THE trip from Bendemeer in the state's north was worth it for Evan Wright of KP Dorset Horn stud who won grand champion Dorset Horn ram and ewe during the NSW Dorset Championships.
Held at Cowra showgrounds on Friday, Mr Wright was the sole representative of the breed exhibiting six head of sheep - two ewes, four rams - and the quality of his stock shone through.
Grand champion ram went to KP tag 36, an end of September 2021-drop sire prospect that has since been purchased by Keith Coble of Kei-Vale and Wheeo Dorset Horn studs, Boorowa.
He was an artificial insemination (AI) ram by the Douglas Downs 371 sire which came from the open under 1.5 years class.
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Judge Rod Davies from Wrattenbullie stud, Naracoorte, South Australia, said he was an extremely sound ram that stood up well, with a bit more growth than the reserve champion which was a younger ram with good carcase but was a bit tighter made.
New owner, Keith Coble, who will show the ram at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo, Vic, said he was a total outcross for his studs, with length and depth of body, and a good open horn set.
"Being a total outcross, he will go over everything next breeding season," he said.
Breeder, Evan Wright, he liked the ram a lot but having a selection of AI-bred rams offering different genetics he wanted to give others the opportunity to expand their bloodlines.
"You can't keep all the good ones... you have to get them out there to keep the bred going before it becomes extinct," he said.
"I have the largest semen collection of Dorset Horn rams stored. It was something I had to do for the breed's sake.
"He (and the entire KP team) are all AI lambs from an AI program last year I did to release three lines of Dorset Horn genetics to help the breed - they were starving for genetics."
Both the champion and reserve champion will have semen collected for storage.
The reserve champion ram was KP tag 33, an AI-bred son of the 33-year-old sire Mulgundawa 91/89 'Mr Muscles'.
He has since sold to Daryl MacDonald of Fairburn stud near Bendigo, Vic, along with another one of his pen mates.
Mr Wright said the reserve is unique as his bloodlines don't exist anymore, they've been bred out.
"He is out of a pure Wheeo line of ewe, which is not around anymore... and by an older sire from 1989," he said.
Another ram was sold to Robert Grieves of Hill End stud near Bendigo, Vic.
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KP tag 45 was the champion Dorset Horn ewe, while reserve was KP tag 32. They were also by Douglas Downs 371 which sired the champion ram.
Mr Wright said the ewes will continue in the KP stud which is solely focused on reproducing through AI. This stud runs alongside his Right Dorset Horn stud, which is bred naturally.
"Our AI sheep are run separate, and these ewes will be bred via AI next year," he said.
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