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Stock Journal News September 9, 2010

Bundara White Suffolk ram makes $14,000

06 Sep, 2010 05:35 PM

A WHITE Suffolk ram sired by the 2009 senior champion from Bundara Downs, Western Flat, sold for $14,000 at the Royal's Elite Stud Ram sale yesterday (Sunday).
The April 2009-drop ram had exceptional LAMBPLAN figures with a Carcase Plus Index of 187.7, including figures of 13.3 for post-weaning weight, -0.3 post-weaning fat and 2 post-weaning eye muscle depth.
He bought by the Hull family, Minta, Mount Cooper, who recently had a total clearance at their on-farm White Suffolk sale, selling rams to $2750 and averaging $987.
Vendor Steve Funke said receiving the sale top price exceeded his expectations.
His family also received the sale's second highest price of $12,500 for a ram that had won senior champion White Suffolk ram at this year's show.
* Full report in Stock Journal, September 9 issue.

Stock Journal News August 2009

Croweater studs swoop at Vic Sheepvention

09 Aug, 2009 04:00 AM
SOUTH Australian sheep studs stormed Sheepvention at the Hamilton Showgrounds in Victoria earlier this week, bringing home a swag of ribbons and impressing many prospective Victorian clients.
The figures stacked up for Bundara Downs White Suffolk stud, Western Flat, winning the interbreed Lambplan performance class, while another SA stud, Leenala Poll Dorsets, Naracoorte, placed second.
Sheepvention president Simon Menzel said crowd numbers were similar to last year, making it again one of the biggest attendances in the event's 31-year history.
About 22,000 people came through the gates over the two days which he said was a fantastic effort for a town the size of Hamilton.
* Extract from a full report in Stock Journal, August 6 issue. 

Stock Journal News March 2009

Pietsch family excels again

23 Mar, 2009 03:00 AM
FOR the second successive year, the Pietsch family, Camden Park, Bordertown came up trumps in the on-hoof section of the fifth annual Mundulla Prime Lamb Competition recently.
Their June 2008 drop lambs averaging 50.7 kilograms scored 205.7 points including maximum points for presentation, fat score and weight for age to become both the export and overall on-hoof winners.
They were the first drop out of South African Merino-Merino second cross ewes and sired by Bundara Downs White Suffolk rams and those from their own breeding.
"They (The SAMMs) are really doing the job with the eye muscle and dressing percentages," Tom Pietsch said.
This year's event, still the largest of its kind in South Australia, held in conjunction with the Moot Yang Gunya Festival on the first weekend in March, attracted 25 entries with 13 pens of 20 in the export category and 12 pens in the newly-created trade section.
All entries were awarded points for documentation, curfew and overall presentation, market suitability, skin length and quality, crutching, eye muscle depth and fat cover.
The top 10 pens in each category progressed to on-hook judging and were processed at Tatiara Meat Company.
Elders Bordertown livestock manager and one of the event's organisers, Kym Lovelock said the trade section was created to attract new entrants with a reasonable percentage of lambs bred in the area turned off at trade weights.
"The idea was to make trade lamb breeders eligible for the competition and an adjustment was made on the eye muscle depth to put them on a level playing field," he said.
"Anyone who has been involved has definitely learnt something out of it whether it be with paperwork or presentation," he said.
As a special attraction for the 100th show, organisers are also looking at creating a separate showcase competition for a pen of five monster lambs – the heaviest weights possible.
Elders has remained the major sponsor along with Tatiara Meat Company, but to attract new entries the event was opened up to clients of all Bordertown-based agents this year.
A number of local studs also sponsored the event with all unplaced entrants going into a draw to receive buying credit vouchers to their ram sales.
A presentation dinner to announce the on-hook and overall winners will be held next Thursday night at 7pm at the Mundulla Sports and Recreation Centre.
Meat & Livestock Australia has sponsored David Armstrong, Flagstaff Superior Meats, who will cut up a SAMM-Merino lamb and second cross lamb to compare the two different lambs, and TMC's livestock manager Dale Cameron will provide feedback on the entries.
The cost is $20 per head and all lamb producers are welcome to attend.
* Details: Monica Andrews on 8758 7215. 



March 28 2012




Mated White Suffolk stud ewes sold to $1000 and 86 averaged $528 at the Bundara Downs inaugural stud ewe sale at Western Flat, SA, on March 23.


The Funke family’s 19 year old White Suffolk stud conducts an annual spring ram sale and this was the first time they had offered stud ewes.


In addition to pedigree information, the comprehensive catalogue contained performance data on the sale sheep, the joining sires, and predicted EBVs on the lambs in utero as well as the number of lambs each ewe was carrying.


A sale highlight was the outstanding run of 2011 drop ewes that drew strong competition with 14 selling to a top of $1000 and averaging $636. This top price was paid by Lachie and Kylie McCrae, Somerset stud, Hamilton, Vic.


Buyers came from the Eyre Peninsula through to western Victoria with three volume buyers accounting for more than half the sales.


Ian and Sarah James, Iona stud, Henty, Vic, a regular buyer of Bundara Downs rams, paid an average $500 for 16 ewes.


New stud breeder Rohan Hull, Streaky Bay, SA, who bought the Kattata Well stud 12 months ago, expanded his breeding flock with 15 ewes at an average $510.


The other volume buyer was T Jorgensen from Nhill, Vic, who took home 14 ewes to a a $750 high.


Bundara Downs co-principal Steve Funke said he was delighted high profile studs were operating and it was a great opportunity to get Bundara Downs genetics out into the industry and the ewe sale could become a biennial event.


Agent was Elders with Laryn Gogel the auctioneer.


From Geoff Phillips 0411 413 599

Genomic Testing Lamb Quality


L - R: Greg Funke 'Bundarra Downs' Western Flat, Mary Currie 'Lyndoch Park' Dergholm, Adam Price 'Majardah' Glencoe, Peter Horwood 'Lockier River' Mingenew and Damon Coats 'Ilfracombe' Poll Dorsets studs checking out genomics tested sires.

Meat Elite Australia members recently met in Bendigo to discuss innovations in the sheep industry. Genomic testing for meat eating qualities was a key topic on the agenda.

Meat Elite members had previously attended the Sheep Genetics Australia Leading Breeder Conference. The conference canvassed developments in the use of genomics as a breeding and ram selection tool. While commercial and seedstock producers have realized the value of Australian Sheep Breeding Values as predictors of sheep performance in growth, fat, muscling, worm resistance and lambing ease, ASBVs don’t predict meat eating qualities.

As Dale Price, Meat Elite Australia explained, “genomics testing has improved our capacity to identify sheep with superior meat eating qualities while the animal is still alive. In the past the animal had to be slaughtered to assess these characteristics. Lamb is renowned as a superb source of protein and we are keen to improve these qualities for the consumer.”

The Meat Elite group is considered a world leading co-operative breeding group. By sharing genetics and gathering highly accurate data on individual animals the group has made 21% progress above the terminal sire index.  ‘Already the Meat Elite group has gathered two years of Research Breeding Values on sheep within member’s flocks,’ said Chairperson Mr. Ian Gillett of Wunnamurra Poll Dorset Stud.

The next exciting development in genomics testing will involve a computer assisted search of all retained 2012 young sires in MEA flocks to identify those animals showing superior meat eating qualities. ‘We’ll also genomics test some with expected lower eating quality so we can benchmark the results. Meat Elite members have a history of supporting scientific research in the sheep meat industry hence this project,” explained Peter Horwood, ‘Lockier River Poll Dorsets’ Mingenew Western Australia.

While presenting a paper at the Leading Breeder Conference about Meat Elite Australia, Dale Price outlined the co-operative ventures that Meat Elite members use to adapt to processor and consumer driven demands. He explained that this had benefits for Meat Elite flock clients. Producers will be able to gain further information about the genomic initiative through the Sheep Genetics Australia website and by contacting members via the Meat Elite website.


July 3, 2013



South Australian White Suffolk stud Bundara Downs has purchased a half share in a 2012 drop ram with outstanding figures bred by the Katanning, WA, based Ashbourne stud.

Ashbourne 120020 is in the top 1% of terminal sires for weaning weight (11.6), post weaning weight (20.7) and Lamb 2020 (116). His Carcase Plus index of 222 also puts him in the top 1% of terminal sires but also places him as the number one White Suffolk ram for that index.

“We are continually on the lookout for outstanding genetics and this ram suits our breeding program that produces profit driving genetics for our commercial clients,” said Bundara co-principal Steve Funke.

“We have also invested heavily in an extensive Hypotrichosis testing program and Ashbourne tests all stud sires so we can confidently use this sire without jeopardizing our  HrF free status,” he said.

“It is rare to discover a ram with such high impact genetics and our investigations have indicated he is structurally sound which is most important”.

Semen from Ashbourne 120020 is now available from both Ashbourne and Bundara Downs. Rams by the same sire, DG100439, will be available at the Ashbourne ram sale at Katanning, WA, on September 13. The Bundara Downs ram sale is on September 20 at Western Flat, SA, and stud ewes in lamb to Ashbourne 120020 will be among the 100 offered at the bi-annual Bundara Downs mated stud ewe sale on March 14, 2014.


CAPTION: The trait leader Ashbourne 120020 at 7 months. Now owned by Ashbourne, WA, and Bundara Downs, SA.

Media enquiries to Steve Funke, Bundara Downs on 0418 853 980 or to Simon Kerin, Ashbourne on 0407 903 369.




China is emerging as a potentially strong market for Australian prime lamb genetics according to South Australian White Suffolk and Poll Dorset breeder Steve Funke of Bundara Downs, Western Flat, who has contributed 19 stud rams and 43 stud ewes to two recent shipments.

These sheep will be used to improve the quality of existing meat sheep flocks in China and   be part of 1400 head loads of sheep freighted by air to Chinese ports close to where the sheep will be utilised in breeding programs.

“China is a huge market and if these sheep perform as they should we could see even more significant orders for registered performance recorded rams and ewes going to China,” said Mr Funke.

Elders International’s David Reed who organised the shipments, was equally optimistic about the growth of this trade.

“It is not huge at the moment but there is certainly great potential to grow this market that will benefit Australian stud breeders who can produce the type of sheep required by China,” said Mr Reed who will be accompanying the next air-load of 1400 sheep to China in October.


17 February 2014




Stud breeders looking for new and proven genetics, commercial producers seeking an injection of profit driving genetics and new studs all have an opportunity at Bundara Downs White Suffolk stud at Bordertown, SA, on Friday March 14 when 100 mated stud ewes will go under the hammer.

 This will be only the second stud ewe sale in the 21 year history of Bundara Downs which conducts an annual ram sale each spring. Their first stud ewe sale was two years ago when buyers from the Eyre Peninsula to western Victoria paid an average of $528 and a top of $1000. Three volume buyers recognised the value on offer and took over half the ewes sold. Buyers included high profile studs, regular Bundara ram clients and new stud breeders.

 “There were plenty of bargains and follow up contact indicates satisfied clients,” said Steve Funke of Bundara Downs.

 The ewes come from four drops ranging from proven breeders born in 2010 through to 2013 born ewe lambs carrying the latest genetics.

 The 2010 to 2012 drop sale ewes were AI’d on December 7 and backed up with Bundara Downs 111055. The 2013 drop ewe lambs were AI’d on January 8 and backed up with Woolumbool 127658.

 The complete offering will be scanned in lamb and the number of lambs each is carrying will be indicated. Pedigrees and Lambplan figures along with predicted EBVs of the lambs in utero are also available. The catalogue is on

 “The joining sires to these ewes are the same sires we are using to breed the next generation of rams and stud ewes,” said Mr Funke.

 Elders South Australian stud stock manager Tony Wetherall inspected the ewes in mid February and described them as big, roomy, long bodied ewes in good order that show all the renowned qualities of the White Suffolk breed.

 “These are just not ewes that are surplus to Bundara’s needs, they are ewes that Steve and Greg would be happy to retain in the stud flock so this is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to set up a new stud and gain an infusion of successful proven genetics,’ he said.

 The complete Bundara Downs White Suffolk stud flock is Hypotrichosis  DNA tested free.


For more information contact Steve Funke on 0418 853 980 or Tony Wetherall of Elders on 0427 390 001.




White Suffolk buyers from three states strengthened their flocks’ genetic strength and diversity when they paid an average of $460 for 55 mated Whites Suffolk stud ewes at the Bundara Downs biennial ewe sale on March 14, 2014.

Stud principal Steve Funke, Western Flat, SA, said the absence of an autumn break made buyers cautious but he was confident buyers would be highly satisfied with their purchases, all with extensive Lambplan genetic descriptions. 

The strongest demand was for 2013 drop mated ewe lambs with 100% clearance of the 23 offered that sold for an average $476.

Top price of $1000 was paid by Stuart Staude and Nick Lawrence, Pinnacle White Suffolk and Suffolk studs, Bordertown, SA.

Equal biggest buyer was West Australian Peter Dowdell, Codji White Suffolk stud, Narrogin, taking 11 ewes at an average $500.

Also taking home 11 ewes at an average of $541 was Iluka Estate, Millicent, SA.

Other buyers included Kurraden Partners, Cummins, SA (9 @ $472), Craig Hicks, Strathalbyn, SA (8 @ $394), McKinnon & Bailey, Inglewood, Vic (6 @ $375), Hopea Stud, Edenhope, Vic (6 @ $350) and Weidemann Pastoral, Horsham, Vic (3 @ $350).

Top priced ewe at $1000 at the Bundara Downs White Suffolk mated stud ewe sale at Western Flat, SA, with vendor Steve Funke and buyers Stuart Staude and Nick Lawrence, Pinnacle White Suffolks, Bordertown, SA.

Buyer of 11 mated stud White Suffolk ewes at the Bundara Downs sale at Western Flat, SA, Peter Dowdell, Codji White Suffolks, Narrogin, WA, with Greg Funke, Bundara Downs, Tony Wetherall, Elders, SA, and Roy Addis, Landmark, WA.

Bundara Downs invests heavily into poll Dorset Genetics






























Bundara Downs rams sold for $14,000 at the Royal Adelaide Elite Sale 2010 to the Hull family, Minta, Mount Cooper

















The Pietsch family, Camden Park, Bordertown came up trumps in the on-hoof section of the fifth annual Mundulla Prime Lamb Competition 2009