NZ’s second most famous sheep dies

Shrek who himself died in June 2011 remains NZ’s most famous sheep not just here but internationally as well and now a ram recognized at last year’s Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards has also shuffled off this mortal coil.
A Coopworth ram; Marlow 203/04 was last August named as the industry’s ‘Super Sire’. You can see his picture at the top of the home page where as a young fellow he is caught by the camera showing off his assets.
He was the top Dual Purpose Super Sire and also the number one in both Dual purpose High Performance and Dual Purpose Meat Yield categories.
To qualify Marlow 203/04 needed to be in the top 10% on genetic merit (index) of all Sheep Improvement Limited (SIL) rams and then have the most progeny from across all breeds.

At the time of judging he had 1385 progeny spread across Coopworth and other breeds in studs throughout the country. There are currently a total of 2772 progeny from this ram within the SIL database.
In recent years because of the genetic links he provides, he has become a valuable across year, within and between breed link sire for the Central Progeny Test. Because there is semen stored at Woodlands, he will remain a link sire for some time to come. So even though death has claimed him, he will continue to father offspring. He has 732 progeny in the CPT flocks
He has also had semen exported to Australia and has 251 progeny there which creates important links within Australasian Coopworths.
He was born in the Marlow Coopworth stud run by Steve Wyn-Harris near Waipukurau during a lambing storm in August 2004. He has a facial eczema tolerant background and was always strong for meat and growth attributes.
In 2007 he was selected as NZ Ovine Sire Reference’s reference ram and in 2008 headed south to Dave Colhoun’s stud where he enjoyed the verdant Southland pastures for five years before his demise.
He has been laid to rest in a small nature reserve on Dave’s farm but his progeny and legacy live on.

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