The Power family’s Airlie Merino and Poll Merino stud picked up the inaugural People’s Choice Award at the New England Merino Field Days.
The “people’s choice” literally stood tall over his competition – a whopping 124 kilogram sire covered in 10 months growth of 17.7 micron wool with a comfort factor of 99.
The July 2016 drop Airlie 1092, a son of Langdene 48, may head to this year’s Sydney Royal Show, stud principal, Murray Power, said.
Mr Power, and his father, Reg, were delighted to win the competition which was judged during a field days barbecue last Friday evening at Uralla showground.
They had won the Ultimate Ram Award in the unhoused section at the 2016 New England Merino Field Days.
Airlie was one of six studs that showcased their sheep at the Uralla showground during the field days which are held every two years.
Eleven studs entered teams of two rams in the People’s Choice competition and field days secretary, Janet Carter, said about 100 votes had been cast.
Visitors were invited to select the ram they judged best from the line-up of two-tooth rams from the Westvale, Whyworry Park, Alfoxton, Petali, Clovernook, Stanley Vale, Shalimar Park, Karori, Miramoona, Nerstane and Airlie studs.
She said 250 to 300 had attended this year’s field days which concluded with a dinner on Saturday night in Uralla at the New England Brewing Company.
Mark Waters, “Eddington”, Armidale, won the Win a Ram competition worth up to $1000 which can be claimed if he purchases a ram during the upcoming selling season from one of the 19 stud participants in this year’s field days.
Field days president, Tim Bower, Stanley Vale stud, Uralla, said this year’s event had been a resounding success with all studs reporting a steady flow of visitors from every state as well as some from overseas.
He said interest was running high in New England Merino studs after a string of major show wins last year including Nerstane’s triumph in the 2017 Rabobank Australian Supreme Merino Ram.
“I think people were here genuinely looking at our genetics. The sheep on display were great,” he said.
Mr Bower said the mood during the field days was positive and growers were cheered by the strong rise in the wool market.
He paid a warm tribute to the key role played by Janet Carter in the organisation of the event.
“She was my rock,” he said.