Dorset Horn exhibits praised as numbers dwindle

Dorset Horn exhibits praised as numbers dwindle

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DORSET HORN: The younger of two rams entered by the Redline stud, West Wyalong, NSW, held by handler Scott Mitchell, Culcairn, NSW, pictured with judge Joe Scott, Coolac, NSW, and Kyle Sturgess, West Wyalong, with the reserve champion.

DORSET HORN: The younger of two rams entered by the Redline stud, West Wyalong, NSW, held by handler Scott Mitchell, Culcairn, NSW, pictured with judge Joe Scott, Coolac, NSW, and Kyle Sturgess, West Wyalong, with the reserve champion.

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Two rams represented the Dorset Horn breed, but quality was still on show.

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True to type and "what the breed is known for" was how Dorset Horn judge Joe Scott described the animals brought forward for judging.

Despite featuring just two entries for the breed, the awards were well deserved, Mr Scott said.

The entries came from the Redline Dorset Horn stud, West Wyalong, NSW.

Mr Scott, Valley Vista, Coolac, NSW, was happy to be invited to judge the Dorset Horns.

The judge was confronted by two rams - one under 1.5 years-old and the other over 1.5 years - and he selected the younger ram.

"The champion ram was true to type and had the heavy bone the breed is known for," he said.

"The ram's got a carcase that's full of meat over the loin, where we are looking for."

The champion was sashed by Australian Dorset Horn president Robert Grieves.

Mr Scott said the rams both showed the heavy carcase that provided the breed's attributes of compact and fast growth.

He said the champion ram had the width desired in the horn, and great vision.

"I see him as a stud sire; he is a lot safer, more correct and will do a lot for the breed," he said.

He said the Dorset Horn was an ideal sire for use over first-cross ewes to breed fast growing, heavy weight lambs.

He said he had seen both the rams at recent shows without knowing he would be judging them this week.

The Redline stud is the interest of Sturgess sisters - Beth (seven years), Abby (five) and Trudy (three), according to their dad Kyle.

Mr Sturgess said the girls hadn't made the long trip but were involved in the running of the stud flock.

"Because we run the Dorset Horns with Poll Dorsets, the girls can easily spot their sheep in the paddock," he said.

"It helps make them keen to help and come out to the paddocks.

"It gives them an interest and it's also preserving a heritage breed at the same time."

He said there were less than 400 Dorset Horn ewes in Australia and the Redline stud had just 20 breeding ewes.

The foundation ewes came from two Crookwell, NSW, based studs in Pinewalla and Symba.

Mr Sturgess said the two rams had been shown at Gundagai, NSW, and Cowra, NSW, and would be set for the Australasian Dorset Show in Bendigo in September.

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