Dorpers at Tenterfield Show

LINE 'EM UP: Show steward Tracy Hutchings is encouraging Dorper breeders to enter the Tenterfield Show for the experience and to promote the meat breed.

LINE 'EM UP: Show steward Tracy Hutchings is encouraging Dorper breeders to enter the Tenterfield Show for the experience and to promote the meat breed.

Dorpers will be featuring at this year’s Tenterfield Show for the first time, with breeders introducing this meat breed of sheep to showgoers and sharing some expertise and knowledge between themselves.

Show steward Tracey Hutchings has secured the services of international judge David Curtis to judge the section, named the New England Australian Sheep and British Breeds. (Page 21 of your show schedule, folks.)

Dorpers originated in South Africa in the 1930s as a cross between the Dorset, known for rapid growth and high quality meat, and the hardy Persian, hence the name. The breed arrived in Australia as frozen embryos in 1996, and has since cornered the market in fat lamb sales.

The original black-headed Dorper has an an all-white derivative called White Dorper, and there are classes at the show for them as well. Entries must be brucellosis-accredited and free of lice and footrot.

Mrs Hutchings said those who haven’t shown their sheep before are encouraged to participate, as it will be more of a learning exercise for all involved. Sheep have to be delivered to the sheep pavilion and penned on Saturday morning for judging to commence at 9am. 

Regional Australia Bank has come on board to supply the champion ribbon for the inaugural Supreme Dorper or White Dorper Sheep of the Show, with other prizes donated by local businesses.

“Bring along your sheep, have morning tea with us and be part of the show,” Mrs Hutchings said.

Bring along your sheep, have morning tea with us and be part of the show. - Tracey Hutchings

She hopes this first Tenterfield Show outing could carry on with regular Dorper sections at the show, and it’s a good way to promote the breed. In addition to being good meat makers Dorpers are a relatively easy-case sheep requiring infrequent or no shearing, making them ideal grasseaters.

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