Aurora Park flies the flag for Victoria in Hampshire Down judging

Sydney Royal Easter Show: Aurora Park dominates Hampshire Down competition | Photos

Royal Multimedia

Victorian breeding on display at Sydney Royal Easter Show.


A DESIRE to showcase the Hampshire Down breed's qualities on a major stage has driven Aurora Park to clean up at this year's Sydney Royal.

The St Helens Plains operation made the long trip from Victoria and did not leave empty handed, taking home the grand champion and reserve grand champion ram and ewe ribbons, as well as the groups competition.

A total of nine exhibits came before competition judge Joanna Balcombe, Cranbrook Poll Dorset stud, Canowindra, but a new focus on breeding helped Aurora Park come out on top.

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"I think his breeding was what really set the ram apart," Aurora Park stud manger Mathew Hill said.

"His sire was an undefeated champion and the Victorian all breeds champion at the Victorian Sheep Show.

"When you have a ram sired by something like that it makes him very difficult to go passed.

"He is just stands up so well, has good lift in the front and is more of a New Zealand style of Hampshire, which is a style I think I'm breeding towards because it is more functional and it does well in our area."

Similarly to the two-year-old,128kg ram, Aurora Park's grand champion ewe, weighed 80kg and was sired by the all breeds champion, while its dam was a former Sydney champion.

Ms Balcombe said both grand champions were a credit to the breed.

"Both the grand and reserve champion rams were upstanding on their feet, paraded very well, but the grand champion was very smooth through his shoulders, had a beautiful top line and has that meat right down into his hindquarter," she said.

"He was very smooth through his shoulders, beautiful top line and has that meat right down into his hindquarter.

"As for the champion ewe, I felt like her growth for age was just amazing.

"She had the complete carcase shape, was nice and upstanding on her feet, beautifully balanced and I gave her first place because I just couldn't fault her."

Mr Hill said he would now turn his attention to more shows later in the year.

"The Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo, Sheepvention in Hamilton and Royal Melbourne Show are next three events we will aim at," he said.

"I think I always knew we had two pretty strong rams here but there might be a few more at home that might still make it into the mix."

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