Corriedale win out of ashes

Supreme: Loddon Park, VicGrand Champion ram: Loddon ParkGrand Champion ewe: Loddon ParkLEADING central Victorian stud, Loddon Park, has risen from the ashes to take out the Supreme Champion Corriedale at the Australian Sheep andWool Show.
Nanjing Night Net

Just over three years ago, most of the stud’s breeding ewes were killed in a fire at Baringhup – only one ewe survived. She then joined ewe lambs that were in another paddock.

“Thanks to great support from other Corriedale breeders, we rebuilt and we’re back breeding and we’ve been fortunate enough to win the Supreme Championship here today,” said stud principal, Shane Baker.

SUPREME CHAMPION: Peter Baker (Loddon Park), NZ Corriedale Young Ambassador Lucy Burrows, judges Geoff Risbey and Trevor James, Brenda Venters, Stonehaven and Shane Baker (Loddon Park).

It was their first time at the Show since the fire. The win also came on the back of the death earlier this year of the stud’s patriarch, making it a very emotional day for all members of the Baker family.

Loddon Park won the Grand Champion Ewe and Grand Champion Ram, among a number of other accolades, and it was these two animals – both weaners – in the final race to the Supreme.

They were assessed by two judges, Geoff Risbey and Trevor James, who chose the ram over the ewe.

“We liked the stretchiness of his body, his trueness of type and deep hind end, his head and he’s deep through the twist. He has a very good scrotum, he’s up off the grid,” said Mr Risbey.“He’s a very good stretchy sheep.”

Mr James said the ewe was an ideal Corriedale stud animal.“She has a feminine, but broad head and is strong, with even wool quality that is able to cut well,” Mr James said.“Her carcase is well muscled and she’s deep through the twist with plenty of loin and outstanding hindquarters.”

The consistency of breeding to commercial demand favoured many of the animals on show, according to the judges.

“Nowadays, we’re seeing young sheep being shorn in autumn so they have a good cover of wool but are not dragging a weight along with them. It enables us to accurately assess their carcase,” Mr James said.

“Commercial producers want sheep that do well in all weathers and conditions.”

For Loddon Park Stud, it was their second win in the Supreme at Bendigo, both times with rams. Their previous win was in 2000.“Our aim is to breed beautifully balanced sheep with loin, muscling and true Corriedale wool,” said Peter Baker.

CHAMPION EWE: Peter Baker, Loddon Park, Baringhup, with the Grand Champion ewe.

CHAMPION CORRIEDALE: Grand Champion Ram and Supreme Champion Corriedale was awarded to this Loddon Park weaner ram, out of a Quamby Park sire.

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