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After the awards to Small Stock Breeders at the Alpha Expo, Dr Japie van der Westhuizen, Manager, SA Studbook,  explained the motivation and nature of these awards,  also for the purpose of the awards ceremony at Swellendam, in the following paragraphs .

SA Studbook award Stock farmers recording economically important traits and using the information efficiently, since 2012.  Beef cattle and Dairy Farmers are using these ELITE awards to measure themselves against their fellow breeders.   Studbook also awarded the so-called “Top 10”,  awards to small stock breeders in the past, but the Bronze, Silver and Golden awards were allocated only from 2018/2019.

At the Alpha Expo, more than 160 small stock breeders and interested persons attended the Studbook ELITE  awards – breakfast.  At that occasion, Professor Donagh Berry, Ireland, addressed the meeting on new developments in small stock breeding.  At the Swellendam meeting efficient recording of data and use of information to accelerate genetic change was once again discussed and the following criteria used to make these awards were explained:

  • Completeness of recording and practices followed.
  • Reproduction performance of the flock.
  • Genetic level of the flock.

SA Studbook is in charge of the genetic evaluations of all small stock breeds and already developed comprehensive new  selection-indexes on basis of each breed’s collective breeding objectives.  The genetic levels of all flocks can therefore be estimated within the context of each breed.

Using the criteria above 850 flocks in South Africa and Namibia were considered for the following awards:

  • ELITE BRONZE – Top 21% tot 30% (84) flocks
  • ELITE SILVER – Top 11% tot 20% (84) flocks
  • ELITE GOLD – Top 10% (74) flocks
  • ELITE DOUBLE GOLD – Top 10 flocks.

The ELITE DOUBLE GOLD flocks will be considered to be awarded as the ELITE PLATINUM flock and eventually as winner of the ELITE NATIONAL SMALL STOCK FLOCK award.  Platinum awards will be made at Studbook’s ELITE Gala Award ceremony on the 29th April 2019 in Bloemfontein.

The ELITE awards offer an ideal opportunity to evaluate their recording, management and breeding practices to those of other breeders according to Dr. Japie van der Westhuizen.

The Dohne Merino Breed Society congratulate the following breeders that received awards at the Swellendam award ceremony on the 5th December 2018:


Bester Brs, J.L De Klerk, S.P.G Mouton, M Van Rooyen, L.L Basson, PP Mong Trust, D De W Giliomee, GM Loubser Farming, MJ Slabber Farms, J.J and JHL Van Der Westhuizen.


Weska Dohnes, Wydgelegen Farming, Swartrivier Estate, Corsando Dohne Merino Stud, Judo Trust, University of  Stellenbosch, Fanie Basson & Son, Du Toit – Die Kop-Trust, Joubert Farming, Riversdal.

Please read the 2018 Dohne Merino Journal for details on Dohne Merino Breeders receiving these awards at the Alpha Expo.

Photo : Receivers of Studbook Silver Medals at the Swellendam Awards Ceremony

Photo : Receivers of Studbook Bronze Medals at the Swellendam Awards Ceremony