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