Frith and Allan Peters say goodbye to their Dorpers

Allan and Frith Peters say they will miss the Dorpers at home
Allan and Frith Peters say they will miss the Dorpers at home

As the Dorper and White Dorper National Show and Sale concludes in Dubbo today, two familiar faces have been absent from the scene following the decision of Top Deck stud owners Frith and Allan Peters to retire.

Since the stud began 12 years ago, it has become synonymous with excellence.

At the Dubbo Show in May this year they took out the title of most successful exhibitor and won grand champion ewe.

"I will miss the highlights," Ms Peters said.

"There are highs and lows; there is a lot of life and death on a farm. It is really intense and everything else is always, in comparison, boring."

A well-known artist from the region, Ms Peters said she looked forward to spending more time painting.

"It will be a wonderful opportunity to paint because you just can't paint when you are working with sheep."

The decision wasn't without regrets though and she said that farm life would never be far from her heart.

"On the stud you know every single animal born here, you know each number.

"Dorpers are wonderful animals, too. They use their guile."

"When we started out they were a new breed [to Australia] and quite expensive and because we had a small property we thought we could make good money off a small number."

Bred out of the Depression in South Africa, Ms Peters said they were an excellent choice - especially in drought years because they were so hardy and self-sufficient.

Starting out was difficult though. The animals came straight out from South Africa and some were of poor quality.

"We had to do a lot of research and culling, which is what we've been doing ever since."

Allan Peters, who had previously worked for the Department of Agriculture in Albury, said that it was the temperament of the Dorper that he would miss.

"When you show them, it is often five days of feeding and walking them and they become quite attached to you," he said.