A CLASSY Poll Dorset ram from the Squiers family's Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading, gave the family its fifth interbreed win in seven Perth Royal Shows when it was sashed king of shed.
Having missed out on the top award in the previous two shows (2018 and 2019), this year's win backs up its four consecutive wins between 2014 and 2017.
With 530 sheep in the shed from 43 studs representing 12 breeds, it wasn't going to be an easy task for the judges to settle on their interbreed supreme meat breeds champion exhibit, but they did and it was Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset ram which eventually got their nod and the champion ribbon.
Along with taking home the supreme champion ribbon, the Squiers family also went home with an $800 cash prize sponsored by Nutrien Livestock.
The upstanding young ram earned the top award in front of a stylish Suffolk ewe from the Cole family's Sasimwa stud, York, which had been sashed the interbreed grand champion meat breeds ewe, after it got the nod from three of the five interbreed judges.
Judge Nick Cheetham, Cheetara stud, Narembeen, who judged the White Suffolks in the show, said the ram was a great example of the Poll Dorset breed.
"He has magnificent scale and bone and carries plenty of meat especially through the loin," Mr Cheetham said.
Fellow judge Donald Cochrane, Perth, said the Shirlee Downs ram was extremely well-muscled and a very good representation of the breed.
"He is structurally very sound and not over done," Mr Cochrane said.
"He has very good commercial attributes."
Along with taking home the coveted supreme champion of the shed title, the ram was also sashed the interbreed grand champion meat breeds ram of the show when it finished on 11 points two points clear of the reserve champion.
The Shirlee Downs ram stood in the interbreed competition after taking out the champion ram title in the Poll Dorset judging, where it was also sashed the grand champion Poll Dorset.
In the Poll Dorset judging, judge Bruce Buswell, Beverley, said the ram had everything he wanted in a sire.
"He is very sirey, has good bone and muscle, great length and is good on his feet and legs," Mr Buswell said.
"I think he is in a class of his own and I can't fault him."
The 2020-drop ram is by Kurralea 180140 and it came from the scan class (Balmoral) initially in the Poll Dorset judging where it beat 10 other rams to the first-placed blue ribbon.
In the scan class the 139.5 kilogram ram displayed scans of 48mm eye muscle depth, 11mm fat and 880mm length.
The ram was sold at Shirlee Downs/Dongadilling on-property ram sale this month for $3500 to the Webb family, Kojonup.
Missing out on the interbreed grand champion meat breeds ram ribbon by a single point but winning the reserve ribbon on a count back was a White Suffolk ram from the Fairclough family's Stockdale stud, York.
Mr Cochrane said the Stockdale ram was a well-grown and well-muscled sire which was structurally correct.
"He is a very good example of the White Suffolk breed and shows very good breed characteristics including very little black pigmentation," Mr Cochrane said.
Prior to standing in the interbreed competition the Stockdale ram was sashed the grand champion White Suffolk and champion ram in the breed judging.
At this point Mr Cheetham said the ram was a standout in the judging.
"He has a massive width of loin and is as hard as a rock through the loin," Mr Cheetham said.
"He also has a really good length of body and good meat covering down the hams."
The May 2020-drop ram is by Sunnybanks 180147.
Missing out on the reserve ribbon on the count back was an Ile de France ram from the Alcostro stud, Wagin.
The interbreed grand champion meat breeds ewe ribbon was awarded to a Suffolk ewe from Glenn and Kay Cole's Sasimwa stud when it received 11 points from the judges.
Mr Buswell said the Sasimwa ewe was a feminine ewe with lots of flesh.
"She is a top example of the breed, she is nice through the shoulders, wide at the back and has a good topline," Mr Buswell said.
The late May 2020-drop ewe is by Sasimwa 160156 and started on its winning way after winning its class for Suffolk ewes born before June 30 in front of 10 other ewes, before going on to be sashed the champion Suffolk ewe.
When it received its champion ribbon in the Suffolk ring, judge Laurie Fairclough, Stockdale stud, York, said the ewe had both a massive loin and rump.
"She stands up very well and has a beautiful topline and good neck extension," Mr Fairclough said.
"I think she will go on to breed some great Suffolk progeny and is a credit to the breeder."
The ewe is no stranger to broad ribbons as it was sashed the grand champion Suffolk at this year's Make Smoking History Williams Gateway Expo.
Standing in reserve to the Sasimwa Suffolk ewe and collecting the reserve grand champion meat breeds ewe sash was a Texel ewe from the Glover family's JimJan stud, Boyup Brook, when it received 13 points from the judges.
Mr Buswell said the JimJan ewe had heaps of flesh and was a very good representation of the breed.
"She had plenty of meat, a good topline and is good on her feet," Mr Buswell said.
The ewe was in the interbreed competition after it was sashed both the champion Texel ewe and grand champion Texel.
When it received these ribbons judge Leanne Grant-Williams, WA College of Agriculture, Morawa, described the ewe as a very structurally correct, young ewe.
"She has a well filled hindquarter and well-muscled loins," Ms Grant-Williams said.
The ewe is sired by a sire from the Victorian-based Mertex stud.
When it came to the prestigious interbreed group class for three rams under 1.5 years the Poll Dorset breed again shone through.
Taking top honours this time was the Fairclough family's Stockdale stud, when their group of three rams finished on 12 points.
Not only did they win the purple broad ribbon, they also took home $3000 thanks to class sponsor Elders Limited and marked the first time the family had won the award after many years of showing at the event.
Mr Buswell said the Stockdale team was a very good group which matched up really well.
"All three rams are full of flesh and have excellent feet and toplines," Mr Buswell said.
"They are very good examples of the Poll Dorset breed."
Two of the rams in the team were sired by Claronden 150296 and the other was by Gloroy 130628.
Success in the class for the Fairclough family continued when a White Suffolk team also from their stable finished second on 15 points.
Mr Buswell said the White Suffolk team had good frames and plenty of flesh.
"They were an even group and have all the characteristics you expect in meat sheep," he said.
Third place went to a Texel team from the JimJan stud which collected 17 points.
After gaining the reserve ribbon in the ewe judging and third place in the class for three rams, the JimJan stud took out the top award in the interbreed breeder's group class for one ram and two ewes, on a countback from a group of Suffolks exhibited by the Kalinda stud, Boyanup, when the two teams both finished on 13 points.
Judge Colin Holmes, Hyden, said the Texel team was very well fleshed and a very even team.
"The ewes in the group are a perfect match and the ram also matches in well with them," Mr Holmes said.
"They all stood up well and are all full of meat."
All sheep in the JimJan team were sired by a Mertex sire.
In the Australin Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA) interbreed competition, it was the South Suffolk and Shropshire breeds which took home the champion ribbons.
The ASSBA supreme champion exhibit was a South Suffolk ewe from the Simpson family's Pettison Park stud, Quairading.
The ewe, which was also the ASSBA grand champion ewe, won the supreme ribbon in a unanimous decision in front of a South Suffolk ram from the Bingham family's Iveston stud, Williams, which was sashed the ASSBA grand champion ram.
Mr Holmes said the Pettison Park ewe was a very well-balanced ewe.
"She has a good topline and plenty of muscling," Mr Holmes said.
The May 2020-drop ewe is based on pure Pettison Park bloodlines.
When it came to the Iveston ram, which is by Lomond Park 35/17, judge Thomas O'Neill, Boyup Brook said it was a very handy sheep with a powerful carcase and a long body.
The result was a mirror image of the South Suffolk judging where the Pettison Park ewe was sashed the grand champion South Suffolk in front of the Iveston ram after they had been sashed the breed's champion ewe and rams respectively.
The ASSBA reserve grand champion ram and ewe ribbons both went to Shropshire exhibits from the Hazeldene Ferguson stud, Ferguson Valley.
In the ASSBA group classes the champion ribbons went to the Kalinda Suffolk stud, when it placed first in the breeder's group class for one ram and two ewes, while the class for a group of three rams was won by the Pettison Park stud.