Bellevue Information Day July 2012
September 14, 2012
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Bellevue Dorper Course Success

A Dorper training course, endorsed by the Dorper Sheep Society of Australia Inc (DSSA) and hosted by the Curtis family, was held at Bellevue, Millmerran Queensland during July 2011. Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales were represented with the 23 attendees who comprised new breeders, commercial breeders, experienced stud breeders and livestock agents.

Pieter van Schalkwyk ‘Samehaling’, Namibia, Africa instructed the Senior Course, with Bellevue’s David Curtis conducting the Junior course and Dr Adrian Veitch from Kaya Stud, Narrogin, Western Australia assisting with the Judges exam.

The DSSA endorsed four day course comprises theory as well as plenty of practical, hands on application with Dorper and White Dorper ewes and rams.  Conducted by accredited Dorper inspectors it teaches the International Breed Standard for the Dorper and White Dorper sheep.

The International Breed Standard is a unique classification system which ‘types’ individual animals and, as the name suggests, is used by all countries producing Dorper sheep, including America, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Namibia etc.  It allows breeders worldwide to confidently purchase Dorpers, knowing that the animal has been typed to a set breed standard. The Standard also assists those who are new to the industry to purchase an animal with confidence, knowing that a qualified inspector has classified the animal according to the International Breed Standard.

The animals are classed according to the following five criteria: Conformation, Growth, Hair, Colour and Fat Distribution.

The scores collectively then determine the ‘Type’ of the animal, giving the animal a ranking from 1-5.  Type 5 Dorpers are classed as an excellent animal, Type 4 a very good animal, with both Type 4 and 5 Dorpers being classed as stud sheep.  A Type 3 is not a stud animal, but a Type 3 ewe is recognised as of sufficient quality to “breed up” if mated to a stud ram. As the Dorper industry rapidly grows in Australia many breeders are using Type 3 ewes.  Type 2 animals are considered a second selection and a Type 1 animal exhibits a cull fault.

Congratulations to Christo Harmse, Nick Pagett and Lorroi Kirkby who have now successfully passed two Judges exams, enabling them to now apply to the DSSA to become Inspectors.

Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive, with everyone taking home an increased knowledge of the Dorper breed, while also enjoying the opportunity to network with other Dorper enthusiasts.  Donna Emmerton from Davemm Hill White Dorpers, Haden, Queensland said “the course was packed with information and having the ability to apply what we were learning to sheep was extremely beneficial”.

For a copy of the International Breed Standard or for information on upcoming courses please contact the Dorper Sheep Society of Australia Inc ( or Bellevue (

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Some of the enthusiastic Junior and Senior Dorper Course participants at the Bellevue Dorper Course held July 2011.

L-R Mark Gett, Narrabri NSW; David Curtis (Instructor) Millmerran; Marietjie Harms, Boggabri NSW; Pieter van Schalkwyk,  (Instructor) Namibia, Africa; Jessica McDonald Elders WA; Kim Tynan, Childers Qld; Nicola Oliphant, Grantham Qld; Graeme Budd, Coutts Crossing NSW; Kim Hammarquist, Jurien Bay WA, Donna and Steve Emmerton, Haden Qld; Murray Paschke, Tara Qld, Cindy Albertson, Mt Alford Qld; Kylee Dixon, Camira NSW; Jock Burns, Scarborough Qld; Craig Sim, Goondiwindi Qld; Sean Boman, Noosaville Qld; Donna Ward, Wallangarra Qld; Helen Darlington, Tara Qld; Dr Adrian Veitch (Instructor) Narrogin WA.  Absent are Jason Russell, Landmark, St George Qld; Sam Bryce, Warwick Qld.

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Bellevue Dorper Course instructors:  David Curtis ‘Bellevue’ Millmerran;  Pieter van Schalkwyk ‘Samehaling’ Namibia, Africa and Dr Adrian Veitch, ‘Kaya’ Narrogin, Western Australia.

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Congratulations to Nick Pagett ‘Winrae’ Bourke, Lorroi Kirkby ‘Amarula’ Graves End and Christo Harmse ‘Castlebar’ Boggabri  who passed their second Dorper Judges exam at the recently held Bellevue Dorper Course.

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L – R Rear: Enthusiastic Dorper breeders at the recent Bellevue course;  Graeme Budd ‘Old Munbilla’ Coutts Crossing, Mark Gett ‘Whynot’ Narrabri, Nick Pagett ‘Winrae’ Bourke, Christo Harmse ‘Castlebar’ Boggabri.  L- R Front: Lorroi Kirkby ‘Amarula’ Graves End, Andrea van Niekerk ‘Dumisa’ Moama, Mel Pagett ‘Winrae’ Bourke and Marietjie Harmse ‘Castlebar’ Boggabri.

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Senior Course participant, Graeme Budd, Old Munbilla Dorpers, Coutts Crossing NSW, classes Dorpers at the Bellevue Dorper Course.

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