This year’s objective measurement (OM) class was hotly contested with the highest number of entries to date at the Sydney Royal.
It’s a ‘nothing to hide’ day on the Merino mats where place-getters to grand champions alike are shorn, fleece and body weights are determined as are eye muscle depths, fleece values and finally a subjective component are tallied to give an overall champion.
This year it was the dominating fine/medium wool Poll Merino ram by Merryville stud, Boorowa, that received an overall total of 561 points, including 89 out of 100 in the subjective section judged by Kim Henderson, Grogansworth Merino stud, Bowning.
The 18.1-micron, six-tooth ram cut the heaviest fleece of 15.8 kilograms (skirted) with a 83.5 per cent yield and $277 fleece value – the highest recorded in the sheep shed. Bare shorn, the big framed ram weighed in at 121kg and measured an eye muscle depth (EMD) of 32 millimetres.
The ram had previously won the grand champion March shorn fine-medium Poll Merino title.
Placing second in the six-tooth category with 511.5 points was a 17.5-micron ram entered by Airlie stud, Walcha. The 109kg bare shorn ram cut a 14.3kg greasy fleece with a fleece value of $244.50. He yielded 74.5pc, had an EMD of 35mm and scored 87 out of 100 in the subjective component.
Third place on 500 points was the big 1`7.4-micron poll ram from Claypans stud, Corrigin, Western Australia. Cutting 12.9kg and yielding 71pc, his fleece value was $204.50. But it was his bare shorn body weight that impressed, weighing in at a hefty 137.5kg. His subjective total came back at 84 from the possible 100.
The heaviest horned ram in the shed was entered by Thalabah stud, Laggan, with a 22-micron medium/strong wool ram that weighed 132kg. He came in fourth place in the six-tooth category on 415 points. It was he’s EMD that attracted some attention on 40mm, the second highest in the shed, only to fall one behind to his pen mate, another Thalabah ram that measured the highest EMD recorded of 44mm.
In the two to four-tooth ram section Nerstane stud, Woolbrook, took first place with their fine wool ram sashed junior champion the day prior.
On 502 points, the 16.7-micron ram cut a 12.5kg greasy fleece, yielded 77.4pc, and returned a fleece value of $227. Bare shorn the young sire weighed 108kg and scored a high 90 out of 100 points in the subjective component.
In second place in the two to four-tooth rams came the supreme exhibit of the Merino show exhibited by Demondrille stud, Harden. Scoring 478.5, the 17.6-micron ram cut 13.3kg greasy fleece, returning $236 fleece value, weighed 97.5 bare shorn and had an EMD of 32mm. His subjective count came back at 85 points.
In third place was Cooma stud, Adina, with a 18.7-micron ram with a greasy fleece weight of 13.6kg equalling a $208.5 value, EMD was 38mm and body weight 107.5kg, bare shorn. Subjectively he scored 84.
Fourth place went to last year’s winner, Lach River, Darby’s falls with a massive ram weighing 125.5kg bare shorn, scored an impressive 93 from 100 in the subjective and cut a fleece weight of 13.1kg yielding 72.2pc.
In the six-tooth ewe section first place went to Airlie on 387 points with a 15.7-micron ewe that cut a fleece value of $161.50 weighing 8.8kg. She weighed 74.5kg and scored 81 in the subjective tally. Second place went to Conrayn stud, Berridale, with a 17.8-micron ewe, yielding 78pc, weighing 68.5kg and scoring 83 subjectively.
Grassy Creek stud, Reids Flat came third with a 17-micron ewe weighing 79kg and scored 82 in the subjective judging.
Adina stud broke through in the four tooth and under ewe class taking first place with 462.5 points. The medium wool ewe measured a 18.2-micron and cut a massive 13.6kg of wool, giving it a fleece value of $194.50. Her EMD was the highest in the shed for a ewe at 40mm. She weighed 91kg and scored 87 points subjectively.
Second place went to another Adina ewe who scored an impressive 91 out of 100 in the subjective points, in third place came Royalla stud, Wallendbeen with a 17.9-micron ewe and fourth place was shared between Demondrille and Wantana.