ON THE 25th anniversary of Lake Cargelligo Maiden Merino Ewe Competition field day last Friday, the inaugural president, Bill Worland, Kelvin Grove, Tullibigeal, was awarded life membership.
Mr Worland retired as president this year and was replaced by Justin McCarten, Glen-Echo, Rankins Springs, however, he and his brother, Doug, presented their maiden ewes for display to gain the encouragement award.
In the years the Worland family hasn't won the competition, but have entered each year and gained four placings.
In presenting the life membership badge, Lake Cargelligo Show Society president, John Templeton, said Mr Worland had given 25-plus years of unequalled dedication to the ewe competition to which the show society was so greatly appreciative.
The presentation was made during the lunch break halfway between the seven properties opened for maiden ewe inspection.
Competition winners this year were Justin and Natalie McCarten with Justin's brother, Peter and Meegan McCarten of McCarten Farms, Nargoon, Rankins Springs, runners-up with Wanganella blood ewes of 20.7 micron classed by Michael Elmes and a flock average cut of 10.9 kilograms.
McCarten Farms have also won the competition three times, in 2015 and 2016, third in 2014 and also 2018.
Lake Cargelligo maiden ewe flock winner from Rankins Springs
NO newcomers to Merino maiden ewe competitions, Justin and Natalie McCarten have made the 2020 Lake Cargelligo fixture their third win in 20 years.
With their four daughters, the McCartens run a self-replacing Merino flock of One Oak blood growing 20 micron wool at Glen-Echo, Rankins Springs, classed by Michael Elmes, Narrandera.
Mr McCarten, said a judge, several years ago, Matthew Coddington, Roseville Park stud, Dubbo, had commented that his ewes had the full genetic potential to grow out into good matrons and gain the benefit years on of breeding better sheep.
"I've followed his comments and put the effort into turning my ewes into well nourished and well-grown sheep," Mr McCarten said.
"I do have better breeding ewes and they have big frames and cut well."
The maidens now at 20 months had been joined for six weeks and would be scanned in another four weeks with Mr McCarten still deciding whether to join the empties back to Merinos or to White Suffolk rams.
"Having all one flock of Merinos makes for easier management and Merino lambs may not turn-off as quick as crossbreds, but I benefit from the extra wool as well at 7.08 kilograms," he said. The Glen-Echo flock won the top award in 2010 and in 2018, and has been runner-up four times and placed third twice.
Returning judge Allan (Smoke) Dawson, Winyar stud, Canowindra, said he liked the ewes' growth pattern.
"They're good rangy types with plenty of neck extension, fair bit of leg under them, good spine and penty underneath," he said.
"Their muzzle type suggests they are a good constitution type of sheep."
Introductory judge, Henry Armstrong, Pemcaw stud, Dunedoo, agreed saying the ewes are impressive and all pretty even in type.
"All have good heads and not many are overdone."
Impressed with the ewes' feet, he said they were excellent. "With feet I look for both claws the same shape. If you get the feet right you don't have too many problems."