TOP EWE: John Clarke, Naomi Fischer, purchaser Jill Noble, and auctioneer Lachlan Collins, Landmark.

Ewes shine at Bendigo’s Wiltshire Horn sale

SUCCESSION planning was the name of the game for the purchaser of the top priced animal, at this year’s Australian Wiltshire Horn Sheepbreeders Association (AWHSA) sale, Bendigo.

Fischers Run sold the top priced three and a half year old ewe, lot 18, to Halston Valley stud, Hallston, South Gippsland, for $1000.

The ewe was sired by Mockinya Lodge 124/2012 F5787, out of Mockinya Lodge 52/2010. Hallston Lodge’s Jill Noble said Fischers Run also won Champion ewe at the Wiltshire Horn show. 

“And she had a very good, well balanced, two month old ram, at foot,” Ms Noble said.

“It’s about succession planning - in terms of our stock and our farm - in trying to get the quality that breeder produces.”

Ms Noble said the property was running a flock of 90 stud and commercial animals.

Hallston started off with a small commercial flock, before developing the stud.

“The ewe will be joined next year with our ram, which won the senior ram class, and hopefully go on to produce even better lambs.”

AWHS secretary Jason O’Loghlin said demand for ewes was solid, with a new stud, at Meredith, taking 14 of the ewes on offer.

Christopher Wood, Meredith, said he was in the process of setting up a new Wiltshire Horn stud, which had not yet been named.

 ”We have got 80 commercial Wiltshire Horn ewes and we are just looking to expand what we can do with them,” Mr Wood said.

 “We bought four rams through the sale last year and that was to improve our commercial flock.”

He said he hoped to be able to make the first sale of stud animals in about 18 months time.

”We initially started a few for ourselves for meat and the ease of handling, you don’t have to worry about shearing, and gradually got some more,” he said.

“They are very good mothers and fairly easy to handle.”

Mr O’Loghlin said a strong sale of rams last year was reflected in the smaller number of animals, purchased at this year’s sale.

“Wiltshire Horns are not like other rams, you are not getting a year or two out of them, you are getting longevity,” Mr O’Loghlin said.

“It’s not that the demand wasn’t there - it was just that rams weren’t needed.”

The top priced ram was sold by Muskdale for $600 to Christine Ross, Eastwind Rare Breeds Farm, Macclesfield.

“I am going to enlarge my flock of 20 ewes and just try and breed some top quality stud animals,” Ms Ross said. 

“We are going to try and do our best, by the breed.

“We are going to increase that slowly but surely to get quality animals.”

The ram was likely to be going to a property, near Colac.

The August 2016 Muskdale Black 1632, was sired by Muskdale 1440/2014 F8042, out of Muskdale 1323/2013.

Ms Ross also bought a Bara Simbil ewe for $850.