MORE than 50 years of Merino breeding has changed hands with the announcement that the Anglesey stud, Gnowangerup, has been sold in its entirety to the Wiringa Park stud, Nyabing.
A close association between the two studs over the years led to a private negotiation where the Hobley family, Wiringa Park, was able to purchase the Anglesey stud flock from Geoffrey Shepherdson and his daughter and son-in-law Amber and Nick Crichton.
The sale involved the purchase of 700 stud ewes, 400 ewe and ram lambs and matching stud sires.
Mr Shepherdson said the time had come to sell the stud with the Crichtons keen to concentrate on their commercial sheep and cropping operation rather than a stud flock.
“It is with mixed emotions that I decided to sell the Anglesey stud that has been registered for 51 years but it was a good time to make a change,” Mr Shepherdson said.
“I wanted the stud to go as a whole to one purchaser rather than have a dispersal and I couldn’t think of better people to continue the breeding principles that we have put in place than Allan and Greg Hobley.
“We have had a close association with the Hobleys over the past 10 years and believe we have similar breeding aims and focuses.
“We have purchased stud sires off each other and also bought outside stud sires together in the past.
“There are plenty of similarities within our studs that makes Wiringa Park an excellent choice for the Anglesey stud to go to.
“For example we both use Philip Russell as our stud classer and Landmark is an agent for both studs, plus the Hobleys farm only 40 minutes away from us so the sheep will continue to breed in a similar environment to now.”
Mr Shepherdson said he counted himself fortunate to have been involved in a breeding program for so many years.
“I have had great fun and it has been very fulfilling over the years,” he said.
“The most satisfying part of breeding is seeing good results in our clients’ flocks.”
The Hobleys thanked Mr Shepherdson for providing them with the first option to buy the Anglesey stud.
“It is a rare opportunity to get hold of a well renowned stud such as Anglesey and we are thankful to Geoff for thinking of us,” Allan said.
“The Anglesey Poll stud has been registered since 1977 and with our breeding direction heading down that Poll line, the Anglesey bloodlines will further enhance the depth of our Poll Merino flock.
“Anglesey sheep are known for their wool quality and structure and we know they will be a great fit to our own stud flock.
“We believe we have similar breeding aims to Geoff and being located just down the road from the Anglesey stud and knowing the quality of the Anglesey sheep, we saw it as a perfect opportunity.”
Greg Hobley said they looked forward to continuing the great work the Shepherdsons had already done in the Anglesey flock.
“We look forward to catching up with all the Anglesey clients in the near future and we have asked Geoff to stay on in an advisory role in the interim, which is something we are grateful he accepted,” he said.
“We believe this will help us to make a smooth transition and hopefully it will also enable a smooth transition for current Anglesey clients.
“We are committed to the sheep and wool industry and this investment reinforces that and adds huge depth to what we are already doing.”
Mr Russell, who has been classing for both studs for more than 35 years, said the sale was a good fit for both parties, based on his knowledge of the two flocks.
“As I am already involved with the Wiringa Park stud it will be a smooth transition for the clients as I will be on hand to assist and help them with the move across,” Mr Russell said.
Wiringa Park will offer 2018-drop Anglesey rams at their 2019 on-property ram sale.