An outstanding medium Poll Merino ram from Sherlock stud, described by as a tonic by its owners Wes and Andy Titleyas has delivered them their best dose of showring success.
It was the Mallee stud’s first supreme win in 15 years exhibiting at the Royal Adelaide Show after Sherlock Hunter also claimed the grand champion August shorn Poll Merino ram.
Mr Titley said it was "mind blowing" to reach the pinnacle of judging and receive the red and white tri-coloured ribbon by Merino SA’s newest life member John Daniell, White River stud, Poochera.
“It made tingles go down my shins,” he said.
“It is something I always dreamt of doing but probably never thought I would.”
Mr Titley said Hunter – who is named after the couple’s three-month-old grandson – had lifted the couple's spirits through some minor health issues and a mouse plague which had affected the wools in some of Sherlock’s show team.
It has been a busy few weeks for the 19.8 micron ram with a 2300 kilometres round trip to Dubbo, NSW to represent SA at the Dubbo National Merino Show & Sale, after earning the right at the Crystal Brook Show.
“I have had some very positive feedback from people, especially some of the NSW breeders, but this accolade (Adelaide supreme) takes the cake,” Mr Titley said.
Semen has also been collected in the ram both prior to Bendigo and on the way home from Dubbo at Jerilderie, NSW.
"He has done some things it is probably a lot to ask of a ram," Mr Titley said.
"He is obviously highly fertile."
WA judge Rick Wise, Wililoo stud, said the ram’s exceptional well-covered fleece with white, crimpy wool carried right down to its hocks got it over the line with the five judges.
“It has a tremendous staple all the way around its body with a huge amount of wool, great structure and capacity,” he said.
The AI bred ram is a son of Moorundie Park 306 (The Kelvinator) and out of a Sherlock-Blue Hills blood ewe.
Its fleece tests included a standard deviation of 2.8, coefficient of variation of 14.1pc and comfort factor of 99.5pc.
“It always stood out for staple length and it always stood out for whiteness and crimp – just a really special fleece,” Mr Titley said.
Mr Titley dedicated Hunter’s latest win to his wife who was recuperating in hospital after a knee replacement.
“We do so much together so it is hard not having her here today,” he said.
Hunter’s first progeny, which have just been weaned, are showing great promise and will be in Sherlock’s 2018 annual sale.
Going forward Mr Titley said the ram would be used extensively in the stud's AI programs with limited natural mating to prolong Hunter's longevity in the stud.
“A ram like this is pretty special so I want it to be around for a long time," he said.
Also in strong contention among the eight champions on the mat was the grand champion August-shorn Merino ram from Greenfields stud, Hallett - a 23.2 micron son of Greenfields Hussey.