The Australian Poll Dorset Association

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Breed History

From humble beginnings in 1954

To become the largest Prime Lamb Breed in Australia


The Dorset Horn breed was a minority breed in Australia until the second quarter of this century, but some of the early breeders were making great progress and the breed improved tremendously in their ability to produce a top quality lamb, which could be sold at light weights or carried on to heavy weights, and seemed to thrive in the wide range of climate. The only real drawback to the breed was their troublesome horns, which limited selection considerably.

Some studmasters had considered for a long time that the Dorset Horn, most popular of all fat lamb sires for Australian conditions, would be even more efficient minus his horns. This view was endorsed by many fat lamb breeders, who preferred that the horns of their Dorset flock rams should be sawn off.


W.J. Dawkins

L.A. Stuart

J.W. Reddin

R.H. Wilson

The three men who pioneered the Poll Dorset breed were W.J. Dawkins, of Newbold, Gawler River (S.A.), L.A. Stuart, of Valma, Whitemore (Tas), and R.H. Wilson, of Kismet, Howlong (N.S.W.).

All breeders of Dorset Horn sheep, they saw the advantages of eliminating the horns from this great breed, but were determined to retain all its qualities.

While all three pioneer breeders had slightly different methods, all had the same common goal – to achieve a Dorset Horn sheep without horns.

The plan was to introduce the poll character by crossing the Dorset Horn with a poll breed and then by mating consistently back to the Dorset Horn, combined with rigorous culling, to eliminate all characters of the introduced breed, except the poll factor.


The first real attempt to poll the Dorset Horn was begun by Mr. W.J. Dawkins, veteran breeder of Newbold, who had done so much over 40 years to adapt the breed to Australian conditions. In 1937, a stud Corriedale was accidentally mated to a Newbold stud Dorset Horn ewe and the resulting progeny was a poll ewe lamb. Mr. Dawkins for some time had been considering a Poll Dorset experiment, so this is happening gave his idea the necessary impetus.

Mr. Dawkins, together with Mr. J.W. Reddin, who handled the Newbold sheep, believed it was most important in the selection of foundation stock for such a venture that the sheep should be of good carcase quality. This applied equally to the pure stock used from year to year during the grading up process. They felt that if this point of good carcase quality was watched from the start, there should be no necessity to reintroduce horned blood into an established poll flock to maintain quality. In fact it was soon established that top quality ewes were vital for sound progress.

The establishment of the Newbold Poll Dorset flock was planned in three stages. Firstly, the policy was to mate poll rams on pure ewes, and pure rams on poll ewes, year after year until at least 96.875 per cent pure Dorset Horn blood was attained. In actual fact, most of the Newbold Polls were taken initially to the 98.4 per cent stage.

In the second phase the aim was to build up a poll flock with double poll parentage by mating polls on polls of at least 96.875 per cent purity.

In the third stage the objective was to locate dominant polls by test-mating and so form the nucleus of a true poll flock and provide other breeders with rams for mating with pure Dorset Horn ewes.

The first aim was to fix the inherent Dorset Horn characters, and the second and the third to fix the poll character. The Newbold experience was that any attempt to short-cut the programme by mating polls on polls too early could prove disastrous from the genetic point of view of the Dorset Horn.

Mating back to the Dorset Horn required heavy annual culling for horn growth. This was discouraging and impatience led in 1947 to a mating of polls on polls with the objective of breeding a double poll ram to use more effectively on the pure ewes in the grading up process. Progeny showed retrogression, which meant more culling and waste of time and sheep.

These experiences brought important lessons. With the constant need for more poll ewes, the importance of an obvious sex factor in the breeding of Poll Dorsets was not realised early enough. It was not only much easier to breed the horns off the ewe lamb than the ram lamb, but it was also a fact that the use of the pure Dorset Horn ram on poll ewes would not bring anywhere near the same results as the use of the Poll ram on the pure Dorset Horn ewe. The whole experiment could have been considerably accelerated by using more pure-bred ewes. This was an expensive discovery, as the ruling price of pure Dorset Horn ewes was then high.

Once the grading up stage had been completed it was found that the culling rate dropped enormously. Another encouraging feature was that the sex factor was steadily eliminated, with ram and ewe progeny being polled alike. The whole poll percentage increased steadily with the use of double poll rams and by progeny testing to find the real dehorners of quality.

While the Newbold studmasters used the Corriedale to achieve the poll factor, L.A. Stuart and R.H. Wilson introduced the Ryeland.

Mr. Stuart began his project in 1941 with the purchase of stud Ryeland ewes which were joined to a top stud Dorset Horn ram. Mr. Stuart followed that policy throughout the grading up years, always using the stud Dorset Horn ram.

By doing this he felt he would have less variability than if he used a poll crossbred whose selection would have to depend to a large extent on his poll characteristics, rather than general Dorset quality. By the time the 96.875 per cent percentage was attained it was found that the Dorset Horn rams were siring nearly all horned ewes and no true poll rams.

At that point it was recalled that one Dorset Horn ram had proved good for polls. He was repurchased and sired nearly all poll ewes and some really good poll rams. From that time, the Valma project was on a sound basis.

Mr. R.H. Wilson began his experiment in 1943, when he initially introduced Ryeland rams and then subsequently bred poll rams to Dorset Horn ewes, and Dorset Horn rams to poll ewes. The initial ewes were high quality cast-for-age ewes from his own Dorset Horn stud.

As with the other breeders, he found that progress was slow at first because of the limited field of selection, so he allotted larger numbers of Dorset Horn ewes to the project.

This involved the purchase of two additional Ryeland rams and it was found that great care had to be taken in their selection. Fortunately, one proved outstanding for quality. The other had to be discarded. As with Newbold and Valma, real progress came only with a ram dominant for the poll factor.

With the exception of Temora which had a Ryeland infusion, all other early flocks drew a poll ram from one of the three pioneer breeders, and mated them to Dorset Horn ewes. This was the obvious short-cut to the establishment of a Poll Dorset flock.

These three men had to withstand much criticism. They were accused of breeding crossbreds, and there was even talk that they might be expelled from the ASBBS for it. However, geneticists of world standing agreed that it did not matter a whit which poll breed was used in the first place provided that the back-mating programme was strictly adhered to until a sufficient percentage of pure Dorset Horn blood was attained.

All three pioneer breeders were adamant about the back-mating programme – hence the insistence of a minimum of 95 per cent of Dorset Horn blood for registration. In fact, they considered that the closer breeders got to the 100 per cent of Dorset Horn blood the better. There would be few sheep, if any, in the breed today that do not carry 99 per cent of Dorset blood.

By 1954, after years of careful selection and ruthless and costly culling, Messrs. Dawkins, Stuart and Wilson felt that they had produced Poll Dorsets of sufficient Dorset Horn quality to establish the Poll Dorset breed of sheep.


The Inaugural Meeting was held in the Administration Building of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Melbourne Showgrounds, on 28th September, 1954, when it was decided to form a Society to be known as the Poll Dorset Association. The objectives of this Association would be to record the establishment of the Poll Dorset breed of sheep.

The meeting was attended by Messrs. L.A. Stuart, R.H. Wilson, W.J. Dawkins and J.W. Reddin.

It was agreed to establish a Poll Dorset Flock Book, and that the qualifications for registration therein of Poll Dorset sheep would be –

(a) Polled sheep bred from a white-faced, short woolled breed containing not less than 95 per cent of Dorset blood.

(b) Poll progeny of a registered Polled Dorset ram, mated with pure Dorset Horn ewes.

(c) Polled progeny of polled rams and polled ewes containing not less than 95 per cent of Dorset blood.

Foundation members would be Messrs. W.J. Dawkins, of Newbold, Gawler River, South Australia; L.A. Stuart, of Valmont, Whitemore, Tasmania; and R.H. Wilson, of Kismet, Howlong, New South Wales.

Mr. L.A. Stuart was elected President of the new Association, and it was resolved that Mr. Mervyn Weston, Editor of the Australian Farm and Home should be approached to act as Secretary, and that the President should arrange an honorarium for such service.

Membership fees were set at £5/5/-per year.

Mr. Reddin was appointed to design a form for Annual Flock Returns which should be as at 1st May each year, and that Returns be lodged by 14th May each year.

The meeting was adjourned and a subsequent meeting was held on 29th September at the Melbourne Showgrounds, when it was decided to appoint Mervyn G. Weston as Honorary Secretary. It was agreed that his honorarium in the initial year would be £15/15/-.

It was agreed that each breeder should compile a history of his Poll Flock as soon as possible and that each foundation member give immediate consideration to the draft of a Constitution, It was decided to publish the first Flock Book as soon as the Constitution and registration of the foundation flocks was completed.


The original headquarters for the Poll Dorset Association were in the old St. James Building in William Street, Melbourne. When this building was pulled down to make way for what is now the St. James Plaza – AMP Building, head office was moved to Bank place where it remained until late 1977.

Headquarters of the Association are now located at 677 High Street, East Kew.

A permanent box number at the Melbourne G.P.O. was set up early in 1978, so that in the event of any further office moves, the postal address for the Association will not alter.


Architect of the Constitution was Mr. Jack Reddin, who submitted the original draft to the first meeting of Council, as well as the various forms to cover annual returns, transfers and individual registrations.


The first meeting of Council was held at Scotts Hotel, Melbourne, on 25th May, 1955.


One of the unique features of the Poll Dorset Association is that until 2013, the secretarial work has been handled by members of the one family.

Foundation Secretary, Mr. Mervyn Weston, was himself a pioneer in the stud stock advertising field. His wide knowledge of the pastoral industry, was invaluable to the Association over 20 years. He worked untiringly in his efforts as Secretary, and never missed an opportunity to promote the Breed.

Upon his death in 1975, Mr. Peter Weston, who had been Assistant Secretary for eight years, was appointed Secretary by Council.

Much of the success in running the Association can be attributed to the excellent working relationship and co-operation which has always existed between Council and Head Office.

The fact that all the recording work and promotion had been handled in the one office, and that the Secretary has always been easily accessible to all members, has ensured great continuity in production and public relations.


The First Annual Meeting of the Association was held in the Council Room at the R.A.S. of Victoria, on 29th September, 1955.

In presenting the first Annual Report, the President, Mr. L.A. Stuart, stated that it was a memorable occasion as it marked the end of the first phase of the evolution of the Poll Dorset, and the beginning of the next in which members were charged with the responsibility of furthering the interests of the breed by careful selection, the keeping of accurate records, and the showing and sale of only highest quality sheep.

He specially stressed the desirability of only selling good quality flock rams as they would have an important bearing on the future prosperity and expansion of the breed.

In 12 months the Association had grown from three flocks and four members to 22 members with 18 flocks, an this reflected the confidence of members in the future of the breed.


The Ballot for the election of the first Council resulted in the election of Messrs. L.A. Stuart, W.J. Dawkins, R.H. Wilson, J.W. Reddin, Ian T. McIntosh, R.A. Hughes, S.G. Greenslade, while there was a tie between Messrs. C.W. Gerrish and L.L. Dobson for 8th place. A further ballot was held resulting in the election of Mr. Gerrish.

The Annual General Meeting in September 1957, voted to increase the number of Councillors from 8 to 12, to serve for a two-year term, half to retire annually.


Mr. H.L. Burrowes, of Coolangatta, Moorabool, via Geelong, Vic was appointed Honorary Auditor to the Association in 1955, and he continued this work in an honorary capacity until 1963.


In 1957, the Association was honoured in that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Organization graciously agreed to allow Mr. C.H.S. Dolling, Officer-in -Charge, National Field Station Gilruth Plains, Cunnamulla, Qld., to act as honorary Genetic Adviser to the Association.

In those early years Mr. Dolling was particularly generous with his time and advice to Poll Dorset breeders, and his interesting and informative talks were a highlight of Annual Meetings.

He undertook the difficult job of writing and preparing a Poll Dorset Breeding Manual. Written in simple terms, and with good illustrations, it was an excellent reference guide for new breeders.


Volume 1 of the Poll Dorset Flock Book was published in June, 1956 at a cost of £103/5/-, and it contained the histories of 18 registered flocks.


Flock numbers were allocated in chronological order as they were received, with Flock No. 100 reached in just three years. As an indication of the rapid expansion of the Breed, Flock No. 1000 was reached in 12 years.


The Secretary reported to the first meeting of Council that an application for registration of a Trade Mark had been lodged with the Patent Attorney for the letter within the letter.

This was rejected at first as not being a clearly defined trade mark. Breeders were advised to use the mark in the meantime, as sheep could not be sold or transferred without it. After two further applications the trade mark was officially approved.


In 1957, there was a very apparent need by all breeds of sheep for the services of an official journal. Jack Reddin advised that the Adelaide Stock & Station Journal was currently contemplating the publication of a special journal to cover the stud stock field. It was subsequently decided that the Secretary should approach this company indicating that the Poll Dorset Association was favourably disposed to the appointment of a suitable official journal.

The publication ‘Stud and Farm’ was adopted as the Official Journal of the Association in 1958, and served until 1969 when it ceased publication.

The Australian Poll Dorset Journal, which is now in its 9th year of publication, was the brain-child of current President, Les J.B. Binns. He approached the Secretary and Council, and while they had reservations about financing the project, felt it essential for the continued promotion of the breed both in Australia and overseas.


In 1961, Council approval was given to establish Advisory Committees in various areas, and an initial grant of £10 was allowed to each Region to cover preliminary organisation. Nine Regions were fully organised in the following year, and by 1963 there were 12 Regional Advisory Committees throughout Australia playing an important part in the management and functioning of the Association.


Federal Councilors of the Poll Dorset Association met in Melbourne during the month. They are (from left) Front row: Messrs. L.A. Stuart, Valmont, Whitemore, Tas.; A. Taylor, Lindsbury, Cudal, N.S.W. (Vice-Presidents), J.W. Reddin, Newbold, Gawler River, S.A. (President), M.G. Weston (Secretary), W.J. Dawkins, Newbold. Back row: Messrs. A.W. Alleyn, Alleynside, Wagga, N.S.W.; K.B. Kelsall, Broughton Brook, Wagga, A.E. Day, Allendale, Bordertown, S.A.; R.A. Hughes, Cluden Newry, Longford, Tas.; R.H. Wilson, Kismet, Howlong, N.S.W.; I.T. McIntosh, Burnwood, Merrigum, Vic.; N.G. Stewart, Oaklyn, Tatura, Vic. And J.S. Oxley, Mossley, Strangways, Victoria.


This Poll Dorset stud ram has every reason to look haughty. The first of its kind to be auctioned in Australia, it brought 670 gns. at Launceston.

Admiring the ram are (from left) Messrs. J. McIntosh and S.G. Greenslade (who purchased the ram in partnership with Messrs. Starritt, of Mooroopna), Mr. Stuart is its breeder, and Mr. P.R. Clemons, the auctioneer.


The ram LINDSBURY 383/69, sold for the world record price of $11,000 at the Lindsbury Dispersal in 1971. The ram was bought jointly by Mr. John Gilmore, of Tattykeel, Oberon, who is holding the ram, and Mr. R.A. Dickson, Middle Creek Estates, Oberon, NSW (on the right). In the centre is the vendor, Mr. Gus Taylor.


Poll Dorsets were first exhibited competitively at Launceston National Show in 1955.

The first Societies on the mainland to approve the exhibition of Poll Dorset sheep were the Albury Show Society; and the R.A. & S. Society of S.A., who agreed to a section comprising four classes at 1956 Adelaide Royal.

By September 1959, the NSW Sheepbreeders Association, the Australian Sheep Breeders Association and the R.A.S. of Victoria had agreed to the provision of a Poll Dorset section at the 1958 Shows. Brisbane and Perth Royal Show Societies followed in 1960.


Tasmanian National Show
Year Number of Exhibitors Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1955 2 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1956 4 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1957 6 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1958 9 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1959 8 L.L. & R.H. Dobson Ras French & Son
1960 7 W. & E. Roberts Thomson L.A. Stuart
1961 7 W. & E. Roberts Thomson L.A. Stuart
1962 5 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1963 7 L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1964 7 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1965 7 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1966 6 L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1967 6 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1968 6 L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
Albury Sheep Show
Year No. of Sheep Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1956 Â R.H. Wilson Â
1957 No details available
1958 87 R.H. Wilson A.W. Alleyn
1959 129 R.H. Wilson G.B. & I.M. Starritt
1960 198 G.B. & I.M. Starritt A.W. Alleyn
1961 238 T.H. Kelsall & Son T.H. Kelsall &Son
1962 178 R.H. Wilson T.H. Kelsall &Son
1963 119 W.J. Dawkins W.J. Dawkins
1964 139 T.H. Kelsall &Son R.H. Wilson
1965 182 T.H. Kelsall &Son W.J. Dawkins Newbold
1966 273 T.H. Kelsall &Son A.W. Alleyn
1967 247 T.H. Kelsall &Son A.W. Alleyn
1968 215 J.W. & G.B. Reddin A.W. Alleyn
1969 171 T.H. Kelsall &Son T.H. Kelsall &Son
1970 251 R.H. Wilson A.W. Alleyn
1971 305 T.H. Kelsall &Son R.E. Harris
1972 245 A. Taylor T.H. Kelsall &Son
1973 168 Marylebone Pty Ltd Marylebone Pty Ltd
1974 186 W.L. Close & Sons Cornwall Dorset Stud
1975 219 Cornwall Dorset Stud Elouera Dorset Stud
1976 295 P.G.Y. Harris R. Yates & Co.
1977 274 Middle Creek Estates L.J. & G.H. Ryan
Adelaide Royal Show
Year No. of Entries Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1956 8 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1957 16 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1958 19 A.E. Day & Sons W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1959 30 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1960 40 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1961 55 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.S. Martin & Sons
1962 76 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold R.J. & B. Martin
1963 96 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold A.E. Day & Sons
1964 105 W.S. Martin & Sons W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1965 124 W.S. Martin & Sons W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1966 152 A.G. & J.B. Ferguson A.E. Day & Sons
1967 144 W.S. Martin & Sons A.E. Day & Sons
1968 168 A.E. Day & Sons W.S. Martin & Sons
1969 133 Kentish Downs Studs A.R. & M.A. Langford
1970 152 R.H. Wilson W.L. Close & Sons
1971 126 A.E. Day & Sons A.E. Day & Sons
1972 155 L.K. McKenzie & Son W.S. Martin & Sons
1973 160 Kentish Downs Studs W.S. Martin & Sons
1974 155 W.L. Close & Sons Kentish Downs Studs
1975 178 W.S. Martin & Sons Kentish Downs Studs
1976 170 A.E. Day & Sons Elouera Dorset Stud
1977 186 Kentish Downs Studs L.K. McKenzie & Son
1978 170 L.K. McKenzie & Son L.K. McKenzie & Son
Hobart Royal
Year  Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1958 No awards given
1959 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1960 Â W. & E. Roberts Thomson W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1961 Â W. & E. Roberts Thomson L.A. Stuart
1962 Â L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1963 Â L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1964 Â L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1965 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1966 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1967 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1968 Â C.A. Long W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1969 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1970 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1971 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1972 Â L.A. Stuart W. & E. Roberts Thomson
1973 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1974 Â K.B. Moore L.A. Stuart
1975 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1976 Â L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1977 Â L.A. Stuart F.H.Badcock & Son
1978 Â L.A. Stuart Iles Bros
Melbourne Royal Show
Year No. of Sheep Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1958 36 H.L. Burrowes W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1959 64 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1960 101 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1961 157 H.L. Burrowes R.E. Harris
1962 221 L.A. Stuart A. Taylor
1963 250 L.A. Stuart A.E. Day & Sons
1964 267 A. Taylor A. Taylor
1965 286 L.A. Stuart W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1966 342 L.A. Stuart L.A. Stuart
1967 313 R.K. Kitto A.W. Alleyn
1968 329 Marylebone Pty Ltd R.H. Wilson
1969 306 Marylebone Pty Ltd R.E. Harris
1970 329 A.E. Day & Sons A.W. Alleyn
1971 314 T.H. Kelsall & Son R.E. Harris
1972 302 A.E. Day & Sons T.H. Kelsall & Son
1973 329 Cornwall Dorset Stud L.J.B. & E. Binns
1974 305 Cornwall Dorset Stud Elouera Dorset Stud
1975 305 W.S. Martin & Sons T.H. Kelsall & Son
1976 294 L.J.B. & E. Binns Elouera Dorset Stud
1977 338 P.G.Y. Harris Middle Creek Estates
1978 509 Elouera Dorset Stud Elouera Dorset Stud
Sydney Sheep Show
Year No. of Sheep Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1958 30 R.H. Wilson W.J. Dawkins, Newbold Ltd.
1959 69 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold A. Taylor
1960 86 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold A.W. Alleyn
1961 69 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold T.H. Kelsall & Son
1962 123 H.L. Burrowes R.H. Wilson
1963 93 W.J. Dawkins A. Taylor
1964 65 A. Taylor A. Taylor
1965 63 T.H. Kelsall & Son A. Taylor
1966 55 A. Taylor A. Taylor
1967 119 T.H. Kelsall & Son A. Taylor
1968 181 A. Taylor A. Taylor
1969 137 Marylebone Pty Ltd A. Taylor
1970 76 R.H. Wilson A. Taylor
1971 47 R.H. Wilson J.A. & M.J. Gilmore
1972 38 R.H. Wilson J.A. & M.J. Gilmore
1973 124 Marylebone Pty Ltd Marylebone Pty Ltd
1974 130 Cornwall Dorset Stud Cornwall Dorset Stud
1975 149 Cornwall Dorset Stud Elouera Dorset Stud
Perth Royal Show
Year No. of Entries Champion Ram Champion Ewe
1960 20 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1961 33 I. & P. Watts B. Higginson
1962 33 W.J. Dawkins, Newbold G. & T. Gale & Son
1963 67 Kentish Downs J.F. Clancy
1964 86 Kentish Downs W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1965 59 L.A. Stuart W.J. Dawkins, Newbold
1966 91 M.K. Reynolds C.M. Hart & Co.
1967 97 A.R. & M.A. Langford B. & F. Higginson
1968 93 A.M. Dawkins & Sons A.R. & M.A. Langford
1969 75 A.R. & M.A. Langford P.R. Sullivan
1970 87 A.R. & M.A. Langford M.K. Reynolds
1971 129 B. & F. Higginson J.M. & M.A. Lenthall
1972 151 J.M. & M.A. Lenthall Mrs. W.L. Close & Sons
1973 172 B. & F. Higginson W.S. Martin & Sons
1974 172 W.L. Close & Sons H.S. Bradford & Sons
1975 144 A.M. Dawkins & Sons W.S. Martin & Sons
1976 122 A.E. Day & Sons A.G. & J.B. Ferguson.
1977 130 L.K. McKenzie & Son A.G. & J.B. Ferguson

Valma 2/53 Champion Ram at Tasmanian National Show in 1955 and 1957.

Newbold Hector (P) Champion at Albury and Adelaide in 1957.

The first showing at Albury, back in 1956, and top of the line-up was Kismet 11/53, the first champion Poll Dorset ram at Albury.



Reserve Champion at Albury, Champion at Ballarat, Goulburn Valley and Melbourne Royal in 1958.

Kismet 44/57 (P) Champion at 1958 Sydney Sheep Show.

VALMA A11/54, Reserve Champion at Tasmanian National Show 1959, and Champion at Hobart Royal 1959.


1956 .. Two Poll Dorset rams were exported to England.

1959 .. Poll Dorsets were exported to New Zealand and South Africa.

1964 .. There were 267 Poll Dorset entries at Melbourne Royal Show.

1970 .. Volume 1, No. 1 of the Australian Poll Dorset Journal was published and is still in publication today – stronger than ever.

1975 .. There were 304 Poll Dorset entries at Melbourne Royal.

1976 .. There were 210,671 registered Poll Dorset sheep in Australia. A total of 804 stud rams were sold between April, 1974 and March, 1975.

1978 .. A record of 424 entries for Melbourne Royal. Poll Dorset sired lambs won every major Lamb Carcase Competition award through Australia.

1979 .. Flock No. 2800 is registered. The March Council Meeting is held in Perth, W.A. for the first time. Tour of W.A. by Poll Dorset members. Association Membership reaches a record 1500 in April.


Flock Rams

A new Australian record for a pen of Poll Dorset Flock rams was set at Walcha, New South Wales, in February, 1979, when a pen of three rams sold at $390 each. The same vendor sold other pens at $340, $330, $310 and $300 each.

The record price for a single flock ram at $420 was set at Penola, South Australia in November, 1978, and the vendor sold other flock rams at $405, $370 and $320.

Stud Rams

World records for Poll Dorset stud sheep were set at the Lindsbury dispersal in March, 1974, when stud sires sold to $11,000 and stud ewes to $725 for a sale gross of $192,850. Eleven rams averaged $4,723, and 495 ewes averaged $235.

At the 1978 Melbourne Royal Show Sales, 75 Poll Dorset stud rams sold to $5,250 and averaged $1,098.67, THE TOP PRICE AND AVERAGE OF ALL BREEDS.

A new record price for a young two-tooth Poll Dorset stud ram of $5,600, was set at a production sale at Cowra, New South Wales, on October 5, 1978.


The earliest overseas enquiries for Poll Dorsets were received in 1956 from Britain and United States, while copies of the Flock Book had been obtained by New Zealand breeders.

By 1957, Poll Dorset sheep had spread to all States of the Commonwealth. Two rams were exported to England, one of these Valma C11/56 going to Mr. Martin Lenthall, of Dorset. This ram was the first introduction of a Poll Dorset to England, the home of the Dorset Horn breed, and sired the supreme champion carcase at the famous Smithfield Fat Stock Show, London on three occasions, thereby winning the coveted Guild of London Butchers Cup.

In 1958, a further consignment of one ram and six ewes was dispatched to England, while sales were recently completed for two rams and five ewes to go to New Zealand.

The first Poll Dorset ram to go to South Africa was exported in 1959, while a further four rams and 12 ewes went to New Zealand.

By 1960, a section for Poll Dorsets was included in the New Zealand Flock Book for the first time, and a special supplement was crated in the Dorset Horn Flock Book in Britain.


The breed was accepted by Britain in 1956, when imports were made from Australia. They have been recorded in a section of the Dorset Horn Flock Book in Britain. New Zealand made importations about the same time and promptly included the breed in its Flock Book. South Africa did the same. Exports have also been made to Canada, Ceylon, China, Colombia, India, Mauritius, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States.


NEWBOLD JUPITER, Champion at Adelaide Royal, 1962.

VALMA J141/62 (P), Champion at Melbourne Royal, 1965.

ELOUERA 61/77, Champion at Melbourne ASBA, 1978.

CORNWALL “ALDO” 148/72, sold for TOP PRICE OF ALL BREEDS OF $1600 at the 1973 Melbourne Royal Show Sales.

KENTISH DOWNS H493/76, Champion at Adelaide Royal in 1977.

BALMORAL “TRADER” 156/63, whose head is depicted on the original Lamb Supreme Symbol for Breed promotion. Champion at Adelaide in 1964.

Two of the greatest Show Rams produced in the Breed

KISMET BASTION 2nd 613/69 Six times champion in 1970, Champion at Sydney, Canberra, Albury, Goulburn Valley, Ballarat and Adelaide in 1970.

NEWBOLD HERCULES Three times champion at Adelaide. Champion at Sydney 1960-61; Adelaide 1959-60-61, and Melbourne 1959-60.


Poll Dorset sired lambs were supreme throughout Australia during 1978 in winning every major lamb carcase competition award, establishing without doubt that the DORSET is THE LEADING PRIME LAMB SIRE in Australia.

Tasmania (Australia)

In the Tasmanian Prime Lamb Carcase Competitions, held on behalf of the Australian Meat Board, Poll Dorsets sired entries from two different types of ewes, and gained Champion and Reserve Champion over all breeds. For the first time in this competition, in addition to the points awarded under the normal appraisal system, one lamb from each entry was cut up and judged under the measurement system. Under this system the judges considered the Poll Dorsets outstanding for depth and eye muscle, proportion of lean to fat, and correct amount of covering. This gained them many points.

In breed trial comparisons conducted at the Cressy Research Station, Northern Tasmania, over a period of three years, Poll Dorset sired lambs were well ahead of other popular breeds for return from suckers straight off the mother and also, if kept until Autumn, as carry-over lambs.

United Kingdom

Progeny of Australian Poll Dorset rams sired the Supreme Carcase Champion four times at the Smithfield Fat Stock Show, London, following the export of sheep to England.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, Dorset sired lambs won the highly coveted trophy for consignments of 500 or more lambs.

The Awards won were:

* Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales


* Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria


*Metropolitan Meat Industry Board, Homebush, NSW –


* Tasmanian National Competition –


*Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia Trade Lamb Competition

WINNING CARCASES, Sections 1 and 2


BROUGHTON ‘TAMMY’ 235/59 (P), Champion Ewe at Albury 1961-62 And Sydney in 1961.
Champion Ewe at Perth Royal in 1970, for BRADSTOCK DOWNS.
SHOW EWES at NHAREE in 1966.
Carcase from Poll Dorset x Poll Dorset/Merino, age 51 days, liveweight 53 lb. (24.09kg), carcase weight 28 lb (12.73kg).

(Right) Choice cuts from Poll Dorset x Poll Dorset/Merino, liveweight 81 lb (36.82kg), carcase weight 44 lb (20 kg).