Stephan and the Suidplaas women: Our August auction
DOHNE MERINO, AUCTIONS | Aug 11, 2022
While every Suidplaas Dohnes auction is a celebration of the Dohne industry, this year our August ram auction also included a moment to reminisce, as we said goodbye to OVK Group Stud Advisor Stephan van der Westhuizen.
Our August auction was Stephan’s final auction before retiring, after spending many decades in the industry. With the auction taking place on Women’s Day on 9 August, there was also time to celebrate many of the women involved in the Suidplaas Dohnes story. This includes Riana Coetzee, who has spent the past 20 years supporting the administration and financial management of the business, as well as Wynand’s wife, Madré.
This set the scene for a successful auction at Klipbankskloof Farm, with all 94 rams and 281 young ewes sold. The ram of the day was awarded to Lot 20, bought by Isak Smit of Piket Dohnes for R80 000. The second-best selling ram, Lot 1, was bought by At Liebenberg of Kroonstad for R65 000.
Our stats in brief:
· The 94 rams sold for an average of R18 011.
· The ewes sold for an average price of R2 830.
From the left: Jacques le Roux (OVK General Manager for Fibre), DW Giliomee (BKB), Isak Smit (Piket Dohnes, buyer), Marshell (Manners) Afrika (Suidplaas Dohnes Sire Manager), Wynand du Toit (Suidplaas Dohnes, seller)
The auction also proved an apt way to thank Stephan for his support over the past 27 years.
According to Wynand du Toit, Suidplaas Dohnes owner, at the auction, “Our Suidplaas stud would never have achieved what we’ve achieved without Stephan.”
He noted Stephan’s ability to identify the potential of a young sheep early on. “This is a characteristic that few people have. He also has incredible knowledge of the entire sheep industry, not only Dohnes. And over the years, I have come to know some of his other characteristics – his love for his family, for his fellow man, for colleagues, and also notably, for the sheep.”
Stephan’s staying power
Both Wynand and OVK’s General Manager for Fibre, Jacques le Roux noted Stephan’s determination and resolve. “This is a trait we can all learn from. This is likely to be the biggest reason for success at the end of the day. He has the ability to see something through to the end, he has staying power,” said Jacques.
Wynand added, “Stephan had health problems a few years ago, and we thought we might have to say goodbye to him. But he pulled through, showing us his resolve. It doesn’t matter if there’s dust in the kraal, or if it’s raining; I am so grateful for all the kraals that Stephan and I have stood in together, classing sheep. From Protem to Adelaide, and Singapore to Hong Kong, we have trampled many tracks together.”
Providing those genetics that farmers need
He also added his thanks to clients, donors and friends for their continued support. “To all my clients who continue to support me every year, we are very grateful. And to our donors who don’t hesitate to come on board every year – thank you for your support. As the farming community, we see this!”
Wynand said, “Our goal is to provide farmers with those genetics they need, to make a success of their own herds or studs. We trust we have delivered during our August auction, and that our clients are happy. And we trust that we’ll continue to deliver into the future.”