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A heritage revival

Ewe beauty: Darren and Cathie Boyd with their award-winning girl Kara, a rare but good-quality Wiltshire horn. Picture: Dylan BurnsAUSTRALIANS are missing out on the taste of real lamb, according to Coomoora farmer Darren Boyd.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Boyd and his wife Cathie recently returned home after winning second place for their heritage Wiltshire horn sheep Kara at the Royal Sydney Show, and said the quality of the heritage breed was hard to beat.

Mr Boyd said he bred their sheep at their Highshire Stud mainly for genetics – and a few extra for eating too.

“They’re wool shedding sheep, it means they need no shearing, it just falls off,” he said.

“They’re a very old breed, they date back to Roman times and they’ve got a bit rarer in Australia now.”

He said quality examples of the old British breed was becoming hard to find.

“Because it’s heritage, it’s kept its flavour, a lot of crossbreeds don’t keep their flavour like these do,” he said.

“If we ever buy anything from the supermarket we can’t get over the difference of what we eat compared with the supermarket stuff.”

He said it was a shame most people never had the opportunity to try old-fashioned breeds like the Wiltshire horn.

“People buyit directly off the farmers that they know have this sheep because the meathas got a really nice flavour.”

Mr Boyd said he and his wife hadn’t been to the Royal Sydney Show for 17 years, but said they finally had enough Wiltshire horns to show them and start making a dent in the competition stakes.

“To fit into a big show like Sydney you need at least three studs to enter,” he said.

“Good quality ones are hard to find.

“There aren’t as many studs around as there were 15 years ago. Other breeds have become more popular.”

He said the couple travelled to most of the big shows like Melbourne and the Bendigo Beef and Wool shows, but at local agricultural shows like Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, Daylesford and Kyneton, there were few Wiltshire horns to compete against.

He said most of their sheep ended up with breeders.

“My show ram is about 140kgand you don’t want too many of those running around.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.