Anzac's legacy

Pride of the wool industry

Sheep
Merryville Melbourne Monarch 'Anzac' 43 was purchased for $68,000 during the 1989 Melbourne Sheep Show and Sale. Photo: Graham Coddington

Merryville Melbourne Monarch 'Anzac' 43 was purchased for $68,000 during the 1989 Melbourne Sheep Show and Sale. Photo: Graham Coddington

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In 1989 Merryville Monarch 'Anzac' 43 sold for $68,000, the highest price for a two-tooth ram at the time.

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During the 1989 Melbourne Sheep Show and Sale, a young ram bred by the late Bruce Merriman, Merryville, Yass, caught sheep classer John Williams' attention and he quickly organised a syndicate to make a bid on the two-tooth ram.

Based in Cooma, Mr Williams classed the Roseville Park stud flock at Dubbo for Graham Coddington and Tara Park stud at Boorowa for Rod Evans.

He also classed the New Zealand stud flocks of Robert Jopp, P Innes and J Scurr.

The ram was bred in the Merryville Monarch family, a genetic line which extends unbroken to the great sire Sir Francis purchased by Sir Walter Merriman in 1910 from the Wanganella Estate bred by F.S Falkiner and Sons for 1000 guineas.

The Australian and New Zealand syndicate had the winning bid of $68,000 which was the highest price paid for a two-tooth ram at Melbourne.

It was Rod Evans who suggested the name 'Anzac 43'. He bought a semen share and recalls when driving back to Dubbo from Melbourne he thought the name would acknowledge the Australian and New Zealand members of the syndicate.

"It was a big price for a two-tooth at the time," Mr Evans said. "But he was a most attractive ram ... with very good balance, good conformation and correct structure. A great head and very good bone."

He bred very well at Tara Park when joined to ewes bred from the Manderley Purple family and Mr Evans recalls the first drop of lambs were very impressive.

Anzac 43 established a great genetic line at Tara Park as his progeny continued to breed on with descendants prominent in the stud today.

Show success at Sydney Royal for Mr Evans from Anzac 43 included supreme exhibits and the 1992 Stonehaven Cup.

"It was my first cup win and four of the five sheep were sired by Anzac 43," he said.

Graham Coddington had possession of the ram and he also had tremendous success crossing Anzac 43 with ewes bred in the Manderley Purple family.

"Anzac 43 had a very supple skin and he had an open face," he recalled. "A great conformation, square across his back and hips with lovely wool."

Mr Coddington said Anzac 43 sired a lot of outstanding daughters at Roseville Park and his influence continues through the stud.

He sired RP44, member of 1994 Stonehaven Cup winning team in Sydney and who sired RP38 champion August-shorn in Sydney 1998 and Australian Supreme Merino ram at Dubbo in 1998 and ranked number one in sire evaluation medium central test.

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