KI's Taljar stud claims back-to-back win at Australian Sheep & Wool Show

KI WINNERS: Taljar stud's Jock Kerr holds the junior champion ram with, Talisa McArdle holding son Leo Kerr,and David and Jared McArdle, with the grand champion ewe.
KI WINNERS: Taljar stud's Jock Kerr holds the junior champion ram with, Talisa McArdle holding son Leo Kerr,and David and Jared McArdle, with the grand champion ewe.

An outstanding two-year-old Polwarth ewe from Kangaroo Island stud, Taljar, has notched up its second successive grand champion ribbon at the 2019 Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo.

In 2018, David and Lynne McArdle and their children Jared and Talisa had their first win with the 20.4 micron ewe, but the second this year even sweeter as Polwarths were the feature breed.

There were nearly double the number of entries with about 70 head from three states to help celebrate 100 years of the breed in Australia.

It is the seventh time in nine years the McArdles have had their name engraved on the late Alexander Dennis trophy for champion ewe.

The 97-kilogram ewe- dark blue tag 65- was also the champion Polwarth ewe at the 2018 Royal Adelaide Show.

It had an eye muscle depth of 41mm and fat depth of 12mm.

Jared said the special ewe, which they had named Lynne, epitomised the carcase and meat traits they had been aiming to breed for the past 23 years.

"She has a beautiful carcase and that really gutsy Polwarth wool which we want, along with the ability to lamb easily and rear fast growing lambs," he said.

TWO IN ROW: David and Jared McArdle, Taljar stud, Parndana, with their champion ewe.

TWO IN ROW: David and Jared McArdle, Taljar stud, Parndana, with their champion ewe.

The ewe had plenty of depth in its pedigree being a half sister to Taljar's supreme longwool exhibit from the 2017 Royal Adelaide Show.

Taljar had the midas touch winning both junior champion ram and ewe and also the inaugural performance class.

Jared said he had been scanning Taljar sheep for five years to better understand their carcase.

"The numbers help people compare Polwarths - a very underrated breed - with other sheep, like Border Leicesters," he said.

"Polwarths are very hardy and do as well in high rainfall zones as they do in the dry.

"They are great mothers, too, for excellent prime lambs.

"People have a visual of old Polwarths weighing 80kg to 90kg but they're larger now."

One of their rams 'Tiny Tim' tipped the scales at 154kg at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Show.

It is a significant investment for the McArdle family to attend Bendigo each year with a 12 hour trek and often ferry delays with bad weather getting off the Island.

But they say it is well worth it.

"We come because we are friends with the fellow breeders and it is a great chance to catch up with them and it gives us a bit of exposure," David said.

This year they exhibited 15 sheep, including four head from the Taljade stud run by Talisa and her partner Jock Kerr - their first showing in Bendigo.

Comments