Long and short wool Interbreed captivates crowd

Long and short wool Interbreed captivates crowd


Good crowds gathered for the Interbreed competitions for long and short wools as the best of breeds went toe to toe.


Three different breeds were represented as supreme Interbreed exhibits in the long and short wool Interbreed judging on Tuesday at Sheepvention.

It was a competitive but supportive atmosphere evident at both rings as breeds went head to head.

There was a familiar feel to the results of the short wool sheep at this year's Sheepvention.

As with the 2018 results Victoria and South Australia took out the interbreed supreme short wool ram and short wool ewe respectively.

The ram was a Poll Dorset from Victoria and the winning short wool ewe was a Suffolk from South Australia.

Interbreed champion panel

  • Supreme short wool ram: Mallee Park, Poll Dorset
  • Supreme long wool ram: Gambier View, Corriedale
  • Supreme short wool ewe: Curlew Valley, Suffolk
  • Supreme long wool ewe: Sweetfield, Corriedale
  • Supreme short wool group 1 ram, 2 ewes: Induro, White Suffolks
  • Supreme long wool group 1 ram, 2 ewes: Jackson Farming, Border Leicester.
  • Lamb production, trade, 2 rams: Bundarra Downs

The ram result capped a hugely successful show for the Mallee Park stud of Tim and Marianne Ferguson, Hopetoun.

One interbreed judge Troy Fischer said the judging for the supreme ram was "a very close contest".

"Of the top five rams there was not much separating them. They were all good examples of the breed with terrific carcases and structure but the winner was a well muscled, well balanced sort of sheep," he said.

The ewe was shown by Rachel Chirgwin, Curlew Valley Suffolks, Manoora, South Australia.

Interbreed judges said the winner was a "very correct, meaty ewe that had a lot of presence".

Judge Daryl MacDonald said the tops of each section there were four or five that were standouts.

"They were all well presented as you would expect at this level," Mr MacDonald said.

"The lamb job is going really well and the genetics need to be right, to be stable. You still need to size up the sheep with your eyes and your hands as well as the measurements," he said.

"They all have their breed characteristics that they have to have and they are something that has been developed over the years," he said.

Breeder of the supreme interbreed ewe, Rachel Chirgwin, said the ewe was out of an AI Black Butt 6776.

"I specifically bought him for his eye muscle depth - the highest in Australia in 2016 - and high post weaning weight figures," Ms Chirgwin said.

"Her grand sire on her maternal side was Burwood 100013.

"He was grand champion in Adelaide in 2011 and I bought him because of his data overall presence - he was a magnificent ram."

Ms Chirgwin said it was the first AI program she had done.

"The ewe was supreme Suffolk exhibit at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show - that was my first broad ribbon," she said.

"I'm finally set up to where I can prepare a show team well.

"I went out on a limb with the AI sire I only got eight lambs but everyone of those lambs has been kept in the stud and has show potential.

"It's a genetic combination that has worked really well for me."

The Curlew stud comprises 110 stud ewes as well as a further 20 ewe lambs that were also joined annually.

The ewe would now go on to Adelaide Royal before going into an embryo transfer program.

"I bought a Bowen ram from the Adelaide ram sale last year to use in that program," she said.

She said most of the rams sold each year were to commercial breeders.

"I've got a strong focus on producing early maturing, high carcase yielding rams," Ms Chirgwin said.

"My focus has always been to breed a sheep that is structurally sound and got all the physical attributes for its breed but has got good carcase data to back that up.

"This ewe absolutely did that. I've bred lots of sheep with great carcase data but don't quite look the part - she is the complete package."

Long wool Interbreed

Corriedales filled the supreme interbreed long wool spots for both ram and ewe at Sheepvention.

The "thrilled" breeders of each were overcome at the announcement.

Long wool ram came from Milton Savage's Gambier View stud, Skipton.

Mr Savage was "thrilled and surprised" at his ram's win.

"I'm just rapped. It's been a good year. We started in 1956 and in the past ten years used a fair few different bloodlines but four years ago I decided to cull heavily the ones I wasn't happy with," Mr Savage said.

"It's paid off quickly and we're geting more meat on the sheep and the ewes are cutting $49 worth of wool.

"I'm not sure where the next genetics are coming from. I'm always looking."

The long wool ewe was bred and shown by Sweetfield stud, Mt Moriac, operated by Bron and son Leigh Ellis and his partner Casey Tomkins.

Ms Ellis said she was "overwhelmed" about winning the long wool ewe Interbreed.

"I never expected to win and to be up there is an honour and to win is an absolute thrill," she said.

The sire of the winning Corriedale ewe was a Croydon sire and the lambs were by a Sweetfield ram that won interbreed in 2016 in Bendigo and Hamilton.

"They are rippers of little lambs - very even," she said.

Jackson Farming Border Leicester stud, Moyston, were the winners of the Lyle Walter Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association Breeds Group trophy - a group of one ram and two ewes.


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