Dorset Downs winners ooze carcase quality

Dorset Downs winners ooze carcase quality


Numbers may have been low but the quality of the Dorset Downs exhibits was high.


Numbers may have been scarce in the judging ring of the Dorset Downs, but the quality was still there.

Margaret and Colin Chapman's Woodhall stud, Wedderburn, was the sole exhibitor of the breed at this year's Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo on Friday.

New Zealand judge, Tom Burrows, with a long connection to the Dorset breeds, said the supreme champion Dorset Downs exhibit was a "lovely" example of the breed.

Mr Burrows had his eye on the carcase through the loin and said she was good on her feet.

He said the supreme ewe was "magnificent" and would be "up with any ewes at home".

"It all starts with the ewe and this ewe has a great carcase," he said.

Mr Burrows said he was looking for "good, clean sheep" with good carcases.

The older ewe had earlier been preferred over a younger ewe for champion ewe because she had "done a bit more".

"She would fit into any flock," he said.

In the ram section the champion ram was from the class for rams 1.5 years and over.

Mr Burrows said the older ram had "done it all" and that the younger ram "would have his time".

He said the champion ram showed good type with a good "sirey" head and was terrific through the loin.

Earlier in its class, the judge said the younger ram showed good type with a "nice" head and was good through the shoulder and loin.

"He stands up well - he's a good example of the breed," he said.

There were six Dorset Downs sheep in Australia.

Margaret Chapman's grandfather imported the first Dorset Downs sheep into Australia in 1945.

Ms Chapman said the sheep spent most of their time on the Wedderburn farm before being brought down to a small farm at Gisborne prior to showing.

Mr Burrows said the Dorset Downs breed in NZ had made big improvements.

The breed was suitable for joining to breeds including Perendale, Corriedale and Romsey.

It needed more promotion of the breed among lamb producers, selling the results that could be achieved, he said.


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