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Dohne Merino National sale – presale function

The pre-sale function  of the 2023 national Dohne Merino sale was in the form of a glamorous sit-down steak dinner with live music.  At this occasion, the contributions to the Dohne Merino breed by Mr. Stephan van der Westhuizen (OVK), Wynand du Toit (Suidplaas Dohnes) and president of SA Studbook, Mr. Koos Vosloo, were all acknowledged by means of special certificates awarded by the breed society.  Mr Koos Vosloo was awarded with the Zoetis Dohne Merino man of the year trophy.  Thank you to Zoetis for sponsoring this coveted trophy.

The certificate to thank Mr Stephan van der Westhuizen for the hard work he did for all Dohne farmers, was handed over by Mr. Koenas van der Westhuizen, vice-president of the society.

Stephan is a highly respected and leading livestock advisor.  Scientific animal breeding was part and parcel of all flock improvement actions in which Stephan was involved.   He can therefore be proud of his outstanding career that started off in Calvinia.  He also worked for Vleissentraal in Ermelo and even did classing work on a consultation basis.  In 1994  he took up a position at BKB in Middelburg Eastern Cape for a two year period.  Thereafter he started working for OVK in Bredasdorp where he came into his own and served the small stock industry for more than 27 years.  During this period he assisted in developing the Dohne Merino breed into what it is today.  He is the main advisor of Suiplaas Dohnes, the biggest stud in South Africa.  As the result of the joint venture between Suidplaas Dohnes and the Mt Alma Stud, he also made his mark in Australia.   Thank you Stephan, on behalf of all Dohne breeders.

Photo L/R: Stephan van der Westhuizen (OVK), Koenas van der Westhuizen (vice chairman) and Wynand du Toit (Suidplaas Dohnes)

Suidplaas Dohnes received recognition for the stud’s 50th anniversary in the Dohne Merino stud industry.  The Suidplaas stud was established by means of ewes from the Loch Lynne and Okinawa studs way back in 1972.  Wynand du Toit joined his father Mr. Jan du Toit 1988 and experienced many successes of the stud.   Suidplaas is not only the biggest stud in terms of ewe numbers, but also produces top quality breeding material.  Some successes include the South African record prices on the national sale, two world record prices and four National top breeder awards.

Suidplaas Dohnes is also in a joint venture with Mt Alma Dohnes in Australia and this cooperative project resulted in six top prices on Australian national sales for Mt. Alma.   It must also be mentioned that Mt. Alma makes exclusive use of Suidplaas genetics.

The basis for the Suidplaas success story is accurate selection amongst large numbers of lambs reared under ordinary commercial farming conditions.  It can be added that Stephan van der Westhuizen plays a major role in these decisions as well as selection of rams on offer at sales.  The breed society wishes a brilliant future to Suidplaas Dohnes!

.Photo L/R: Philippie Marais (president Dohne Merino breed society) handing over the Zoetis Dohne Merino man of year award to Mr. Koos Vosloo (president SA Studbook) and Elana Vorster (BKB).

Mr Koos Vosloo, current president of SA Studbook, who is 2023’s Dohne man of the year,  took a leading position in the South African livestock industry when he was elected as president of SA Studbook in 2021.  Koos was already elected as small stock representative on the council of SA Studbook in 2018 and he made his mark amongst many other representatives of other livestock breeds.

Koos Vosloo was elected to the Dohne Merino council in 2005 and served as president of breed society for a period of 11 years up to the end of 2021.  During this time he made large contributions to the two World Dohne Merino conferences, the first held in 2016 in Australia and the second in 2018 in Uruguay.   His leadership on this international level, is recognized by all Dohne farmers.  It is therefore trusted that the special certificate in recognition of Koos’s unselfish service to the Dohne Merino and livestock industry in general, will motivate him to reach even higher levels of excellence.