POLL Merino rams took out first and second placings from 15 entries in the coveted Elders Premier Merino Hogget Ram contest, a highlight of the 2017 Midstate Merino field day.
In front of one of the largest crowds attending the fixture for a decade, Cooma stud Merino breeder, James Barron of Adina stud, selected the 18.5 micron Darriwell ram weighing 118 kilograms exhibited by the Jones family, Darriwell stud, Trundle.
Mr Barron said the winning ram was very structurally sound. “He is big and long and has very good wool and a very sirey head,” Mr Barron said.
Breeder, Russell Jones, said the ram, Darriwell 306, had just broken his two teeth and is a son of the $18,000 Poll Boonoke 3.0001 sire.
The red, second place ribbon went to Weealla Poll 630, a son of the successful Claypans sire running at the McBurnie family’s Weealla stud, Balladoran.
Mr Barron said the ram was possibly not quite as good in the head through the poll, but was growing very good and sweeter wool than the winner.
The ram is growing 18.8 micron wool on his first outing and will head the stud’s 2017 sale team.
The Kopp family’s Towalba stud, Peak Hill, produced third placegetter, described by the judge as probably having the best wool of the three, but a few other points let him down by comparison.
The 18.3 micron fine-medium wool ram is from the Kopp strong wool syndicate family and will return for stud use. He is one of the first of that age group to be shown by Towalba stud.
This is the second year the fixture has been held at Dubbo’s TAFE Rural Centre’s sheep complex, a move which has been most successful in attracting bigger crowds.
Added attractions of Merino breeders’ workshops included a hands-on sheep classing “Masterclass” demonstration by Australian Wool Innovation’s sheep industry specialist, Stuart Hodgson who took attendees through the process with some commercial ewes on site utilising the excellent TAFE Dubbo facilities.
Guest speaker was Fletcher International Exports managing director, Roger Fletcher, Dubbo, who said this field day was important.
“We must have these days. We’ve got to get younger people in to take the industry forward,” he said.