20 Feb 2009

Long-established North Canterbury sheep stud closes

2:27 am on 20 February 2009

The declining sheep industry and tough economic times have forced the closure of another long-established sheep stud.

Clifton Stud at Waikari in North Canterbury began 80 years ago as a Corriedale stud and since the 1990s has also bred Suffolk and Poll Dorset sheep.

Arthur Blakely, the current owner in partnership with Matt and Anna O'Brien, is the third generation of his family to run the business.

He says prices have been falling and last year's drought was the final straw.

Corriedale numbers are also dwindling as the breed is not as popular as it once was, Mr Blakely says.

Clifton Stud's Suffolk and Poll Dorset ewes and lambs were to be auctioned on Thursday and the Corriedale flock sold on 16 March.