This year’s eight finalists in a bumper Crookwell Flock Ewe Competition are bristling with past winners.
They were announced during a presentation dinner at Crookwell RSL Club last Thursday night after two busy days of judging.
Co-judges, Craig Wilson, Craig Wilson and Associates, Wagga Wagga, and Matthew Coddington, Roseville Park Merino stud, Dubbo, visited 23 flocks of maiden ewes in the Crookwell region accompanied by a large throng of visitors.
Guest speaker at the presentation dinner, which celebrated 10 years of the competition, was Ray Cummins, a local wool classer with more than 50 years experience. He spoke about evolution in the wool industry from his perspective.
The finalists included breeders whose names have appeared regularly on the honour board since the competition began in 2009 including Brad and Maria Cartwright, “Kempton”, Fullerton, the overall winners in the inaugural year.
Last year’s winners, Brian and Helen Anderson, “Lower Sylvia Vale”, Binda, have made the finals again this year along with the 2016 winners Michael and John Lowe, “Innisvale”, Crookwell.
This year’s winner and placegetters will be announced at the Crookwell Show on Sunday, February 11, at 1pm.
The finalists in the longwool section, in no particular order, are Brad and Maria Cartwright, “Kempton”, Fullerton; Shannon Arnall, “Carinya”, Laggan; Brian and Helen Anderson, “Lower Sylvia Vale”, Binda; and Daniel Fitzell, “Flowerburn”, Peelwood.
Finalists in the spring shorn section are Scott Kensit, “Hollywood”, Crookwell; Gavin and Shireen McDonald, “Aberdeen”, Laggan; Anthony and Michelle Selmes, “Glenayr”, Wheeo; and Michael and John Lowe, “Innisvale”, Crookwell.
Mr Coddington, who was a judge in the first year, congratulated breeders on the improvement of their flocks during the past decade.
This year’s flock ewes all had a tough start to their lives in 2016.
Some entrants in this year’s competition are battling severe drought (and grasshoppers) and the judges congratulated them for staying in the contest.
Mr Wilson said it was easy to enter flock ewe competitions when “everything is rosy”.
However, looking out across parched paddocks on one property, he urged growers to ensure they were spreading fertilisers to gain the most profit from current high wool and sheepmeat prices. Sheep needed phosphorus for top productivity.