Under the watchful eye of judges Wal Merriman, Merryville stud, Boorowa, Kim Henderson, Grogansworth stud, Bowning and John Bensley, Stillbrook stud, Laggan, 43 Merino and Poll Merino rams lined up for the Champion Hogget ram of 2018 during the 67th Hay Sheep Show.
Sponsored by Mark Bazeley, Riverina Wool, Moama, the nod was given to a young sire prospect bred at the Collinsville stud, Burra, SA.
Judge Wal Merriman complimented all breeders on the presentation of their sheep and told the assembled crowd ‘there was plenty of good sheep’, in the first and second cuts, but they just lacked a bit of size and finish.
“You can see the size in these tops, they are magnificent,” Mr Merriman said.
“With his cover and extra length of staple, richness of wool and balance the Collinsville ram is outstanding.”
Mr Merriman said the Victorian champion from Terrick West, Prairie was considered by the judges for his very rich wool and thickness; while the NSW champion from Borambil, Corowa was a long bodied sheep also carrying a very rich fleece.
The champion ewe hogget, sponsored by Tapper Agri Services, Hay was exhibited by the Daniels family from the White River stud, Minnapa, SA.
The supreme exhibit of the show and grand champion ram was exhibited by Warren and Jack McRae, Oakbank stud, St Arnaud.
The ram, which had been judged champion medium wool received the Bill Lamb Perpetual Trophy for supreme exhibit and the Bob and Anne Rollinson Perpetual Trophy grand champion ram.
Judge John Bensley said the ram was exemplary for his length of staple on a well-balanced body with a great outlook.
Grand champion ewe, having been judged champion strong wool March-shorn ewe was shown by the East Bungaree stud, Clare, SA, receiving The Descendants of Charles Mills Uardry Perpetual Trophy from Emma Bowman, great great great granddaughter of Charles Mills.
The Neilson Mills Trophy for group of five was presented to Oakbank, ahead of Kerrilyn stud, Dunluce, Vic while the Radnor stud, from Murray Bridge, SA was placed third.
The McRae family’s Oakbank stud was also winner of the Pen of Three Rams.
The Poll Boonoke stud at Conargo, operated by Australian Food and Agriculture exhibited the champion medium wool March-shorn ram, while the Wells and Heath families from Willandra stud, Jerilderie showed the champion medium wool March-shorn ewe.
Focus on flock crucial for Hay
There would not be a stud industry without the commercial producer, and the Hay Sheep Show has always had a strong competition among flock breeders.
Judge Angus Carter, Landmark, Armidale and associate Lachy Watkin, Hillston were exacting in their task before giving the flock ewe championship to Ben Schilq, Walbundrie ahead of Bert Matthews, Hay.
Champion hogget ewe was presented to Robert Gibson, “Croidon”, Hay while Emma Northey, “Innesfail”, Weethalle showed the champion pen of flock ewes.
In the unhoused stud section, the Huggins family, Woodpark Poll stud, Hay had great success showing the champion and Mr Carter considered the ewe for her length of staple and finish along with a ‘beautiful bonnet.’