Genetic History

The Dorper breed has its roots in South Africa, the well-known leader in the Dorper breed globally.

Genetic history of Dorsland Dorpers (South Africa) and Global Dorpers (Australia)

The base for Global Dorpers is the Dorsland Dorper stud of Leon van Niekerk, a recognised and well-known breeder in South Africa.  Leon is certainly not the largest breeder in SA but his breeding material is superb and acquired from some of the best genetic material available.  Leon bred several rams that made a meaningful contribution to the Dorper breed in South Africa, including Oscar, Benchmark, Bismarck, Atoom, Oktaan and Diesel.   At the Cheetah Dorper Championship held on 7 August 2009 the Dorsland Stud was nominated as the Breeder of champions, with the most overall points, including the Senior and Grand Champion ram (Smurf), Reserve Senior Champion ram (Habana), Junior Champion ram (Benchmark) and reserve Junior ram (Kookwater).


Benchmark & Smurf
Benchmark & Smurf

Early Days of Dorsland Dorpers

Hennie de Smidt from the Douglas area in South Africa is generally recognised as one of the original fathers of the Dorper breed. He sold his stud to a Dr Hartman who again sold it to Loekie Steenkamp. When the stud came up for sale in 1975, Leon van Niekerk and his father Lorrie, bought the ewes.


1975 – 1990: During this period, the studs of Albie van Niekerk and Ben Cronje were some of the best in SA. Ben Cronje had two rams, Kalahari and Roedolf . Between the two of them and their offspring they won many championships. Leon chose to use the progeny of these 2 rams.


1996 – 2002: During this period Leon did not buy any new rams into his stud. In 2002 Leon became seriously ill and decided to sell most of his stud but kept 132 ewes. After his recovery, he bought some new blood from Philip Strauss, Jannie Visagie, Mickey Philips, Tien Jordaan and Ron van der Merwe.


2004: During this year Leon participated in his first sale, the National Sales in Bloemfontein. At this venue he sold the ram Chester (son of Kettie with the ewe 20144 of Hennie Human) to Koos du Plessis of De Aar.


2005: During the International Sale in Upington this year, Leon started last in the queue of sellers but by the end of the sale, he was 9th. Leon presented the rams:

  • Atoom, a son of Big Ben (Philip Strauss) crossed with one of Leon’s kingpin ewes in those days, ewe 30407called Sexy, a daughter of Oorlog (Leroy Philips). Atoom was bought by a neighbour of Philip Strauss, Nambia .
  • Vim, a son of Boesman (Mickey Philips) crossed with a daughter of Fire from the Bakgat line. Sold to Albie Horn.
  • Oktaan, a son of Wickets (Jannie Visagie), combined with a Oorlog daughter, nr 30403. Leon used Oktaan extensively in his breeding program and was sold to Attie Badenhorst.

Atoom
Atoom

Big Ben
Big Ben


2006: A very successful year for Leon, he produced several outstanding rams:

  • Oscar (50308), a son of Oktaan combined with a Big Ben daughter became one of the most successful rams ever produced in SA. Sold to Charl Sauderson at the Upington International Dorper Sale.
  • Diesel again fathered by Oktaan with ewe 30407 Sexy, an Oorlog daughter, sold to Deon Rose. Diesel is the father of the champion Australian ram, Gilchrist.
  • De Wet and De La Rey (two type 5 rams) and Kemp, sons of Rolo (Mickey Philips) and the same mother as Diesel, ewe 30407 Sexy. De Wet, De La Rey and Kemp were sold to other breeders.
  • Rocket and Dollar, both fathered by Rolo but with ewe 30040 (a Mauser daughter). Rocket was sold to a group from Rustenburg and Dollar to a Nambian buyer.
  • Tokolos from Oktaan and ewe 40098, an Oorlog daughter, sold to Phil Rollins.

Oscar
Oscar


2007: A significant year in the development of Dorsland Dorpers in the sense that:

  • Bismarck (son of Tokkelos and a Wekker 2 daughter) was born. He was expected to become the successor to the “throne” of Oscar, but unfortunately he died just prior to the Upington Sale. However, enough semen was collected prior to his death and is still used.
  • At the Cheetah Dorper championship 2009, his lambs won all the junior classes. Tsotsi, also a son of Tokolos and ewe 50067, a sister of Bismarck’s mother, sold to Daan Vermeulen of Carnarvon.
  • Kabamba, a son of Boesman and ewe 40007, a Flenters daughter, sold to Andries van Niekerk.

Bismarck
Bismarck

Bismarck
Bismarck


2008-2009:

  • Benchmark was born and became Junior and Great Champion at the De Aar show in February 2009. He is a son of Black Cat with the same mother as Bismarck and Klinker. He was sold to the Barlow Brothers at the Upington Auction 2009. His genetic material is available in Australia (Man of War and Ponting).
  • Klinker, Junior and Grand Champion ram at De Aar, 2008
  • Lazer, Junior reserve Champion and Reserve Grand champion in De Aar, 2009.

Klinker
Klinker

Benchmark
Benchmark


2009 Global Dorpers

Leon established Global Dorpers in Australia and in 2011 he sold his farm in South Africa. He kept the best of his stud and took up the challenge of a Dorper project for the Government in South Africa, Dorpers Genetics. Dorper Genetics has flushed more than 2000 embryos in two years. In this project the first successful splitting of Dorper embryos in South Africa was performed at Ramsem.

Several well-known breeders are using genetic material from Dorsland Dorpers in their studs and all this material is available through Global Livestock Genetics to the international market.


Gilchrist

In 2004 ewe 03407, called Sexy, was joined with Big Ben and produced twins of which one died and the other one was called Atoom. In the same year she was joined with Oktaan and brought forth a ram and a ewe lamb which won their classes at the Cheetah Championship in 2006 while their mother, Sexy, was the Grand Champion ewe. The ram lamb was called Diesel. Diesel is the father of Gilchrist, born in Australia in 2009 and sold to a Brazilian buyer in 2011 for $33 000.

Gilchrist
Gilchrist


Pollock

Our best Gilchrist son was Pollock, he died in 2012 at the age of 18months, fortunately we had used him extensively. He produced very feminine ewes and the National Junior Champion ewe in 2013 was from this line. Pollock also fathered Digby and Prince William. Digby was the National Junior Champion ram in 2013. Digby and Ponting share the same mother ewe 090057. Prince William (his mother is called Liefie 090038), won his class at the Bendigo show.

prince-william
Prince William
digby
Digby

Bradman

In 2010 Sexy was flushed with Black Cat and one of the embryos ended up in Australia to produce Bradman which was born in Narrabri in 2011. Bradman is a muscular ram with the perfect coverage for a Dorper. He was used extensively in our own breeding program and brought show success for several of our clients.

Bradman
Bradman


Kuiper and Kepler

Bradman has made his mark in Australia and was used by several studs. He produced several champions for us and other Australian studs. His one son, Kuiper, is the National Senior Champion ram in Australia for 2014. His half-brother, Kepler, is used for breeding, embryo and semen collection. We have never shown him – he is always working!

kuiper
Kuiper
kepler
Kepler

Man of War

In 2006 ewe 030040 was joined with Rolo to produce 3 lambs, 2 rams and one ewe lamb. The two ram lambs, Rocket and Dollar, were both type 5 rams. The ewe lamb (060273) also a type 5 was flushed with Benchmark to produce the embryo that became Man of War. Man of War is a well-built, soild ram that carries a lot of meat. Man of War fathered Ponting, Reserve Champion in the NSW Championship 2013. Man of War produced 3 Champion and Reserve champion rams in 2012 and 2013.

In a genetics sharing deal with Whynot dorpers, Man of War, on one of their ewes, produced a ewe lamb called Angela (120250) Angela was crowned the National Junior Champion ewe in 2013.

Man of War has been a favourite during 2014 amongst overseas studs for embryo and semen export. Australian breeders also reported excellent results. Stud quality animals were produced where not previously possible.

Man of War
Man of War


Ponting

In 2012 ewe 090057 gave birth to a son of Man of War, Ponting, who was the Junior champion ram in Dubbo 2013. He was an exceptional ram with a beautiful temperament. He died in September 2014 only days after his progeny became the National Junior Champion ram (called Burger) and National Junior Champion ewe.

ponting
Ponting
Burger May 2016 Burger May 2016

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