SPECTATORS around the Poll Merino judging saw a tussle continue from the fine/medium section between Victoria's Glenpaen and NSW's Alfoxton studs for August shorn grand championships at the 2019 Rabobank Dubbo Merino National last week.
And also excitement in the March shorn section among three studs, Poll Boonoke, Willandra and Lynford.
This year 132 Poll Merinos were judged by visiting New Zealand stud breeder, Tom Small, Blairich stud, Marlborough, New Zealand; officiating in the superfine and fine section, and Paul Meyer, Mulloorie stud, Brinkworth, South Australia, medium and strong.
Competition in the August shorn that section began on the fine/medium judging mats resulted in Glenpaen exhibiting both champion ram and ewe while Alfoxton stood reserve to both.
When the two judges combined, they agreed the broad ribbon should go the same way for grand and reserve champions.
Grand champion ram was a six-tooth son of Willandra GP and from a daughter of East Strathglen Duke, with the broad ribbon win for Rod and Sue Miller, Glenpaen stud, Brimpaen near Horsham, Vic.
This ram was the grand champion fine/medium wool ram at Bendigo's Australian Sheep and Wool Show last month and is growing 18.1 micron wool with a standard deviation (SD) of 3.1 micron and coefficient of variation (CV)of 17.1 per cent and comfort factor (CF) of 99.8pc.
The Miller family run a 700 ewe stud flock growing avn average 18.5 micron wool with fleece cuts averaging 6.5 kilograms and was established in 1989 by Rod's parents, Bill and Rosemary Miller, on Snowy Plains blood.
This is the Miller's' fourth year showing at Dubbo, three of which with a ram representing Victoria, the first in 2005 then in 2015 and this year.
The Glenpaen grand champion ewe came from the fine/medium section and was also a six-tooth.
Alfoxton stud of Chris and Cindy Clonan, Armidale, was unlucky, according to the judges, who said the Glenpaen ram and ewe were a tough above on the day.
AN embryo transfer (ET) bred medium wool ram from Poll Boonoke stud, Deniliquin, took out March shorn ram honours following its Riverina Ram of the Year win a week earlier at the Riverina Merino Sheep Expo, and awarded champion March shorn Australian Merino all purpose ram at Bendigo last month.
The two-tooth exhibited by Australian Food and Agriculture, was sired by White River 160546 and from a daughter of Wallaloo Park 110003, and also gained reserve medium March shorn ram award, and reserve junior champion at Bendigo.
Reserve March shorn grand ram was the fine/medium two-tooth from Ross Wells' Willandra stud, Jerilderie.
Not to be outdone, Mr Wells returned to take out the grand champion March shorn ewe with his two-tooth strong wool champion.
The Rayner family's Lynford Poll stud, Hargraves, exhibited the reserve grand champion ewe with their four-tooth superfine champion.
Among championship ribbon distribution 0n the August shorn mat Larabend Poll stud of the Sword family, Mudgee, showed the champion superfine ram and ewe while Wongara stud of Doug Walker, Old Junee, exhibited the champion fine wool ram, plus champion medium wool ewe and champion strong wool ewe.
In the March shorn section Larabend stud took out the fine wool ram championship with their two-tooth and the reserve superfine ram and reserve fine ewe, while Austral Eden stud of John Johnston, West Wyalong, enjoyed exhibiting both fine wool and fine/medium champion ewes.