Winrae Dorpers will disperse

Winrae Dorpers will disperse


One of Australia's earliest and prestigious Dorper stud flocks is to go under the auctioneer's hammer.

The Pagett family will disperse their Winrae Dorper stud at Canowindra on Monday, August 20 selling all stock in an unreserved sale.

The Pagett family will disperse their Winrae Dorper stud at Canowindra on Monday, August 20 selling all stock in an unreserved sale.

THE whole Winrae Dorper stud flock is to be dispersed at Canowindra on Monday, August 20.

Consisting of  250 stud ewes, the flock including lambs, rams and stud sires have been catalogued for unreserved sale.

The dispersal follows the decision of the Pagett family for dissolve the partnership between Brian and Kris Pagett and their son Nick, daughter-in-law Mel.

The sale is being handled by Landmark Stud Stock with Dubbo-based John Settree facilitating.

While all sheep will be catalogued for auction the Pagetts are open to negotiation for the stud and Winrae prefix to be sold privately as a whole prior to the sale date.

Winrae began its move from Merinos to Dorpers in 1998 with the purchase of five embryos from Tien Jordaan, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Nick Pagett said the family moved to Dorpers because of their pigment and lack of finishing lambs with any other breed they tried.

“Our country in the Bourke region didn’t have a lot of shade and we had problems with white-headed sheep with cancers,” he said.

“Dorpers have black heads, points and rear-ends, so where Merinos had cancers these sheep had black on them.”

The Pagetts followed with more embryo transfer programs with donors sourced from Macquarie Artificial Breeders, John Dell then bought ewes and used rams from Amarula, including one sire of influence, Amarula Riffle.

By nine years of breeding programs Winrae stud was boasting 600 ewes.

In 2003 the Pagetts paid $7800 for the 10 month-old Kaya Big Al 037094, a game-changing ram in Australia for the Dorper breed.

That year the Pagetts decided on the style of Dorper they wanted to breed and began classing out to fit that style.

“Our aim had always been to be tough in our selection, especially on feet and legs, plus fertility in our ewes and mothering ability,” Mel Pagett said.

Nick and Mel then completed classing and judging courses in South Africa allowing them to work closely with Australian breeders in selection and breed type education.

While there they met Ron Van derMerwe, Westfront stud, Beaufort, who became a strong mentor.

“We couldn’t get his genetics here, but bred and selected to his style,” Nick Pagett said.

In 2007 the first introduction of Namibian blood was sourced from Phillip Strauss, Jurien Bay, Western Australia.

These were Sticks 070023 and Stones 070036 both bought at 10 months of age.

Bellevue Okabango 080239 was the second of Namibian blood introduced in 2008.

Winrae bred rams were also used throughout the stud each year, especially Winrae Charlie 070991 , a son of Big Al.


In 2005 Nick and Mel Pagett moved the stud flock 700 kilometres east from Winrae Station, 125km north of Bourke, to Warialda.

Two years later the stud flock was equally split in half with the division of the original partnership between Brian and Kris Pagett and Brian’s sister, Raylee and husband Alan Clark, “Middleton”, Cunnamulla, Queensland.

The remaining 300 ewes and Winrae stud prefix remained with Brian and Nick and their families.

Some three years later in 2010 the flock was moved back to Winrae Station until 2015 when it moved to Canowindra after the Winrae the  property was sold.

However, the change had improved the flock, according to Nick Pagett.

“Since being here the sheep haven’t looked back,” he said.

“The sheep are staying the same in size and improving. This country really has good amounts of nutrition.”

Mel Pagett said the Canowindra pink/red loam soils were quite responsive and hold moisture better than the sand country out west.

Rainfall is nearly triple in normal years as well.

Canowindra’s average annual rain is 625 millimetres against Bourke’s 275mm.

The Pagetts said they thought they would have trouble with their sheep moving from the arid west to a “wet” area, especially in 2016 one of the wettest years experienced.

“We even surprised locals who thought our sheep would fall apart, but we had no troubles what-so-ever,” Nick Pagett said.

“It all comes down to what we believe is our selection processes going right back to start of the flock.

“We feel we selected for the right genetics able to hold up in arid areas, and that’s a big thing because some bloodlines just die out there.”

Mel Pagett said their aim had always been survivability.

“We’ve been pretty tough on feet and legs, plus fertility in our ewes and mothering ability.

“These have been big selection tool which we have adhered to.”

Winrae has been exporting ewes and rams to China since 2008 and has also sent ewes to Russia, Rams to Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and Bangladesh.

Both Nick and Mel Pagett will remain with the Dorper breed after the dispersal and will continue judging and classing for the Society.


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