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Perth Royal Show: Shirlee Downs scoops third Grand Champion award in hotly-contested Poll Dorset competition

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
With the supreme exhibit of the Perth Royal Show Poll Dorset breed judging competition, was Zarah Squiers, 17, of Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud, in Quairading, with stud co-principal Chris Squiers, Jorgie Squiers, 15, Indiana Squiers, 19, Danika Squiers, 18, Stella Squiers, 15, and judge Adrian Veitch.
Camera IconWith the supreme exhibit of the Perth Royal Show Poll Dorset breed judging competition, was Zarah Squiers, 17, of Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud, in Quairading, with stud co-principal Chris Squiers, Jorgie Squiers, 15, Indiana Squiers, 19, Danika Squiers, 18, Stella Squiers, 15, and judge Adrian Veitch. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Sourcing interstate genetics has paid off for Quairading-based Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud with its third consecutive Grand Champion award in three years at the Perth Royal Show’s Poll Dorset Competition.

The Grand Champion sash was draped over the 1.5 year old Champion Ram after judge Adrian Veitch, of Kaya Dorper stud in Narrogin, couldn’t look past the “top quality ram”.

Its the second top prize the ram has won this year after picking up the Supreme Champion ribbon at the Williams Gateway Expo in April.

The Grand Champion Poll Dorset winner was the Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud Champion Ram, which has carried on its winning streak after taking out the Supreme Champion ribbon at the Williams Expo in April. Pictured with the ram is competition judge Adrian Veitch, with Indiana and Sasche Squiers.
Camera IconThe Grand Champion Poll Dorset winner was the Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud Champion Ram, which has carried on its winning streak after taking out the Supreme Champion ribbon at the Williams Expo in April. Pictured with the ram is competition judge Adrian Veitch, with Indiana and Sasche Squiers. Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

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“We were very lucky on the day,” Mr Squiers said.

“There was a very good line up to contend with.

“There’s a lot of satisfaction with the win — it means we are on the right track with our breeding.”

He said it was good to see the ram carry on its success and edge out the “quality line up” in the competition.

“We look all over Australia for genetics and it’s paying off,” Mr Squiers said.

“The sheep have been bred well and we are doing better than we had hoped.”

Shirlee Downs Poll Dorsets stud principals Chris and Sasche Squiers (right) and competition judge Adrian Veitch with the Poll Dorset Champion Ram at the Perth Royal Show. The ram won the Balmoral Ram class for under 1.5 years. It was born after April 1, 2022 and was presented with no more than 1.5cm of wool. 
Camera IconShirlee Downs Poll Dorsets stud principals Chris and Sasche Squiers (right) and competition judge Adrian Veitch with the Poll Dorset Champion Ram at the Perth Royal Show. The ram won the Balmoral Ram class for under 1.5 years. It was born after April 1, 2022 and was presented with no more than 1.5cm of wool.  Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

He was picked out of a line up of quality rams that was so evenly matched that Mr Veitch almost chose another Shirlee Downs exhibit which he sashed the Reserve Champion Ram.

“I almost chose the other ram as the champion until I made them go for a walk,” Mr Veitch said.

“The champion stood out on the walk and that’s why I picked him.

“It was a nice group of rams — it was hard to pick between them.”

Mr Veitch said his pick for the Grand Champion ram award featured “good shoulder muscle” and was “evenly balanced”.

“It’s hard to breed a top quality ram,” he said.

“The ram can influence a whole flock.

“When they do breed one it is worth being recognised in the competition.”

The ram won the Balmoral Ram class for under 1.5 years and was born after April 1, 2022.

It was presented at the show with no more than 1.5cm of wool and was judged subjectively and objectively using raw data for muscle, fat, length and weight.

Shirlee Downs won five classes in the ram section and came second place in three other classes .

Brimfield Poll Dorset Stud, Kendenup, co principal Gail Cremasco and competition judge Adrian Veitch with the Poll Dorset Champion Ram Lamb at the Perth Royal Show.
Camera IconBrimfield Poll Dorset Stud, Kendenup, co principal Gail Cremasco and competition judge Adrian Veitch with the Poll Dorset Champion Ram Lamb at the Perth Royal Show. Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

Brimfield Poll Dorset stud, Kendenup, co-principals Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco put up a competitive line of rams, lambs and ewes at the show and took home the $300 prize and sash for the Champion Ram Lamb, as well as the Champion Ewe ribbon.

Mr Veitch said the Champion Ram Lamb was a “safe ram” and was “good and sound”.

“He had lots of weight for his age,” he said.

“He was good on his feet.

Brimfield Poll Dorset stud, Kendenup, co principals Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco with competition judge Adrian Veitch and the Poll Dorset Champion Ewe at the Perth Royal Show. The ewe was aged more than 1.5 years and was showing four permanent incisor teeth. It was machine shorn, untrimmed with a maximum wool length of 1.5cm at the time of inspection. 
Camera IconBrimfield Poll Dorset stud, Kendenup, co principals Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco with competition judge Adrian Veitch and the Poll Dorset Champion Ewe at the Perth Royal Show. The ewe was aged more than 1.5 years and was showing four permanent incisor teeth. It was machine shorn, untrimmed with a maximum wool length of 1.5cm at the time of inspection.  Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

The Champion Ewe was aged more than 1.5 years-of-age and was showing four permanent incisor teeth.

It was machine shorn, untrimmed with a maximum wool length of 1.5cm at the time of inspection.

Mr Veitch said the ewe had good form and moved well — he was partial to an ewe “with a long neck” and evenly bodied.

Mr Whyte said the wins were “not a bad result” considering the competition.

“It certainly helps with showcasing the stud,” Mr Whyte said.

“The judge did a good job — we never won a lot but we got a lot of placings (14 ribbons).”

The Reserve Champion Ewe from Shirlee Downs Poll Dorsets with Zarah Squiers and judge Adrian Veitch.
Camera IconThe Reserve Champion Ewe from Shirlee Downs Poll Dorsets with Zarah Squiers and judge Adrian Veitch. Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

Poll Dorset Competition Results:

Grand Champion Exhibit: Shirlee Downs ram

Champion Ram: Shirlee Downs ram

Champion Ram Lamb: Brimfield lamb

Champion Ewe: Brimfield ewe

Champion Ewe Lamb: Shirlee Downs lamb

Breeders Group Under 1.5 Years: Shirlee Downs

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