Taylor, Sean Harris, Chloe Hartshorn and Freya Bryson with the supreme Romney exhibit. Photo by Ruby Canning.

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Tintern Grammar's Romney genetics are now going to Kazahkstan.

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Tintern Grammar, Ringwood East, has found another export market for its niche breed, the Romney.

The school again took out the supreme champion Romney ribbon at this year's Australian Sheep & Wool Show.

Tintern farm manager Gavin Wall said the school couldn't bring its first choice ram to the ASWS, as semen was being collected from the animal for the Kazakhstan government.

"The Kazakhstan government came to Australia with a shopping list of five breeds," Mr Wall said.

"They narrowed it down to one, which was the ram from Tintern.

"I was pretty pleased with that."

He said 150 straws of semen would be used in an artificial insemination program to improve Kazakhstan's native sheep lines.

"It was nine months in the process of coming together," he said.

"The ram was entered for the show, but he can't be here and being collected at the same time."

Mr Wall said the winning ram at this year's show was also likely to be used in an AI program in Kazakhstan.

"Our sheep program at Tintern is based on commercial factors," he said.

Tintern had also sold semen into New Zealand.

"That's a bit like selling sand to the Middle East," Mr Wall said.

Judge Leslie Brewer, Radstock Romney stud, South Australia, said the winning ram was young, but well grown.

The August 2018-drop champion ram weighed 84.5 kilograms, had a fat measurement of 5 millimetres and muscle of 37mm.

"He still has that terrific depth and length, which is really important, because the Romney is dual purpose," Ms Brewer said.

"He has that terrific bone, which is important in this country, to get around in all our conditions, from the driest to the wettest.

"He has a lovely, even bulky fleece and good weight with lustre, which is a characteristic of the Romney."

Ms Brewer said the ram had a good sized head, with the wrinkle in the nose, and was a magnificent animal for breeding and continuing the Romney line.

Mr Wall said the ram had all the characteristics in a Romney that he was looking for.

"Structurally, he is very correct," he said.

"He is well muscled, has ideal fat cover - he had the best scanning data of all our sheep - and he is covered by a beautiful fleece.

"It may be finer than most Romneys, but we are aiming to go finer, because there is not a lot of money for the traditional Romney wool.

"We have been able to do that and keep all the Romney characteristics."

Mr Wall said he was "an absolute fan" of line breeding.

"I have put five generations of pedigrees above all our sheep, and I have highlighted some of the common ancestry," he said.

"It is certainly interesting, the better sheep are the line bred sheep."

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