RP09-14's long standing impact on Merino industry

RP09-14's long standing impact on the Merino industry

Sheep Breeders Compendium News
GOLDEN GIRLS: Roseville Park didn't have a photo of RP09-14 but this was RP09-14's 'golden girls', who in 2013 won all of the major show awards that year.

GOLDEN GIRLS: Roseville Park didn't have a photo of RP09-14 but this was RP09-14's 'golden girls', who in 2013 won all of the major show awards that year.

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RP09-14 had over 7500 doses of semen sold across the country and world.

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He was the best sheep ever bred at prominent NSW stud Roseville Park Merinos and Poll Merinos since principal Matthew Coddington took over in 2005, and this was recognised across the country and overseas, with over 7500 doses of RP09-14's semen sold.

Mr Coddington, who is based at Dubbo, said RP09-14, a Poll Merino, was a stand out from two weeks of age.

"He was ET-bred and it was a dry year, and his mob was lambed down in a little 15-hectare paddock, and by two weeks of age, he was nearly five kilograms bigger than the next biggest ram lamb," Mr Coddington said.

"By the time he'd finished growing at 24 months, he was 154kg."

He was 16.8 micron and cut his micron in fleece weight - 16.8kg in 12 months.

Mr Coddington described the 2009-drop ram as a "one in every 10-15-year sheep".

"He had that early growth rate and that low micron with a high wool cut ration; he cut a lot of good, white, waterproof wool on a large frame that was quick maturing," he said.

RP09-14 was retained in the stud but his semen was purchased from far and wide.

And the significance of selling over 7500 straws of his semen was not lost on Mr Coddington.

"His semen went all through Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Argentina," he said.

Semen was sold to 79 Merino studs in Australia and 22 studs overseas.

The most successful stud that used RP09-14 was One Oak, who bred the Australian supreme Merino in 2013 with a son of RP09-14 and achieved an Australian record price for a ewe at the One Oak dispersal in 2014 with a daughter of RP09-14 selling for $12,000.

This record ewe price was broken the following year by Coddington Uardry who sold a ewe to Argentina for $15,000 whose genetics also included RP09-14.

But he said what was truly special about RP09-14 was how well his progeny performed, particularly the maternal side.

In 2013, Roseville Park won the coveted Bruce Merriman breeders group of five at the Sydney Royal and the Lionel Wetherly breeders group at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo (ASWS), Vic, with all three rams and two ewes being sired by RP09-14.

They also won the NSW pair with a ram and ewe sired by RP09-14.

"The RP09-14 progeny set us up to be awarded the most successful exhibitor at Sydney, Bendigo, Dubbo and the NSW and Queensland state sheep shows in 2013," Mr Coddington said.

In 2013, four different ewes bred by RP09-14 won supreme exhibit at four major shows around Australia.

"His ewes beat all the rams for supreme exhibit at four major shows that year," he said.

The first was the ASWS, where the supreme exhibit and grand champion ewe RP11-2301 weighed 122kg and had a 17.7-micron fleece.

At Dubbo, RP11-27, the supreme exhibit and grand champion ewe weighed 118kg and had fleece measuring 17.5 micron.

At the Queensland state sheep show, another ewe RP11-2311 weighing 115kg and with fleece at 17.9 micron won grand champion ewe.

At the NSW state sheep show, a ewe RP11-0025 weighing 125kg with 17.8-micron fleece won not only the supreme title but also the supreme interbreed long wool title, beating the British breeds.

"I don't think anyone's done that before, winning four awards at four major shows with four different sheep in the same year," he said.

He said those ewes were flushed and they have bred on and on.

He said while RP09-14's maternal progeny had bred well, so had the rams.

"In 2013 and 2014, eight out of the 10 top price rams in Australia were all sons of RP09-14," he said.

And the price tags of some of these sons were big money - $30,000, $28,000 $26,000 (twice), $24,000 (twice) and $22,000 (three times) to name a few.

RP09-14 himself did well in the showring too.

As a one year-old in 2010, weighing 115kg with an eye muscle depth 41 millimetres and 16.6 micron, he was shown as a March-shorn at the ASWS and won grand champion medium wool ram, beating the two year-old full wool ram.

Later that year he also won the Midstate Merino Hogget Ram of the Year.

He had also been an early trait leader with ASBVs for clean fleece weight, yearling weight, fibre diameter and 7 per cent Dual Purpose Index in 2010 and had performed well in The Blue Chip Sire evaluation program in 2011 with the highest combined visual and performance figures for that site recorded that year.

Mr Coddington said it was clear RP09-14 was still having an impact on the Merino industry, which was a testament to his quality, with a great grandson selling for $60,000 from Yarrawonga in 2018.

"Only a handful of rams have that sort of a long standing impact," he said.

"We nicknamed him Barry and from some of the money from semen sales in 2010, we built a big pavilion and deck area in our garden and called it 'Barry's Shed' where I used to watch him graze in the paddock."

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The story RP09-14's long standing impact on Merino industry first appeared on Farm Online.

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