For the second year running, Bill Hurley, "Killanear", Boorowa, has won the 2017 ANZ and NSW Stud Merino Breeders Southern Tablelands Flock Ewe Championship (STFEC).
Mr Hurley and his Demondrille-blood maiden ewes, who also took the inaugural title in 2016, were judged the champions from eight final flocks chosen from four competitions within the Southern Tablelands – Crookwell, Boorowa, Gunning and Taralga.
Mr Hurley won the 2017 Boorowa Flock Ewe title at the end of February and was announced the overall champion at last night’s presentation, held at Crookwell RSL Club.
Judges for this year’s competition, Chris Clonan, Alfoxton stud, Armidale, Paul Walton, Wurrook stud, Rokewood, Victoria, and associate judge, Georgia Walters, formerly of Middle View Merino stud, Dalgety, currently studying at the University of New England, all agreed the “Killanear” flock were a well-classed productive flock of ewes.
“They have good wool density and nourishment,” Mr Clonan said.
“They are really good barrelled ewes, I expect them to join well.”
Ms Walters described the ewes as “very productive, and have a terrific outlook”.
“They are genuine wool-cutters,” Ms Walters said.
"Killanear" sheep, with a fleece line fibre diametre of 18.4-micron, are shorn in June with classing carried out by stud principals of Demondrille stud, Harden Andrew and Patrick Davis, with a percentage classed out figure of 26.
Making up the top eight flocks to compete for this year’s title were Crookwell winners Brian and Helen Anderson, “Lower Sylvia Vale,” Binda, on Hazeldean-blood and the winner of the short wool section in the Crookwell competition, the McDonald family, “Aberdeen”, Laggan, based on Carrabungla bloodlines.
Representing Gunning were the Basnett family, “Nerragundah”, Gunning, with their Bogo-blood maiden ewes and Gary and Trish Hallam, “Alton Hill”, Gunning, on Grassy Creek blood.
Taralga’s top two flocks came from Brian Corby, “Bunji”, Taralga, another flock based on Carrabungla, and Eastleigh Pastoral, “Eastleigh”, Golspie, managed by David and Estelle Roberts, using Boudjah bloodlines.
Making up the eight was the second finalist from Boorowa, Murray Dymock, “West Killanear”, Boorowa, with his flock of Royalla-blood ewes.
These eight flocks were judged the best commercial flocks from 47 entries – a total of 16,502 maiden Merino ewes.
The championship, held yesterday, saw about 70 supporters, travel 350 kilometres, starting from Boorowa and ending in Crookwell for the final presentation.
The Anderson family, “Lower Sylvia Vale”, were awarded the people’s choice award.
During the evening $6000 was gifted by major sponsors, ANZ bank, who have supported the STFEC for the past two years and the combined southern competitions for the past 14 years.