The Hovell Stud was founded in 1955 by Charles Frohling, with the purchase of 16 Border Leicester ewes from the Ferndale Stud, Rand, NSW. The Hovell prefix was registered in 1957.
Charles had noted the high wool prices of 1954 had resulted in a trend away from Merino to Dorset Horn rams. By 1956, first-cross ewes were worth five to six pounds compared to two pounds for Merino ewes, prompting Charles to produce Border Leicester rams.
In 1977, the stud was expanded with the addition of 100 young ewes from Ivan Hazelwood’s stud, Meltonvale, in Deloraine, Tasmania.
The purchase also included young Meltonvale Poll Dorset ewes. The Hovell Poll Dorset stud had been established in 1970.
Later infusions of Kelso, Campaspie, The Oaks and Wongajong genetics were used in the Border Leicester flock.
By the 1990s, Hovell Stud was selling around 50 flock rams each year under the management of the next generation, Charles’s son Noel and his wife Myrna.
Noel was a Federal long wool judge for more than 20 years, and served as Albury Sheep Show chairman for 15 years.
Noel has judged Border Leicesters at Albury, Dubbo, Bendigo, Gundagai, and Walbundrie, and Poll Dorsets at Yarrawonga.
Under Noel’s management Hovell Stud strove to breed a good carcass sheep with quality wool.
Over the decades Noel observed the industry trend towards specialist first cross operations. We are now seeing first cross ewes sired by Hovell Stud rams going through the special sales.
In 2000 Rod and Ange Frohling, the third family generation, took over management of Hovell Stud.
Strategically Rod and Ange aimed to increase on-farm efficiency and productivity.
The farm now operates with one labour unit and a winter stocking density of 25.5DSE/ha.
Over the last decade, genetics from Cadell, Retallack Ellingerrin and Geraldine Border Leicester studs have been used, along with Kurralea, Valma, Ashley Park, Wyndamah and Aberdeen Poll Dorset genetics.
We have been able to increase mature bodyweights by 20kg in the last 10 years.
Our aim is to increase frame size and fleece weight - we want meat on big, heavy wool cutters.
We use best practice grazing and nutrition management, the flock is Lambplan recorded, and we’re embracing new technology.
In 2011, we expanded with the introduction of 12 young ewes from Detpa Grove stud, and 28 stud ewes from Allendale, to form Hovell White Suffolks.
The first White Suffolk rams will be offered at the 2013 on-property sale on October 2.
In 2012, we sold 45 Border Leicester rams to average $772 and 76 Poll Dorsets to average $821.
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