HE gained his wool classer’s stencil last year to class his family’s commercial Merino flock shearing and he also runs his own Poll Dorset stud, so 19-year-old James Gilmour possibly had a foot-in to gain state championship of the Royal Agricultural Society/Agricultural Societies Council young Merino fleece judging at the recent Sydney Royal Show.
Mr Gilmour, “Mt Ottley”, Coolatai, said he liked wool classing so much he decided to gain his classer’s certificate.
The family runs a Haddon Rig blood flock while his White Gold Poll Dorset stud boasts 40 stud ewes.
He had won the section at Narrabri Show which gave him the entree to represent the North West group in the state final competition.
“I’m interested in wool classing, so I thought I’d give the young judges competition a go,” he said.
Reserve champion award went to Sarah Blyton, “Burragunda”, Nimmtabel, who at 24 years of age is working in the Department of Industry, Canberra, and studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University where she has two years of study left.
“My family runs mostly Merinos and also Hereford cattle and they have always been keen exhibitors of fleeces at shows,” she said.
“I admire a good fleece, the qualities and effort that’s gone into growing it.
“But it’s also great fun to get out and meet people while having a go at judging.”
On graduating, Ms Blyton aims to return to regional Australia “somewhere doing something with agriculture, be it with sheep or cattle”.
In the meantime, she will continue her involvement in local shows in the region, now assistant-secretary of Nimmitabel show society and steward in the wool section of Queanbeyan and Royal Canberra shows.
Placegetters included third, Emma Jane Lovell, Dubbo; fourth, Merinda McGufficke, Cooma; fifth, Clarissa Peasley, Forbes, while over-judge of the 21 state-wide finalists was Chris McDonnell, Gundagai.