Ridgway vigour

Vigour in sheep and wool at Ridgway

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Ridgway Poll Merino rams. Photo: Ric Ridgway

Ridgway Poll Merino rams. Photo: Ric Ridgway

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Ridgway Poll Merinos breed sheep with all the attributes of the genuine dual-purpose product sought by today's progressive Merino breeder.

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Ridgway170005 in the 2019 drop SA Sire Evaluation Trial. Photo: Ric Ridgway

Ridgway170005 in the 2019 drop SA Sire Evaluation Trial. Photo: Ric Ridgway

Ric, Gail, Matt and Rachel Ridgway, Ridgway Poll Merinos, Lameroo, South Australia will be offering 200 Poll Merino rams at their annual on-property auction at 1pm on 10th August, 2020.

A top price of $12,600 was a highlight at the 2019 Ridgway on-property auction, which saw Lot 4, R787 purchased by Tubbo Station manager, Robert Stein.

A repeat buyer Mr Stein said the Ridgway rams have done a great job in their stud flock at Tubbo in the Riverina, and the lift in the commercial flock is the result.

Mr Stein was looking to lift the scale of their sheep and especially the hindquarters noting the seemingly insatiable demand for red meat.

"We have definitely got that from the Ridgway rams," he said.

"Our sheep are getting deeper each year, with great hindquarters and we haven't lost our great quality wool."

Ric Ridgway said this year's sale would proceed with a few minor adjustments to allow for all relevant social distancing practices.

"We are looking at offering an inspection day prior to the sale with pre-booked time slots for those that wish to select their rams before the sale day," he said.

Ridgway Poll Merinos breed sheep with all the attributes of the genuine dual-purpose product sought by today's progressive Merino breeder.

Australian Sheep Breeding Value's (ASBVs) have been used at Ridgway for the past ten years, specifically aiming at producing animals with good wool cut, long staple length, early growth and positive fat.

Using ASBVs has positively influenced joining decisions and sped up genetic gain, resulting in increased profitability for their clients, according to Mr Ridgway.

Mr Ridgway said they embrace the use of ASBV's and realise their effectiveness at improving a particular trait.

"But we remind our clients not to lose sight of the importance of the visual assessment of any potential sires," he said.

"Our continued selection for free-growing, sharp crimping, white wools, with extra emphasis on nourishment, staple length and fibre density allows progeny to thrive in any environment.

"Those selection criteria, together with choosing animals with good early growth, positive carcase traits and correct conformation has resulted in our stud producing rams that will breed progeny which are both predictable and consistent."

The Ridgway family are thrilled with the performance of Ridgway170005 in the 2019 drop SA Sire Evaluation Trial, the results of which have recently been compiled and released.

"Our sire achieved above average in nearly all measured traits and also was a leader in most visually assessed traits, with a high percentage of tops and a low cull rate," he said.

"Historically we have been renowned for wool quality. In the past decade Ridgway has entered sires in 5 sire evaluation trials and always performed well for both visual and measured traits. This was also true for 170005's results as he measured well for wool colour, dust penetration and particularly wool character of which he scored significantly better than all other entrants.

"However it was his figures for the measured meat traits which we were particularly happy with.

"He scored well for growth, fat and eye muscle, which combined with the wool traits gave him the best Dual Purpose Index and second best for all other indexes."

Being a trait leader for Breech Cover and Breech Wrinkle means his progeny will be well suited to non-mules operations also.

"A mules free flock is definitely achievable with the use of Ridgway genetics, due to their plain bodies and low breech wrinkle," Mr Ridgway said.

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