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The Australian Sheep and Wool Show will feature the breeds of the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA) in 2012.
The Australian Romney is a large, dual purpose sheep producing strong, heavy wool and very good lambs, with a large proportion of twins. Crossed with other wool breeds the Romney will produce an ideal prime lamb mother with extremely good wool production. Over a period of time it has proven to be the sheep with one of the strongest constitutions and best feet of any breed in the higher rainfall areas of Australia.
It is a desirable feature of the Romney that the wool can range from 44s to 50s (30 to 40 microns) for individual strains of sheep. Each has its environmental place, its markets, and each should be grown to suit specific manufacturing needs. The fleece should be dense, but free opening and the staple well defined, full and oval shaped, not flat. In addition to being semi lustrous and soft, it should have the necessary bulk and handle well. Uniformity of covering is essential, should be maintained from the shoulder to the extremities. Weak or wasty back wool is not typical of the breed and is not acceptable.
The head, carried high, should be expressive of quality, character, and sex. A broad forehead, level between the ears, which should be of a good size, thick and felty and free from black spots. A wide poll, well covered with wool, free from kemp with no horns. The eyes should be large, bright and prominent, giving a look of alertness and vigour and the face full, and covered with a soft creamy, downy hair, almost free from wool. The muzzle should be preferably coal black with open nostrils, the jaw wide and strong with teeth meeting the pad correctly.
The neck should be strong and smoothly joined at the shoulders and should be no longer than necessary to preserve the balance of the animal. Shoulders should be well coupled and fit smoothly into the carcase of the sheep, and the blades must not on any account protrude above or even quite reach the top of the vertebrae. A flat heavy shoulder should be avoided.
The feet should be of sufficient size, and so shaped, that the toes will open with the weight of the body and preferably be of black horn, although a streaky foot should not disqualify. The pasterns should be strong and springy, and all legs set at points of perfect balance. The cannon bone should be of sufficient length to maintain adequate height off the ground. Hocks should be strong and set well apart, straight hocks, as with straight pasterns, are very objectionable. Brown or rusty hair on the legs is not acceptable.
Skin should be a healthy pink, free, soft and thick.
The Romney is a well balanced, stylish sheep with free movement.