Ridgway Advance sire tops Merino indexes

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 A Poll Merino ram bred by Ridgway Advance stud, Bordertown, is the top performer in the first year of the SA Merino Sire Evaluation trial at Keyneton Station.

In the final report of the 2017-drop hoggets released last month, Ridgway Advance 150103 was the highest ranking sire across three Sheep Genetics indexes, from 16 rams.

It had a Dual Purpose Plus index of +136, Wool Production Plus of +130 and Merino Production Plus of +123.

Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association executive officer Ben Swain says it is fairly uncommon for one ram to excel in both wool and carcase traits in a trial, as well as having the highest percentage of progeny visually classed as ‘tops’ of all 16 sires.

He said it was pleasing to see SA re-establish a sire evaluation site after a more than a decade hiatus, joining nine others run across Australia in major Merino breeding areas.

In June 2017, 553 progeny were born as a result of an extensive AI program and have been evaluated from lambing to hogget age for a wide range of visual and measured traits.

“What makes the evaluation trials so important is the sheep are being run together from the day they are born right through their lives so the environmental effects are taken out,” he said.

Ridgway Advance 150103 was nominated for the trial by Darren and Jodie O’Brien, O’Brien stud, Kyancutta, who bought the ram at the Classings Classic ram sale in 2016 for $13,000.

“We are a relatively new stud so it is good to know that we are on the right track,” Mr O’Brien said. “You can feed them up but the genetics need to be there to start with.

“The progeny have proven themselves under the fairly tough conditions that the trial was run in but half the blokes we sell rams to are running sheep under these same conditions in at least 50 per cent of years.”

   Report Stock Journal Catherine Miller

RA 045 (Stud Reserve & Semen Sire)
Sire of RA 045 is Ridgway Advance 150103 (RA Trial Sire)
Used as a Ram Lamb in 2017 & being used extensively within the Stud this year.
Displays his fathers characteristics.
Early weight, white high yielding wool with plenty of volume.