Jim Prentice - Kurrakea Stud

 

 

Background of our Stud

Vale Jim Prentice
1949 to 2010

The Australian sheep industry lost one of its most successful breeders on Friday 24th September 2010 when Jim Prentice, from Ariah Park in NSW passed away after a short battle with cancer.

James Ernest Prentice, or to all who knew him, Jim was born at Temora on the 28th December 1949. He was a quiet achiever and most people in this state will know him from his visits to the Adelaide Royal Show with his Kurralea Poll Dorset and later, White Suffolk sheep.

He commenced his Poll Dorset stud in 1975 and arguably has had the most successful stud in Australia over the last decade or so. Certainly his trips to the Adelaide and Melbourne Royals were laced with championships, a feat duplicated with his White Suffolks in more recent years.

Kurralea still holds the national on-property record price for a Poll Dorset ram when the stud sold one of its 2005 offering for $26,000, surpassing the $25,000 record, also achieved by Kurralea. Also, Kurralea "5 Star" is arguably the most famous ram in the industry in the last 30 years; and industry changing sire with numerous semen sales around the country.

Only 2 meat sheep industry sales in this country have grossed over $500,000, both at Kurralea, in 2005 and fittingly this year, 4 days after his passing.

He was also a wonderful sportsman, a record of success that few may have known due to his modesty. Jim played VFL football for South Melbourne (now the Sydney Swans) under legendary coach Norm Smith from 1970 to 1974. In 1974 he snapped his Achilles tendon which effectively ended his VFL (or AFL as it is now known) career.

He actually started his senior football career with Ariah Park-Mirrool as an 18 year old and within 2 years had won selection in the South West League’s representative side. After the South Melbourne stint he was the runaway winner of the League’s Gammage Medal, a feat he repeated in 1977. In 1978 he played in Tasmania for Devonport and scooped the pool in playing awards including the coveted Wander Medal. He also represented Tasmania against Queensland and Victoria. He captained the state against Victoria and won the medal for best on ground, playing on a bloke called Blight.

Jim played in 6 grand finals but did not get to taste victory until the last of these, when at age 37 and playing for and coaching Girral-West Wyalong in the Northern Riverina League he got to celebrate his and that club’s first ever premiership. He finally hung up his boots in 1991.

While best known outside of the area for his football deeds, his first sporting love was with cricket. He was a great batsman and wicket keeper, as was his father. He scored 55 centuries during his career and had much more success with cricket premierships winning 11 of these during his long and distinguished career. He was proud to have played in a representative side against the touring Indian side.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Kim and children Derek & Angela (from his first marriage), Ben, Sophie and Clare. Jim and Kim’s eldest daughter Sasha was tragically killed in a school bus accident in 1994. Jim’s greatest loves in life probably explain his make up - his family, his faith, and his farm. This focus enabled him to be very positive about life and optimistic about the future. (Well over 500 people attended his funeral at Ariah Park).

Jim Prentice was a lot of things - a top sportsman; he was a dedicated farmer and a wonderful sheep breeder. He was a man of faith, a fantastic father and family man; a husband to Kim, who likewise was an absolutely magnificent wife and life partner to Jim. To simplify things we could say that he was just a great bloke.