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Stud History

When Franc Falkiner purchased Haddon Rig in 1916, the genetic beginnings of a Merino stud had already been established by its first freehold owner, James Richmond. The stock had come from Wanganella, Falkiner's family stud in the Riverina, and also from Rambouillet in France.

It is from this original flock that the Haddon Rig stud evolved - managed and classed selectively and carefully - so that "like begets like", and the distinctive consistency and quality of the genetics have carried on right through to the present day. The stud breeds 1000 large-framed, heavy cutting, soft bright woolled rams with hardy constitutions each year - ideal for wool and meat production and the differing demands of sheep grazing operations throughout Australia. Body size, frame and hardiness are vital to the sheep breeder. This is not only to ensure that the Merino ewe will produce maximum wool cut and lambs but also that the crossbred sheep will mature early and yield well, and sothe animal will survive in often very hostile environments.

The reputation of the Haddon Rig stud has been carved in various ways. The genetics are superb, with the introduction of specific bloodlines, or the bias of a particular joining/classing to achieve breeding aims depending on stud and market needs. For example, in 1980 the emphasis was for finer fleeces, hence the need to reduce overall micron - that year's classing culled the heavier microning ewes and saw the introduction of Merryville semen into the breeding programme.

In 2000, the emphasis changed again to meet the demands of the meat market. Size, fertility and early maturing sheep carcasses became a priority, so the breeding programme followed suit.

Nowadays, we are looking at the challenges of animal husbandry, namely issues surrounding mulesing to prevent flystrike, and our focus is on breeding a Merino that does not need mulesing…
WITHOUT compromising the other qualities inherent in the bloodline.

Some stud achievements of note:
• Highest price aggregate at Sydney Ram Sales (pre 1960)
• World Record Peppin Price $180,000.00 (1988)
• First cloned sheep
• First privately owned artificial breeding centre on property
• Most ribbons achieved at Dubbo National Sale
• First video sheep sale in Australia
• First bloodline marketing association (in co-ooperation with HR client base).

The management personnel are also fundamental to the success of Haddon Rig, with significant contributions from owners, managers and classers.

James Richmond - Charles Niccoll (Mgr)
FBS Falkiner (Bert) - Donald Grant;
George B S Falkiner - Alec Ramsay(Mgr) Malcolm McLeod (Classer)
George B S Falkiner II - Forbes Murdoch (Mgr) - Dick Jago (Classer)
Andrew Maclean (Mgr) - Andy Mcleod (Classer)

Haddon Rig Poll Merino Stud

Haddon Rig’s Poll Stud is now in its 8th year of development. We started the Stud in response to changes within the Merino Industry, notably the increase in demand for dual-purpose animals and higher fertility rates.

The stud was founded in September 2008. It is predominantly based on Moorundie Park genetics. We have purchased three lots of Moorundie park ewes as well as semen from their top performing sires. These ewes provide Haddon Rig Poll Stud with very big, fertile, plain-bodied ewes with extremely soft lustrous wool. We have also introduced semen from Poll Boonoke’s elite sires, in order to improve the skins and wool quality of our Poll flock.

Over the past 8 years, we have been gradually increasing our stud ewe numbers, and in December 2016, have joined over 1200 stud ewes. The top 700 of these ewes were AI’d to Moorundie Park Poll Boonoke and the best of the Haddon Rig Poll Stud sires.

Our aim is to maintain the Poll genetics of plain bodied, good-doing fertile ewes, while continually trying to improve their skin type and wool quality to align with the quality that Haddon Rig wool is so well known for. We know have an even line of productive, large-framed stud poll ewes, with good Polled heads and rapidly improving skin and wool types.

All rams have been measured for Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) through MerinoSelect.

We are very happy and excited with the way these rams are progressing and because of the two different families in the stud. We are encouraged by the progress this flock has made since its inception and the interest the Stud is generating all over Australia. Haddon Rig will continue to source the absolute best genetics available that we believe will enhance the stud into the future.

Haddon Rig thrives on providing superior genetics to our clients and working with them to achieve their breeding objectives and realise maximum returns.