The Southern South Suffolk Breed Club celebrated a milestone last Thursday when four members of the club were awarded life memberships.
Trevor and Doris McCall, Jim Berney and Stewart Sinclair received the award from club committee member Bryan Brice at the Ashburton A&P Showgrounds.
Trevor and Doris McCall’s Myola Stud started in 1978, bought from Mereoak Farm. Later ewes were added into the flock from the Spring Creek Stud.
Trevor McCall said the rise of the Myola Stud was due to an infamous ram after it won the ram hogget class at the Invercargill Royal Show in 1978.
Myola went on to be one of the leading studs of the south suffolk breed, evident by the number of studs that Myola rams appeared in.
One of the McCall’s greatest achievements was winning the Meat and Wool Cup at a Royal Event show at Gore in 1997 with a home breed ram Myola 98/12, described as one of the best south suffolk rams ever bred.
Jim Berney began breeding south suffolks in 1973, founding the Craig Annat Stud at HinaHina, Owaka.
Over the following 50 years Berney had a massive involvement in the south suffolk breed, not only in breeding and farming, but in the administration of the breed at local, regional and national levels.
He was a great supporter of A&P shows.
There would hardly be a show that he had missed in the southern region.
He would always have a ute and trailer of sheep present at the venues and much success with prizes and ribbons had been achieved over the years.
Stewart Sinclair’s Inver stud was started in 1972 with the purchase of 10 ewes from Frank Amos. Over the years many other ewes were purchased mainly from dispersal sales.
These ewes added to the already impressive Inver South Suffolk stud.
Very quickly Inver sheep were prominent in shows throughout the South Island and the rams and ewes were being sold at the North Island stud ewe and ram fair at Feilding and at the Canterbury stud ram fair in Christchurch.
Sinclair was proactive at buying top sires and the Inver Stud became dominant throughout a large number of south suffolk flocks.
The south suffolk first appeared in New Zealand during the 1930s in response to an overseas demand for leaner meat.
It became a registered breed in 1955 and was increasingly being used as a terminal sire for prime lamb production.
Its high-yielding carcass made it ideal for further processing.
The down wool was used for fine apparels and hand knitting yarns.
- By Pat Deavoll