The Grindon Flock
The Grindon flock was established in 1947 by Messrs. F & M Ritson, and developed with Gnartiminny rams using Valleyfield (Tasmania) bloodlines. It has been the major source of superfine ewes in Western Australia since the mid 1950's and the entire Grindon flock was registered as a stud (Flock No. 4455) in 1990.
Wool character (tip, colour and crimp) has played a large part in the selection process since about 1968, along with micron and fleece weight.
A consortium of six of Australia’s finest flocks and the CSIRO, based at Armidale N.S.W., was established in 2001 to breed a flock towards 13 microns – the “T13” project. To this end, the genetically finest 200 of the top 10% of Grindon ewes are run as part of the T13 project.
Progeny testing of the top rams is carried out with single sire matings each year. A T13 link sire is included each year and periodically an outside sire of proven top performance is also introduced, by Artificial Insemination. Progeny is either discarded, or kept in a limited and controlled way which allows the flock to remain true to type, while increasing genetic progress by broadening the gene pool and preventing in-breeding.
The Grindon stud continues to be a saxon-style flock, in an "improved" rather than "pure" form.
The Grindon ewes cut an average of 4.2Kg of 16.8 micron, very even, white, well nourished and excellent style wool. The sheep are large and open faced for superfines, and very well adapted to local conditions, resistant to both long hot dry summers and temperate wet winters.
Wether trials in various environments, including pastoral, indicate that Grindon sheep running with other merinos maintain a higher condition score than most under restricted feed conditions, while still cutting some of the finest and best style wool.