Better access to Masefield stock for buyers
The long road trip for buyers to look at the rams of Bob and Marilyn Masefield at the back of Banks Peninsula will be much shorter next week when the couple hold their first ram sale at Little River showgrounds.
In the past, the Masefields have hosted ram buyers who made the journey on a narrow access track to get to Okaruru stud at Goughs Bay.
That will end next Friday with their first auction of about 160 romney, romdale, dorset down, dortex and charollais/dorset down cross rams.
Bob Masefield said the auction was an exciting development and a break in tradition for their studs dating back to 1945 for the romneys and 1950 for the dorset downs, making it the oldest dorset down stud in New Zealand.
He said the Little River auction would be more convenient for buyers.
"Before this, we had people coming over the bay to select and buy rams. I think because Goughs Bay is a bit isolated, people are less inclined to buy rams here and now we are moving to Little River that will ease the situation. It will also mean we won't have to sell rams for two months and having one day at Little River will give the cockies the opportunity to see our rams and make what cut they want to buy."
Masefield also hopes the shortened journey might encourage new buyers to look through the stud ram selection.
He thought long about the timing of the auction, which is towards the end of the ram-buying season.
"Having it at this time of the year, we felt a lot of farmers had been very busy with weaning and shearing et cetera and this gives them the opportunity to get that out of the way, have their Christmas and New Year and then think about buying rams. I know people will have bought rams already, but we have done a lot of advertising and hopefully they will come to look and see our rams."
The catalogue consists of 35 romneys, 35 romdales, 60 dorset downs, 15 dortex and 12 charollais/ dorset two-tooth rams. Heading the catalogue at lot one is a romney ram from an Okaruru sire with "tremendous muscling".
"He's my best romney. The only reason I am selling him is I am chocker full of the bloodline."
Masefield said they wanted the auction to provide "affordable" rams mainly for commercial farmers rather than focusing on top prices.
He said their achievements at the Canterbury A&P Show and Canterbury stud fair were secondary to their desire to provide farmers with quality rams without breaking the bank.
Masefield returned from this week's Gore ram sale with a $2500 perendale ram, from Andrew Lang's Glenfinnan stud, which will be used for his romdale programme.
The dorset downs, culled from 130 rams, are expected to provide terminal sires for commercial farmers to produce lambs for the prime meat market. Masefield's grandfather imported dorset down rams from England and his father began the oldest stud of the breed in 1950, five years after the family began the romney stud.
The dortex, with dorset down and texel bloodlines, and the charollais/dorset are being bred to provide farmers with another sire option.
The Masefields have bred towards a "modernised" romney with better growth rates and fertility to maximise meat and yields and quality wool, 36 to 38 microns in the ewe flocks, for an added return.
Ram inspection will start at 11am with the auction beginning two hours later.