Hinesville Merino Stud
West Plains Poll Merinos
John 'Jack' Hines established 'Hinesville' at Marnoo in Victoria with a great start from his uncles. R.K. and C. McLennan had ran Dundonald since 1906 and John Hines was able to purchase Extra Special Stud ewes and Sires at the Dundonald dispersal in February 1927. These stud ewes were pure Collinsville blood with no expense spared in purchasing rams up to 2100 pounds in 1922, an astronomical price in today's terms.
Jack bred heavy cutting, bold wool sheep and was renowned for the wool cuts he achieved. Showing has always played a big part in Hinesville benchmarking with championship awards won in every decade since the 1930s. Hinesville under Jack Hines stewardship won Most Valuable Fleece of Victoria twice.
Marie Hines, Jack Hines’ youngest daughter, shared her father’s passion for breeding stud sheep from her earliest years. In 1948, at thirteen years of age, Marie entered and won the Horsham Junior Judging competition. This is believed to be the first woman ever to win a junior judging competition in Australia.
After marrying Bob Chapman in 1956, Marie and her husband continued Hinesville. They introduced Wonga blood in the early 1960s to further improve the stud. Marie’s passion for the stud sheep breeding world has seen her attend over 70 Australian Sheep & Wool Shows. Her knowledge of other sheep studs and breeders in the industry is incredible. Marie’s determination to see Jack Hines’ stud remain relevant and viable has been amazing and we owe her a great debt of thanks.
Having been based in Victoria for a large number of years, Bob and Marie decided to move when their son Drew Chapman expressed a desire to expand the stud. It was decided to move to a major breeding area to do so. In 1979, Devon at Deniliquin was purchased and a new phase of Hinesville began. Hinesville joined the Riverina Merino Field Days which opened up new markets and expansion for the stud. Bob Chapman joined the Riverina Field Days committee and served as their president for the 1988-89 halcyon years where over 2500 people attended. Sales in this period escalated with sires going to Western Australia, Queensland, Russia, China, New Zealand and South Africa.
Drew Chapman won the Sandy Robertson Award for the most outstanding young sheep person in 1988 and followed that with winning the National Judging at Collinsville Stud, SA with the prize being a two week study tour of New Zealand sheep studs. Sensing the need for change in the early 1990s with the collapse of the reserve price scheme, Hinesville introduced genetics of more fine/medium wool types. We instigated large AI programmes, wool testing of every stud ewe and Embryo Transfer programmes. Progeny of these initiatives saw 48 championships won in 1992 in Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo and Albany shows. In 1996 Hinesville won the Supreme Exhibit at Longreach, Queensland with Agassi weighing 157 kgs.
In 1991 Drew Chapman met an American woman, Laura Miller, who had been studying Animal Science at Southwest Missouri State University. Laura had shown beef cattle and been a junior judging representative for her university at several inter-state competitions. She shared Drew’s passion for the land and livestock. Once married, Laura took to stud life with great passion rearing lambs, preparing show teams and assisting with the general running of the stud. Laura won the Melbourne Junior Judging competitions in four breeds, carrying on from Marie’s effort years before. It was at Laura’s instigation West Plains Poll was formed and now plays a major part of our family business.
From the early 2000s Hinesville has enjoyed some of its biggest successes. In 2006 Hinesville travelled to the World Merino Conference and Expo at Katanning, Western Australia. Hinesville showed the Grand Champion Fine/Medium Ewe of the show and the overall Reserve Grand Champion Ewe which was the highest placed interstate exhibit. Two weeks later Hinesville Cher won Grand Champion Medium Wool ewe at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show Bendigo cutting 13.2 kg of wool. Cher won the Supreme Medium Exhibit at Canberra Royal in 2007. In 2010 Hinesville took a team of ewes to Sydney Royal and gained three Grand Champion ewes including Lady Gaga winning Grand Champion Medium wool cutting 12.7 kg whist fleeces won Champion Australian Commercial fleece in 19.6 to 20.5 micron at Bendigo. 2014 saw the Supreme Medium wool Exhibit at Campbelltown, Tasmania.
In 2015 we were awarded the NSW Ram of the Year with Hinesville Pharaoh. He was sold at the Dubbo National for a Hinesville record price of $14,000. In 2016 we again received $14,000 for Dinkum at the Dubbo National Sale. Hinesville’s future remains committed to breeding functional, fertile animals capable of lifting production and profitability for clients.
Our youngest daughter Jackie is currently studying a Bachelor of Agriculture Science at Adelaide University. She has continued a long tradition in our family of junior judging. At Adelaide Royal 2016, Jackie won the SA Merino Junior Judging with over 40 competitors and represented South Australia in the National Finals in Melbourne in September of 2017.
Our other daughters Kelly and Emily also share in our stud. Kelly has been to the Sydney Royal for Junior Judging in Merinos, Fleece and Cattle Judging. She is currently studying a PhD in Plant Science at the Australian National University researching the nitrogen uptake of plants. Emily is currently studying a Bachelor of Food Entrepreneurship Business degree at Le Cordon Bleu in Adelaide. She, along with her sisters, make time each year to come to Bendigo and help us show and display our sheep.
Studs that have stood the test of time ride high and lows of the markets, successes and failures but in the end it is the people that make the stud breeding world. We at Hinesville would like to thank some of the people who have been instrumental in our stud.