Shirlee Downs rivals with ‘stylish’ Poll Dorset ram

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Shirlee Downs stud principals Sascha and Adrian Squires and category sponsor Stud Stock representative Brooke Lange, with the supreme winning Poll Dorset ram.
Camera IconShirlee Downs stud principals Sascha and Adrian Squires and category sponsor Stud Stock representative Brooke Lange, with the supreme winning Poll Dorset ram. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman

A young Poll Dorset ram from Shirlee Downs won the top spot at this year’s Wagin Woolorama interbreed competition, a boon for the long-standing Quairading stud.

Sascha and Chris Squires were on hand to accept the accolade after a nail-biting competition saw it named the Supreme Champion British and Australasian sheep.

It was anyone’s guess who would take the illustrious title as the Squires’ ram stood side-by-side with a “beautiful” Poll Dorset ewe from Kendenup-based Brimfield at the end of the British and Australasian breeds competition.

But there could only be one winner, and as the crowd waited with bated breath, the Shirlee Downs ram took the title.

Earlier that day, the ram, which was bred by Wrattenbullie semen sire, won the Ram Under One Year class.

It was a category Shirlee Downs swept clean winning first, second and third place.

It was then named Supreme Champion Ram across all B&A breeds, and went on to compete against the Supreme Champion Ewe across all B&A breeds.

It was the second time the 10-month-old ram had competed in a prestigious WA sheep show, after taking out the ram lamb class at the IGA Perth Royal Show last September.

Sascha said the family knew they were on to a winner when the May-drop sheep took out the ram lamb class last September.

“He is very stylish sheep, with a good top line, and he is good on his feet, structurally correct, but still with plenty of flesh in him,” Sascha said.

“This was his second show event ... we were really happy with the win.”

Mullinger Park stud principal Brett Shepherd judged the Poll Dorset category at Wagin Woolorama, and was one of the judges selecting the B&A Supreme Champion.

He said the ram was a “big sheep” that stood out right from the start.

“He is very correct, big, but mainly correct and a big type ... he definitely caught my eye right at the start and that continued throughout the classes,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Overall, he was a very powerful, really good top line, correct sheep with plenty of meat.”

It was Mr Shepherd’s second time attending Wagin Woolorama, but his first time judging.

“The Poll Dorset line up was a credit to the breeders; they were a very good Poll Dorset type with plenty of style and muscle,” he said

“They were very correct sheep, and it was a credit to the WA studs.”

Picked as the winning group out of seven breed groups, the Poll Dorset ram pipped the Prime SAMM, Texel, Suffolk, Poll Dorset, White Dorper, Ile de France and Corriedale breeds.

Across the British and Australasian Sheep section, there were more than 335 exhibits from 28 different studs across the seven breed groups, with 250 animals on show.

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