Lach River stud, owned by the Chalker family at Darby's Falls, has taken the top award in this year's Sydney Royal Merino show feature breed.
At only their second Sydney Royal, the medium/strong producing wool stud proved they are here for the long run, this year taking the grand champion strong wool ram title. Last year they debuted by winning both grand champion medium wool ram and ewe sashes.
But this year it was the large framed heavy cutting Lach River 019-15 by East Mundalla Jonty, the supreme exhibit at Bendigo in 2011 and out of a Calendar ewe that caught the judges eye. Calendar was the 2012 Australian ram of the year which stud principal Richard Chalker paid $30,000 for from Towalba stud, Peak Hill.
Judge Tim Dalla, Collinsville Merino stud, Hallett, South Australia, praised the four-tooth March shorn ram for his overall size and bulk.
“He is a big ram, has a fantastic head and carries a lot of wool,” Mr Dalla said.
The June 2105-drop ram first took the blue ribbon in the four tooth strong wool March shorn class before catapulting to champion strong wool ram and eventually grand champion.
LR 019-15 fleece figures were 20.6-micron fibre diametre, 3.6 standard deviation (SD), 17.5 coefficient of variation (CV) and 99 per cent comfort factor (CF).
The reserve grand champion strong wool ram went to Russell Jones of Darriwell stud, Trundle, with his champion August shorn strong wool Merino ram which initially won it’s four-tooth class.
The ram held a 21.1-micron fibre diametre, 3.9 SD, 18.5 CV and 98.2pc CF.
Mr Dalla said the ram was not quite as big as the grand ram, but possessed good, gutsy wool.
In the strong wool section Lach River also won the reserve champion March shorn Merino ram, reserve champion strong wool August shorn Merino ewe, and reserve grand champion strong wool Merino ewe.
Darriwell stud, with results like champion August shorn strong wool Merino ram and a multitude of Poll Merino broad ribbon wins, took out the most successful medium and strong wool Merino and Poll Merino exhibitor title for the 2017 Sydney Royal Merino show.