News / Business / 1st July 2021
Grazier retires on a high
A well-known local stud breeder has announced his retirement following an impressive run of trophy triumph with his Border Leicester sheep.
It was record-smashing success for Baradine grazier, Denis Todd when he collected 18 ribbons at this year’s Dubbo Show for his stud sheep.
“The trophies won included Best Border Leicester head of the show and the Retlack Stud Most Successful Novice exhibitor trophy for the second time,” Denis said.
“I am delighted with this achievement against the tough field of 99 Border Leicester sheep exhibited.”
Denis started the Loch Lomond Border Leicester Stud in 2008, with the purchase of 60 ewes in lamb from Mike Martins from the Nulla Mullen Stud, near Coonabarabran, and has gone on to have success after success showing the breed.
“Over the years, thanks to the invaluable help of Alex Hewson and Evelyn Hampton, we built up the stud and now we are going out on a high note with this great win at the Dubbo Show,” added Denis.
“The Border Leicester is a British breed of sheep; it is a polled, long-wool sheep and is considered a dual-purpose breed as it is reared both for meat and for first cross ewes for breeding prime lambs. It is distinctive, large and long in body, well sprung in ribs with well-developed chest. It is a proud and graceful breed and needs to have the requisite Roman-shaped nose.
“The Loch Lomond Border Leicesters meet all these desirable characteristics, which made the stud the most successful exhibitor at the Gunnedah Show year after year.”
Denis Todd’s passion for the land has shaped his life. Hailing from a family of farmers, he has lived all his life in Baradine on the properties ‘Loch Lomond’ and “Wheatfields” and over the years faced the tough times of drought and rural economic decline.
His more recent passion has been the development and growth of his Border Leicester Stud.
“Baradine Central School exhibited my sheep for many years and won lots of prizes. I have shown the sheep annually at the district shows including Gilgandra, Wee Waa, Gunnedah, Coonamble and Dubbo, including the five shows in the Warrumbungle Shire, which I thought was my duty to support as a Warrumbungle Shire Councillor,” Denis said.
At Denis’s final competition event, the 2021 Coonamble Show, Loch Lomond stud took out trophies for Most Successful Exhibitor and Champion Shorn Ewe and Ram. Denis was presented with a cake and certificate of recognition for his years of Border Leicester sheep showing success by breeders Robyn and Reg Sweeney, of ‘Bindaree’, Merrygoen.
“The best part of exhibiting at the shows has been the relationship with the other stud breeders,” Denis added.
“Over time, promoting the Baradine Show to them has resulted in the sheep section growing to be the biggest on the Castlereagh show circuit.
“In 2019 a record 190 sheep were exhibited, with 40 sheep having to have to be tied up outside the pavilion.
“But I could not have had this success without the help and support of Evelyn and Alex - their contributions have been invaluable.”
But now, after notching-up 13 years of continuous show success, Denis says the time has come for a change of direction. His two properties have been taken over by Isaac Fretwell and Seona and Adam McDonald of ‘Ulundi’ Bugaldie.
“I wish them all the best in the show ring in the future,” concluded Denis.
“I have spent over 75 years living and working on the land, but I am not retiring completely. I have always had a great interest in Baradine. I will not be leaving and will continue to be active in the community.”