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Beyond the Bale : June 2014
49 ON-FARM June 2014 BEYOND THE BALE Corriedales looking This year is a big year for the Corriedale breed in Australia with the Australian Corriedale Association celebrating its 100 year anniversary. The Corriedale breed was developed in the latter quarter of the 19th century to meet a demand for a dual purpose animal with good meat characteristics and commercial wool production. The breed simultaneously evolved in both Australia and New Zealand by selectively breeding from cross bred progeny of pure Merino and Lincoln sheep. The centenary celebrations of the Australian Corriedale Association began at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show where there was a large Corriedale representation with 68 sheep in the judging ring with all of the original major bloodlines on show. The Corriedale section was judged by Brenton Lush of Inman Valley on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia, who has completed a term as the non- Merino breed representative on AWI's Industry Consultative Committee. As an indication of the young talent within Australia's Corriedale sheep industry, Mr Lush was assisted in his judging by 18 year old associate judge Edward Thomas from Cooma, NSW who is a former student of St Gregory's College Campbelltown that has its own Corriedale stud. A special function celebrating the Association's centenary was held, after the judging, attended by stud breeders, commercial producers, AWI representatives and students. The Chairman of the NSW branch of the Australian Corriedale Association, Tony Manchester of 'Roseville', Kingsvale that won the Grand Champion Corriedale Ram at this year's show, greeted guests and spoke of his confidence for the future of breed. "It's been exciting to have so many Corriedale breeders here at the show to share their views with the new generation and look at the result of one hundred years of breeding. The students here today are the people who will be guiding the breed into its second century. "Those producers that have persisted with the traditional Corriedale breed are reaping the rewards. High lamb and mutton returns combined with heavy wool cuts continue to ensure that stronger wools more than hold their own in comparison with the finer end of the market. "The industry faces a changing world where the cost of energy, the environment and the climate are squarely on the agenda. This opens all sorts of new possibilities for wool, given its natural benefits and credentials." Richard and Jane Carter of 'Billigaboo', Goulburn that won the Grand Champion Corriedale Ewe at the show, and who helped organise the function, spoke about the history of the breed and the role that the Corriedale fleece played in supplying the uniforms and overcoats for soldiers in World War One, World War Two and the Korean War. Looking to the future, Richard emphasized the lustre and loft of Corriedale fleece. He then showed the audience two prototype knitted throws that had been made using 28-29 micron Corriedale wool from his 'Billigaboo' property. While Richard and Jane focus on growing the wool, their daughters Georgie Twomey and Sophie Ellis are overseeing the production and marketing respectively. "A trial production run of 200 throws is under way," Mr Carter said. "Our aim is to have a product that showcases the quality of Corriedale wool -- it's got a definite character. We want to not only promote the luxury of Corriedale wool but also highlight its provenance and the success of the breed from which it is sourced." More information: www.corriedale.org.au Georgie Twomey, daughter of Corriedale breeders Richard and Jane Carter, with a Corriedale throw made by her family and promoted during the Sydney Royal Easter Show. FAST FACTS l The Australian Corriedale Association is this year celebrating its centenary and is promoting Corriedale sheep as a truly dual purpose breed that produces heavy cutting bright fleece. lThere was a large Corriedale representation in the judging ring at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show. lA special function celebrating the Association's centenary was held at the Show, attended by stud breeders, commercial producers, AWI representatives and students. PHOTO: The Land to the future