Mahonys’ Merino milestone

Sally HincksCountryman

In a glowing tribute to Roy and Coral Mahony, two of their shedded sheep enjoyed spectacular triumphs at the Rabobank Katanning Sheep Show last week.

Of course, that’s not to detract from the breeding expertise of the two studs involved — Richard Chadwick’s Darijon and Don and Brad Eaton’s Olinda.

Darijon’s Merino ram was sashed as the supreme exhibit after having won the grand champion Merino ram title, while Olinda won the grand champion Poll Merino broad ribbon.

The Mahonys have been preparing sheep for shows for 20 years and were at the Katanning show to witness the success of their charges.

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They were also there to hear Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA president Richard House pay tribute from the sale rail to Roy for his contribution to WA’s Merino industry.

A sire for the future is how judge Danny Picker of the Hillcreston Park stud, New South Wales, described Narrogin’s Darijon supreme champion, which had initially won his medium wool Autumn-shorn class.

“He has extremely well-nourished wool and is well covered, ” he said.

“He is an outstanding ram, ” Tom Ashby of Ashrose North stud, South Australia, said after the ram won the grand champion Merino ram broad ribbon.

The pure-muzzled ram, Darijon 89, had objective measurement figures of 73.1 yield, 18.7 microns, 17.3 spin fine and a 99.7 comfort factor.

“And he’s pure Darijon blood, ” said a delighted Richard Chadwick after the wins.

Reserve to the grand champion was the Richardson family’s Mianelup champion March-shorn Merino ram.

This ram was also the junior champion ram which had earlier won his medium wool class against 24 other entries, with Woodyarrup second and Barloo third.

“The first three are outstanding sheep and the champion has an amazing rich skin with wool of softness and purity. He is a great young sheep, ” judge Tom Ashby said.

The ram is by Wallaloo Park 124 and out of a top Mianelup ewe. His wool figures were 75.4 yield, 19.4 microns, 18SF and 99.9CF.

The ram weighed 121kg.

The grand champion Merino ewe was Chris Hogg’s Navanvale entry, having earlier won her fine-medium class in the August-shorn section.

“She has exceptional, snow-white 18 micron wool and will cut a lot of wool, ” said judge Neil Jackson, formerly Sunny Valley stud principal, of Kojonup. “She is also very good structurally.”

The ewe was by a Navanvale ram and her mother goes back to Woodyarrup 37, Chris Hogg said.

Her wool figures were 81.6 yield, 18 microns, 16.5SR and 100CF.

Reserve to the Navanvale grand champion was the Dewar family’s Woodyarrup entry. A Woodyarrup entry was also reserve champion March-shorn Merino ram.

Poll Merinos

Coming through with flying colours in the Poll Merino section was the Olinda grand champion from Don and Brad Eaton’s Wyalkatchem stud.

The medium wool ram had earlier been sashed as the August-shorn champion, with Shane Mackin’s Kamballie ram in reserve.

“The champion is a well-structured sheep with beautiful medium wool, ” judge Terry Ash, of Allaneena stud, Northampton, said.

“He is a magnificent Poll Merino with terrific length of staple.”

The ram’s wool figures were 82.3 yield, 21.2 microns, 19.6SF and 99.5CF. “He goes back to Sir Winston, ” Brad Eaton said of the ram’s breeding.

Reserve grand champion Poll Merino ram was the March-shorn medium wool champion entry from Willemenup. Reserve to Willemenup was a ram from Geoffrey Shepherdson’s Anglesey stud.

The Willemenup ram had formerly won the day’s biggest single entry class, the medium wool Poll Merino class with 27 entries.

Judge Tom Ashby described it as an outstanding class.

“Polls are very popular across Australia now and I believe they are the future of the industry, ” he said.

The winner was the Willemenup two-tooth ram, with Kolindale second and another Willemenup ram in third place.

“He’s the purest ram here, has a beautiful muzzle and head, great bone and carries his fleece well down, ” Tom said.

The grand champion Poll Merino ewe was also a Willemenup entry, with the Norrish family’s Angenup ewe in reserve.

“She is a tremendous poll ewe, ” said judge Neil Jackson of the champion.

In agreement was judge Tom Ashby. “She is wide and deep with a lot of production. She would be a great mother in anyone’s flock, ” he said.

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