A golden year for Suffolk stud

Rebecca TurnerCountryman
The supreme exhibit White Suffolk ram, pictured with Michael O'Neil Elders Seed Stock, judge Lachy Day from Bordertown South Australia, under judges Gary Paige of Pingelly and Geoff Crabb from Dongara with handler Nathan Ditchburn of Golden Hill stud.
Camera IconThe supreme exhibit White Suffolk ram, pictured with Michael O'Neil Elders Seed Stock, judge Lachy Day from Bordertown South Australia, under judges Gary Paige of Pingelly and Geoff Crabb from Dongara with handler Nathan Ditchburn of Golden Hill stud.

It was a clean sweep for Golden Hill White Suffolk stud at this year’s Woolorama, with the stud winning supreme champion British and Australasian sheep, supreme champion ram of all breeds and grand champion pen of three titles.

The supreme champion B&A sheep, a White Suffolk ewe, was sired by Anden 140298, which was purchased by Golden Hill two years ago from Anden stud in Woomelang, Victoria for the record price of $36,000.

Golden Hill stud representative Nathan Ditchburn said the supreme champion ram was also by the same sire, and both champions had stood out from an early age as excellent candidates to exhibit at this year’s Woolorama.

Both sheep were part of the first drop of lambs from Anden 140298. Mr Ditchburn said they replicated their sire’s structural correctness, being nice and long and carrying a lot of muscle in the right places.

It was the first time Golden Hill had won the supreme champion B&A sheep award at Woolorama.

White Suffolk judge Lachy Day, of Bordertown, South Australia, said the champion ewe and ram were a credit to their owners.

During class judging, Mr Day said the champion ewe was a terrific example of the breed.

“She holds herself well, has a great spine and parades very well,” he said.

While Mr Day paid credit to Golden Hill’s champion ewe during the breed judging, the overall supreme White Suffolk sash went to Golden Hill for its champion ram in the under one year class, born before May 31.

On awarding the purple sash, Mr Day said he chose the ram over the ewe because it was what the sheepmeat industry wanted.

“I really like how this ram is through the spine and shoulder, and importantly, his muscling where the most expensive cuts of meat are,” he said. Golden Hill’s supreme champion ram was later judged as the supreme champion ram of all breeds and was part of the grand champion pen of three.

The showing in the British and Australasian breeds arena ran smoothly at this year’s event, with a total of 414 sheep from 49 studs shown on the first day.

No long wool breeds were on show in the Border Leicester and Corriedale classes, although there was a good turnout of entries in the Suffolk, White Suffolk, Poll Dorset and Dorper classes.

The Texel, Prime SAMM, Ile de France and Shropshire breeds were also on show in smaller numbers, while there was a healthy turnout for the Suffolk and White Suffolk classes.

The Suffolk classes included entries from the WA College of Agriculture, Narrogin and the Esperance Farm Training Centre.

Judge Sandy Forbes, of Napier, congratulated the WA Suffolk Society on its support of the event.

She chose Karinya stud’s ewe from the under one year class, showing milk teeth, as supreme Suffolk. “She has fabulous length, soft ears, is a lovely feminine type and has a great topline with a lot of muscle through her loin,” she said.

Mrs Forbes said Pamellen’s champion Suffolk ram from the under one year class, showing milk teeth, would be a great sire.

“He is a lovely thick, well-muscled ram,” she said.

Pamellen stud was also awarded reserve champion Suffolk ram.

Also impressing the judge was Kaya Dorper stud’s supreme champion, White Dorper ram.

Judge Kim Batten, of Yuna, said the ram was a “meat machine” with fantastic feet, depth and length. “He really is the full package,” Mr Batten said.

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