Barabba duo realises stud dream

Barabba duo realises stud dream


Studstock
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After four years of preparation, Barabba farmers Alex and Georgia Mattschoss are excited to launch Clover Downs Dohnes at their inaugural sale later this month.

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Establishing a sheep stud has always been a long-term goal for Barabba farmers Alex and Georgia Mattschoss, and after starting from scratch following the loss of their stock in the 2015 Pinery fire, the pair are excited to launch Clover Downs Dohnes at their inaugural sale at the Jamestown Showgrounds on August 28.

The stud is based entirely on Hamilton Run genetics, with the 45 April 2018-drop Dohne rams on offer all progeny of stock sourced from the Jamestown stud.

The pair favoured Dohnes for their solid carcase and good quality wool, and were impressed by the white, well-nourished wool of Hamilton Run stock.

Mrs Mattschoss said people were "very wool-minded", which influenced the decision to source rams from Hamilton Run, according to Mr Mattschoss.

"Hamilton Run were one of the better quality wool Dohne studs. Being a dual-purpose breed, some studs can lean to the meat or wool side, and we wanted to start off with decent wool weights," he said.

Obviously we'd love to sell the majority of our rams, but this is a massive thing for us to do, so just people turning up will put a smile on our face. - GEORGIA MATTSCHOSS

The pair ran 400 Merino breeding ewes before the 2015 Pinery fire, but said Dohne stud preparations began late in 2015.

"We had (son) Cash three weeks after the fire, and then six months later there were dust storms, so there was plenty of time inside that we were thinking about things," Mr Mattschoss said.

"We decided to talk to (Hamilton Run stud co-principal Greg Andrews) about what was involved in running a stud, and we walked away thinking that it was a fairly real possibility."

With Hamilton Run having dispersed its Dohne stud in November last year, the pair decided 2019 was the time to push the marketing for Clover Downs Dohnes.

"Because we have pure Hamilton Run bloodlines, now is our opportunity to say 'you can't buy from Greg anymore, but you can buy from us'," Mrs Mattschoss said.

Spurred on by what Mr and Mrs Mattschoss called a "promising time" to be in the sheep industry, their main hope for the first sale was a good turnout.

"Obviously we'd love to sell the majority of our rams, but this is a massive thing for us to do, so just people turning up will put a smile on our face," Mrs Mattschoss said.

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The pair hoped for a particularly good result for lot 15, offered in memory of Mrs Mattschoss's father.

"The 15th was my dad's birthday and he suffered with mental health issues, so we've decided if someone buys lot 15, half of the proceeds will be donated to Beyond Blue," she said.

"People think they have to keep their mouth shut about mental health, and that doesn't help."

The pair intend to look to interstate Dohne studs for new bloodlines, and said artificial insemination and embryo transfer programs were a possibility for the stud.

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