Border duo unstoppable in meat sheep interbreed

2019 Royal Adelaide Show: Border Leicesters storm home for rare supreme double

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The Border Leicester breed secured a rare championship double in the supreme judging outclassing a tremendous field of 12 breeds in the pinnacle of the meat sheep judging on Sunday.

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The Border Leicester breed secured a rare championship double in the supreme judging outclassing a tremendous field of 12 breeds in the pinnacle of the meat sheep judging on Sunday.

An outstanding August 2018-drop ram from the Coolawang stud, Mundulla, progressed through the long wool judging and then edged out the shortwool champion ram, a Suffolk ram from Peter and Julie Button, Ramsay Park stud, Minlaton to reign supreme.

It was the James family's second supreme ram win in the past six years.

"They are all special but we were pretty pleased with this one with the very high standard, the long wools was particularly tough with such a good Polwarth ram," Trevor James said.

"It (The double) shows the quality within the breed that as a relatively small breed we are capable of doing this against the terminals that tend to show much larger numbers."

Judge Ian Gilmore, Baringa stud, Oberon, NSW, said in deliberating placings in interbreed classes he was looking for sheep which matched the breed characteristics but also moderate framed sheep with structural soundness

He especially found these traits in the ram, Coolawang 177-18 which he elevated to grand champion Border Leicester ram two days earlier.

"It was hard to fault and the more I look at it the more he grows on me," he said.

The 116.5 kilogram ram had an eye muscle depth scan of 44mm and fat depth of 14mm.

Fellow judge Emily Davidson, Morton stud, Lucindale also had the Coolawang ram as her top pick praising its "sheer power, size and volume", especially considering its was the youngest in the lineup of longwool sheep.

The ram was bred in the purple being from the Oaks Victory family which produced the national record price ram a few years ago and the stud's grand champion Border Leicester ram at the 2018 Royal Adelaide Show, which sold for $10,000.

"That family always produces great sheep, they have given us good growth with structural soundness and good wool types," he said.

"The ram (the supreme) has a beautiful fleece, it has a beautiful head,so soft with the ears well covered."

The dream run continued for young breeder Will Schilling, Glenlee Park, Gerang Gerung, Vic with the same ewe which was the supreme longwool exhibit at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo, Vic,also turning the most judges' heads in Adelaide.

The year old ewe was 101kg and had an impressive EMD of 47mm.

"When you are starting out it is good to have success like this to get your brand out there a bit quicker- it is fantastic, I can't believe it," he said.

Mr Schilling said the ewe was priceless to him, especially after she had taken ill after Bendigo and had only just recovered in time to make the trip to Adelaide.

"I've had people ask if they can buy her but there is not enough money in the world that could buy her," he said.

Ramsay Park's shortwool ram supreme win was also a thrill for the Button family having only achieved the feat once before with a Hampshire Down ram,especially being only a relatively small Suffolk stud.

"Traditionally we don't show Suffolks because we are full up with Whites (White Suffolks) but we had three or four this year that we thought were too good not to bring to the show," Peter Button said.

"This bloke was a stand out but we probably didn't realise just how far he would go.

"He always stands like a proud sire."

The June 2018-drop was bred from one of two rams which Ramsay Park bought from the Glencraig dispersal in WA.

Andrew Frick, Gypsum Hill, Padthaway, was one of the judges who gave the nod for champion shortwool ewe to the Poll Dorset from Alastair and Jayne Day's Allendale stud,Bordertown.

He said it was hard to breed a perfect sheep but in judging it came down to finding sheep with the least number of weaknesses.

"In the shortwools I had to think what is the purpose of our breed,ultimately to breed prime lambs so I am looking for muscling, I am looking for length, I am looking for capacity - I felt the Poll Dorset ewe fulfilled those ideals the most," Mr Frick said.

The Allendale ewe was 15 months of age.

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