IT’S been 20 years since the last Caragabal Merino ewe competition, but the enthusiasm for the breed was highlighted last Friday when a re-established local committee supported by many industry sponsors kicked-off again attracting nine commercial flocks and upwards of 50 visitors to the 11th event.
Well-recognised Merino stud identities Guy Evans, Tara Park stud, Boorowa, and Angus Munro of Poll Boonoke stud, Deniliquin, said they enjoyed the “adventure” and gave high praise to the flock owners for breeding such quality animals.
Winning flock operated and classed by Paul Lynch, “Belleview”, Caragabal, has been breeding on Darriwell blood for the past 17 years running upwards of 1800 ewes lambing in April/May.
This 2016 drop of maidens had only 12pc classed out leaving 440 on display aged 22 months. The adult flock for the past three years has averaged a wool cut of 6.43 kilograms of 20.9 micron.
Mr Lynch said he ran a “pretty simple” operation but had been scanning for three years and had been gaining 128pc lambing rates although last year dropped to 108pc.
Angus Munro said the flock displayed sheep with good outlook.
“It’s a mob of good commercial heavy producing type ewes,” he said.
“They ‘re deep, robust ewes with good bone and structure and obviously have skins that will grow wool.”
Mr Evans said to get these type of lambing percentages with these heavier shin type sheep is very good.
Runner-up flock is run by the Taylor family at “Collingwood”, Caragabal, based on Lachlan Merino blood for the past 10 years and classed by Alison Rutledge.
For the past three years the flock was averaging 20 microns and cutting 6kg of wool and displayed 530 maidens on the day, 28pc left after classing. The flock’s lambing is 104pc.
An excellent draft of ewes was the comment of Mr Munro who said ewes had a high percentage of cover and overall functional types.
Mr Evans said the sheep presented well and were in exceptional order.
“You can see the nourishment is there just by looking over their tops and know there’s going to be rich wool underneath,” he said.
An encouragement award was presented to Jono Baker, “Boree”, Caragabal, who has been on Roseville Park blood for 14 years and runs 700 ewes of 19.2 micron wool.