AFTER catching the eyes of the crowd throughout the judging at the 2019 Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama, the grand champion and champion White Suffolk ewe exhibited by the Yonga Downs stud, Gnowangerup, sold via private negotiation for $5000 − an equal record Australian price for a White Suffolk ewe.
The ewe wasn’t on the market, but after a day of winning ribbons, an offer was made that Yonga Downs stud principal Brenton Addis couldn’t refuse, with the ewe heading to Kukerin with the Ditchburn family, Golden Hill White Suffolk stud.
“She was a stand-out since she was a lamb,” Mr Addis said.
“The plan had been to hold on to her but the offer from Golden Hill was hard to overlook.
“I’m glad the ewe is staying in WA and going to work within another stud.
“I hope she’ll perform well for them.”
The early-May born ewe, which was sired by Jusak 166220, was already a tried-and-tested champion, winning its lamb class at the IGA Perth Royal Show and the supreme exhibit title at the Albany Show last year, before going on to win best of breed in the White Suffolk judging at this year’s Woolorama.
It had accompanying data including 17.4 PWWT, -0.1 PFAT and 1.9 PEMD.
During judging, judge Shane Baker, Booloola White Suffolk stud, Baringhup, Victoria, said he was very impressed by the Yonga Downs ewe.
“I think you would be hard pressed to find a better White Suffolk ewe,” Mr Baker said.
Golden Hill White Suffolk stud co-principal Nathan Ditchburn, Kukerin, obviously agreed, making a single offer at the equal Australian record price for a White Suffolk ewe in order to secure it.
“This ewe is outstanding,” Mr Ditchburn said.
“I love her cleanness and scale, she’s a lovely type with excellent muscle.
“She is certainly one of the better ewes I’ve seen.”
The Golden Hill stud has used semen from Yonga Downs before and Mr Ditchburn sees promise and potential in the future Yonga Downs blood progeny at Golden Hill.
“She’ll go to work within the stud and we’ll naturally mate her this year before looking at flushing her in the future,” Mr Ditchburn said.
The last time a White Suffolk ewe sold for $5000 was at the Bendigo Elite sale in 2017.