A strong exhibition of Poll Merino and Merino hogget rams excited onlookers, but made for an exacting time for judges Tony Inder, Allendale Merinos, Wellington, Graham Wells, Smoko, Victoria, and Jack Lawrence, Egelabra, Warren.
Five teams of three competed for the Wendouree Shield, with the nod being given to Steve and Liz Phiilips’ Yarrawonga stud, Harden.
“They are a very good team, even right through and carrying the quality of their wool through the depth of the bodies,” Tony Inder said.
“The lineup represented some of the top end of the Merinos bred in southern NSW and pleasing to see the quality being exhibited.”
The team from Mick Corkhill, Grassy Creek, Reids Flat, were placed second ahead of the Grogansworth team bred by the Henderson family at Bookham.
For the coveted ram of the year, judges awarded the sash to the entry from the Yarrawonga stud, Harden.
The son of RP11, purchased in 2012 for $22,000, and weighing 128kg with measurements of 18.7m and 2.9SD was thought, by Graham Wells, to be a great sheep for the future of the wool industry.
“He has a great head, and carrying a bulk of wool,” he said.
“His depth and length of body is impressive and his wool stands up to scrutiny.”
Mr Wells said the ram was a worthy winner, and was placed ahead of entries from Tara Park, Boorowa, and Grassy Creek, Reids Flat.
Yarrawonga studmaster Steve Phillips thought his ram, with tremendous barrel, softness and purity of wool was one of the best he had bred. Mr Wells had recently returned from a trip to Europe with his wife Mary, and was excited to relate complimentary comments he heard abroad.
The wool industry is held in high opinion in Italy and France, he said, where consumers and retailers were very proud to be both wearing and selling wool.
“We heard that people thought Woolmark are doing the best in promoting wool and lifting the profile of a premium product they have seen for some time,” he said.
“Even though prices are high, consumers are still happy to pay for quality and stylish garments.”