A massive Eyre Peninsula-bred Poll Merino ram named after an Olympic swimming champion has charged home a winner in the Fibre Meat Plus class.
Roemahkita 160018, nicknamed Chalmers, backed up its win in the all-purpose class at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show, Bendigo, Vic, with the highest score in the class at Adelaide, which is judged on objective measurement and visual appraisal.
Roemahkita stud principals Joe and Tracey Dahlitz, Cummins, said it was tremendous to win the class from 40 other March-shorn Merino and Poll Merinos.
“It has beaten the best young rams from NSW and Vic in Bendigo and now it has won against its SA peers, which is pretty impressive,” Mrs Dahlitz said.
The 126.5-kilogram ram, which had a 43-millimetre eye muscle depth and 7mm fat depth, scored 81.5 points out of a possible 100.
The win was even more special with namesake Kyle Chalmers, who hails from Port Lincoln, watching on as the ram took the title.
“The ram’s tag is 18 and Kyle was 18 when he won the gold medal in Rio (de Janerio), and they are both West Coast champions,” Mr Dahlitz said.
Mr Chalmers has a strong connection to the land, with both his grandparents – Trevor Chalmers and Malcolm Bagnell – EP stock agents.
Mr Dahlitz said the 17.9 micron Kamora Park 333 son had been a “standout” since a lamb for its “make up and bone”.
“Structurally it is hard to fault, but it won the grand champion March-shorn Poll Merino ram the day before, showing it also has really good wool too,” he said.
Chalmers’ wool tests included 2.5 standard deviation and 99.5 per cent comfort factor.
Mr Dahlitz said Chalmers was the type of Poll Merino the stud was striving to breed.
“The best dollars are in early growth and getting lambs off quickly,” he said.
The ram, which carried two copies of the poll gene, sold for $20,000 in the Adelaide Merino Ram Sale to Yanta stud, Tumby Bay, and commercial breeder Brenton Stratford, also from Tumby Bay.
Roemahkita has retained 500 doses of semen and will artificially inseminate about 150 ewes this season.
Runner-up and just 0.2 points behind was a 19M ram from Ian and Fiona Koch’s Bunyara stud, Moculta.
The ram, which the stud will retain, was a son of Moorundie Park 306 ‘Kelvinator’.
Border Leicester breeder Trevor James was the meat judge with Mark Vandeleur, Rices Creek, Tintinara, the wool judge.