Rampisham Hill Farm Dorset Down Pedigree Sheep
Pedigree Dorset Down Flock number 932
Dorset Down Prefix ‘Rampisham’
Signet Recorded Flock
DORSET DOWN SHEEP BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
At Rampisham Hill Farm we pride ourselves in producing pedigree Dorset Down stock in their native downland environment. Our Dorset Down flock consists of about 80 breeding ewes, which we breed from annually in March. The Dorset Downs are a docile breed, well-suited to living outside and grazing on species-rich and low-input downland pastures, producing fast-finishing and good-conformation lambs off grass alone.
The Dorset Down breed has been around for about 200 years when the largest of the local downland sheep were crossed to produce a larger stamp of sheep. The new improved breed became known as the ‘Watercombe’ breed after its pioneer Homer Saunders of Watercombe near Dorchester. At the same time the ‘West Country Down’ was developed by Mr Humfrey of Newbury when he crossed Hampshire Down, Wiltshire and Berkshire ewes with Southdown rams to produce a smaller and stockier sheep with improved conformation. These two breeds were very similar and when introduced into the Dorset downland flocks, eventually evolved into the Dorset Down breed we know today. Like all breeds, the Dorset Down sheep should have certain breed characteristics and these are shown in this section along with some of our flock statistics.