With 66 fleeces entered for competition at the 2018 Royal Canberra Show, numbers were on par with recent years but still disappointing considering the current strength of the wool market.
Judged by Ben Stace, Australian Wool Network representative based in Goulburn, the champion fleece was entered by Winston and Sue McDonald, “Royalla”, Wallendbeen.
Mr Stace was very impressed with the state of the fleeces and reflected that wool growers continue to improve the style and weight of their wool in response to market conditions.
“The fleeces entered were of exceptional quality, especially given the seasonal conditions experienced during the past 12 months across the south,” Mr Stace said.
“It would obviously have been good to have some more fleeces considering the state of the wool market but those on display are showing the high commercial values are really rewarding.”
The champion fleece entered by the McDonalds measured 19.2 microns, with 99.4 per cent comfort factor and weighed 7.1kg with 74pc yield.
Grown by a show ewe sired by Roseville Park 14, it was valued at $110.90. The McDonalds also entered the reserve champion fleece.
Mr McDonald said the fleece was a wonderful example of what they were trying to produce at “Royalla”.
“It is a typical ‘70s’ type wool we are breeding, long stapled with style,” he said.
The fleeces grown by the McDonalds are in ready demand from international wool processors.
“This is the type of wool which has picked up in value and we are getting returns for our better quality wool,” Mr McDonald said.
“It is also very pleasing to have a fleece come up and take the champion here.”
Among other section winners, Peter Walker, “Woolaroo”, Yass Plains entered the champion housed ram fleece measuring 17.8m, with 99.9 pc comfort factor and weighing 8.2kg, it was valued at $143.58.
The Blyton family from Nimmitabel, were awarded the champion commercial ram fleece for their entry weighing 7.7kg, measuring 18.2m and with 99.8pc comfort factor.
With an SD of 3.1, the fleece was valued at $130.23.
Monaro-based wool grower, Don Southwell, “Carleon Park”, Bredbo was the most successful exhibitor and his most outstanding fleece was judged to have the most commercial value at $142.50.
Grown through a tough season by a Merino ewe, the superb fleece measured 17.7m, weighed 7.6kg, had a SD of 2.8 and comfort factor of 99.9pc.
Mr Southwell is a long term supporter of the fleece competition and is a past winner of the championship.