North Otago farmer John Dodd at home at Tapui with some of
his Dorset Down rams. His daughter Megan (9) is in the
background. Photo by Sally Rae.
North Otago Dorset Down breeders John and Wendy Dodd had
a successful trip to the recent Canterbury A and P
Association's stud ram fair.
Mr and Mrs Dodd sold the top-priced Dorset Down ram at the
sale, at $6200, along with two other rams at $6000 and $5500.
They also topped the averages across the various breeds
offered at the two-day sale at $5900.
There were 235 rams and 18 ewes offered and the average sale
price was up on last year with $2422 for rams and $446 for
ewes. Total sales of $288,030 were recorded over the two
While total sales and clearance rates were lower than in
previous years, that was systematic of the general mood in
New Zealand, stock agents said.
''It is hard to follow up on last year which was a good year
for commercial ram sales. The drop in farmers requiring rams
is resulting in a reduction in sales,'' PGG Wrightson
livestock genetics manager Bruce Orr said.
''Throughout New Zealand it is more difficult to sell
commercial flock rams than it was a decade ago.''
A top price of $13,000 was achieved for a Texel ram sold by
Sam and Viki Holland, from Culverden, and bought by David and
Christine Graham, of Hindon.
Top-priced rams sold by other southern breeders in their
respective breeds were: Trevor and Doris McCall (Gore), a
South Suffolk at $7100; Trevor Potter (Pukerau), a Poll
Dorset at $6000; Doug and Jeannie Brown (Maheno), a Suffolk
at $6500, and Bill and Pauline Bain (Roxburgh), a Corriedale
Mr Dodd founded the Belview Dorset Down stud about 1985.
After leaving school, he worked for stud breeder Bill Bain.
He was impressed with how Mr Bain was drafting more than half
his lambs off their mothers to the freezing works. The Dodd
family farm was all Romney at that stage.
It got him interested in the breed and he founded the stud
with ewes from Mr Bain. Numbers have increased over the years
to about 200 stud ewes.
He was impressed with their quick growth rate which was
necessary in dry-prone areas.
''We seem to be able to draft over half the black-face lambs
off the mother at 18kg. When you get dry conditions, you
don't want lambs on the place,'' he said.
As a young man, Mr Dodd won the Meat Cup at the Canterbury A
and P Show which was a highlight in his showing career.
He was pleased with the success of his rams at the Canterbury
ram fair. Two were bought by the Duncan family, from
Maniototo, and the other by Ian Stevenson, from Canterbury.
Mr and Mrs Dodd and their children, Sarah (12), Megan (9) and
Logan (5), have a steep 405ha sheep and beef property at
Mr Dodd believed there were better purebred sheep around now
than there had ever been. He was grateful to those farmers
who had supported him over the years.
Dorset Down will be a feature breed at the North Otago A and
P Association's 150th show in Oamaru on February 23, and he
was hoping it would attract entries from throughout Otago and
Mr Dodd, who is chairman of the Dorset Down breed society,
said there were about 70 studs throughout the country and it
remained a popular breed.
He was looking forward to the society's annual tour in April,
looking at studs from Canterbury through to Nelson, and going
through Molesworth and Rainbow Stations.
''It's good getting around and seeing what other people are
breeding. You're always learning,'' he said.
At ram week in Gore last week, Perendale breeders enjoyed a
strong sale with a top price of $12,000 sold by Tim and Sue
Anderson, from Mt Guardian Perendales, at Cheviot, to Pip
Wilson and Brian Dickison, at Waikaka. Some Perendale rams
were bought for export to Australia.
Nathan and Joy Dodd (Wyndham) topped the Southern Texel
Breeder's Club sale, selling a ram for $7000 to Laurie and
Sharon Paterson (Waikaka) and Sam and Viki Holland, while Ian
Caird (Timaru), sold the top-priced Border Leicester at
Lance Wilson (Winton) topped the South Island Coopworth ram
sale, selling a ram for $5000, while David and Sarah Wyllie
(Ashburton) sold a ram for $3000 at the South Island high
performance Romney ram fair.
Other top prices at the Gore A and P stud ram fair were $3800
for a Poll Dorset sold by Trevor Potter, $4000 for a Suffolk
sold by Doug and Jeannie Brown, $1500 for a Dorset Down sold
by Guy Letham (Ashburton), $1700 for a Southdown sold by D
Maclean and Co Ltd (Omakau) and $1800 for a South Suffolk
sold by Trevor and Doris McCall.
The 11th annual Craigneuk ram fair, on account of J. D. S.
Duncan Farming in the Maniototo, attracted buyers from
Blenheim to Southland for what was described as a very strong
offering of all breeds.
There were 233 rams sold for an average of $940 and a top
price of $3000 for a Dorset Down, Southdown ram bought by
Adam Lindsay, from Creekside Farm at Ranfurly.
Eighty Dorset Down rams averaged $1015, 60 South Dorset
($888), 30 Dorset, Southdown ($947); 19 Texel-Poll Dorset
($684) and 44 halfbred ($973).