Brad Cartwright, “Kempton”, Fullerton, said his goals for his self-replacing Merino flock are well on the way to being validated.
Mr Cartwright, along with his wife, Maria, and son, Daniel, were awarded the third annual Southern Tablelands Flock Ewe Championship on Friday with their Thalabah blood maiden ewes - a first for Crookwell.
The Cartwrights’ flock was first judged in January this year during the 10th annual Crookwell Flock Ewe Competition where 23 flocks were inspected over two days.
In February, at the Crookwell AP and H Show, they were announced long wool winners of the comp. The young ewes were then carrying 12-months of wool.
The Cartwrights shear in February, so Mr Cartwright had to make the decision as to continue on to the championships or shear the ewes.
He opted to hold off on shearing his winning maiden ewes and enter the championships.
At “Kempton” they run 1940 head of sheep on 283 hectares of heavy fertilised, decomposed granite soil.
This year his sheep cut an average of 7.6 kilograms of wool, averaging 186kg per bale.
That works out at 24.5 sheep to the bale and a 1322 cents per kg average.
After shearing in mid-February, joining begins at the end of March.
Mr Cartwright said there are many benefits by shearing his ewes before joining.
“The sheep are on a rising nutritional plane - they put on more weight and they ovulate better,” he said.
The lambing percentage at “Kempton” has been 90 to 100pc for the last eight to 10 years, including maidens.
The Cartwright’s long standing history with Thalabah genetics stems to between 70 to 80 years with Brad’s father also buying Thalabah rams before he took over about 40 years ago.
Andrew Rayner, Grathlyn Merino stud, Hargraves, along with David Taylor, Merino consultant, Albury, judged the seven participants on farm and were assisted by associate judge, Sam Phillips, from Yarrawonga Merino stud, Harden.
The participants were made up of the top flocks from the Crookwell, Taralga, Gunning and Boorowa flock competitions.
All three judges agreed the Kempton flock ewes were a standout.
The Cartwrights won $1000 from major sponsors, ANZ Agribusiness and NSW Stud Merino Breeders Association, as well as $550 of wool testing from Southern Tablelands Fibre Testing.
Voted People’s Choice on the day with their Carrabungla blood ewes was the second Crookwell entrant in the championship and overall winners of the Crookwell competition - Gavin, Shireen and Caspar McDonald, “Aberdeen”, Crookwell.
D’Arcy Slater from Crookwell High won the junior judging on the day.