Establishment of the Breed

James Little is usually given credit for establishing the Corriedale breed. He was originally the manager of the Corriedale Estate at Otaga, on the South Island of New Zealand, but moved to the Allendale Estate on the North Island in 1878. The development of the breed was initiated in the 1860’s. Other foundation breeders who made significant contributions are C.H. Ensor and W. S. Davidson, who managed the New Zealand and Australian Land Co.

The Corriedale is an in-bred half-breed with Merino on the dam’s side and the English Lincoln longwool on the sire’s side. The name Corriedale was chosen to be the proper name for the breed in 1902. The New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association began publishing Corriedale pedigrees in 1911; however, it was 1924 before a flock book was published by the Corriedale Sheep Society of New Zealand. The Australian Corriedale Sheep Breeders Association was founded in 1914.

The Corriedale was developed in an effort to establish a true dual purpose breed, combining the best traits of the wool breeds and the meat breeds. The result is a sheep that excels in total commercial returns, yielding a heavy valuable fleece and a high quality carcass. Additionally, Corriedales are known for their mothering ability and their ability to forage under a variety of climactic conditions.

Corriedales rank high in popularity in many nations and are considered to be the second most numerous breed worldwide.