New England fleeces dominate at Sydney Show

Edington Merino Stud, Armidale enter Champion fleece at Sydney Easter Show


Sheep
Judge Murray Bragg of New England Wool, Chairman Greg Andrews, Judge Jason Carmichael of TWG Wool with the Champion Fleece entered by Edington, Armidale.

Judge Murray Bragg of New England Wool, Chairman Greg Andrews, Judge Jason Carmichael of TWG Wool with the Champion Fleece entered by Edington, Armidale.

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Champion and Reserve Champion fleeces cut from the same cloth at Royal Sydney Easter Show.

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The Sydney Easter Show fleece judging has seen a stud merino breeder and purchaser of their rams for commercial, named champion and reserve champion.  

Mark and Lesleann Waters of Edington Merino Stud, Armidale entered the champion fleece and Frank and Pip White of Tangley, Guyra the reserve. 

Sheep Committee Chairman, Greg Andrews said it was an impressive and unusual occurrence. 

DEMONDRILLE TAKES OUT SUPREME MERINO EXHIBIT

"In my years of being on the sheep and wool committee, it's the first time we've had the stud and the commercial breeder take out champion and reserve champion," he said.  

Both fleeces were in the open superfine class. The Edington fleece had a fibre diameter of 17.6 microns, greasy fleece weight of 5.7 kilograms,100 per cent comfort factor and standard deviation of 2.8 per cent. 

Judge, Murray Bragg of New England Wool said it was one of the more traditional types of wool they'd judged in this year's competition. 

"A lot of them have been quite bold, coarse-looking for their micron, this one here is a nice soft wool, looks pretty much the micron, is high yielding, even in length, beautiful color has some elasticity in it which is what we like, overall just a lovely fleece," Mr Bragg said. 

Champion fleece entrant Mark Waters, Edington Merino Stud with his Grand Champion fleece at the Armidale Show. Photo supplied.

Champion fleece entrant Mark Waters, Edington Merino Stud with his Grand Champion fleece at the Armidale Show. Photo supplied.

Champion fleece entrant, Mark Waters said it was a double win to hear the White's entered the Reserve Champion fleece. 

"I'm probably as pleased if not more so for Frank, because he's been buying my rams for 20 years or so, it just means that maybe we're on the right track," Mr Waters said.  

The reserve champion fleece from the White's at Tangley had a FD of 17.8 microns, GFW of 6 kg, SD of 2.7, CF of 99.9 per cent.

Judges, Murray Bragg and Jason Carmichael said despite the tough season there were also quality fleeces across the board. 

"The fleeces that we've seen today are a credit to the growers and the hard work they put in," Mr Bragg said. 

Judges believed housed and rugged rams stood out this year, along with sheep from the Monaro and New England regions. 

Mr Carmichael said this was reflective of the drought conditions and it was particularly heartening to see fleeces entered from hard-hit areas such as Nyngan and Hay. 

Entrants this year were up on last year, with 172 in total. Chairman, Greg Andrews, said this was largely due to an improvement in the number of entries from regional shows due to the Patrick Keast award. 

"That's something we've been pushing because we haven't had a great representation from regional shows before, this year is the best we've ever had, that class was up by 50 per cent," Mr Andrews said.

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