Hillgrove Southdown Stud, Kyneton-Metcalfe Road, Green Hill, Victoria, Australia
In 1925 the Metcalfs purchased their first imported ram from Mr. Brook’s Stud in New Zealand. This was followed by another ram in 1929 that was purchased from Sir Walter Halsey in Hempstead England. So successful was this English ram, that a second English ram was purchased in 1933 from the Aldenham Stud. Yet another ram was purchased from New Zealand in 1934.
But it was in 1935 when the Metcalfs made headlines in Australia when one of the sons, Dick, paid a then record price for a “Punchbowl Ram” from New Zealand. Unfortunately the ram only lasted two seasons. Over the succeeding years further rams were subsequently purchased from New Zealand as imports from England were very difficult to arrange due to quarantine regulations.
In 1940 the Metcalf Hillgrove stud had 327 breeding ewes. At the time Australia had 528 registered breeders, each with smaller numbers of breeding ewes, but many with Hillgrove bloodline in them . By 1963 Hillgrove had 573 breeding ewes, all individually mated, with the ewes lambed out in a shed to guarantee the breeding of each sheep.
The Metcalfs travelled Australian shows, winning many championships. Their most prized procession being the Southdown Breeders Cup which was won in 1949. This Cup had to be won 5 times, to be won outright. It was shortly after they won the breeders’ Cup that they decided to give "showing" away. They wanted to give other breeders the opportunity to win these top trophies. When not showing, the Metcalf brothers were actively judging Southdown sheep, and were life members of the Royal Melbourne Show.
When the Southdown Breeders decided to change the Southdowns to what is now the "Modern Southdown", the Metcalfs were content to breed along what they termed the "Original Southdown" lines. Some breeders may disagree with their style of breeding, but their market was for the older breed.
The Metcalf Hillgrove
stud still exists today, and is continued along the original lines. Things
are still done the traditional "British" way, so pedigrees can
be 100% guaranteed. The current owners, Murray and Judy Peart, have been
personally connected to this stud for 50 Years. Orders for their stock
continue to amaze them, and they find it hard to meet the demand.
Please don't hesitate to call either Judy or Murray or feel free to visit us, as we would love to share the fascinating history of these lovely sheep with you. We can be contacted on any of the following numbers:
Our email address is email@example.com
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