For the second year in a row, the Hewitt's of Allamby have taken out the Gunning Flock Ewe Competition.
Announced as the winners at the Gunning Show last weekend, the Hewitts were followed by Campbell Basnett of Naamaroo Pastoral at Woodbine in second place and first-time entrant Scott Medway of S & M Grazing Co, Mount Pleasant in third.
The AWN Future Development Award was presented to another first-time entrant Damien Manson of Bloomfield Pastoral Partnership, Bloomfield.
Matt Hewitt presented 400 July 2018-drop, November-shorn maiden ewes with Stocton, Yarrawonga and Tallawong blood this year.
He explained that, along with his wife Bec, they had been breeding an easy-care, productive and fertile sheep along Stocton, Yarrawonga and Tallawong bloodlines.
"We aim to breed a modern Merino, with a long staple, bold crimp and good productive, free-growing skin," Mr Hewitt said.
"The type of sheep we're breeding, we don't need to adhere to one stud we can shop around and adhere to a type."
The Hewitts had also previously bred their own rams.
"We pick out the top percentage of each year group of ewes and run them separately," Mr Hewitt said.
"Traditionally we have bred our own rams out of them, we're not doing that at the moment but we will still be selecting them for joining with our top rams."
Mr Hewitt said fodder budgeting and sacrifice paddocks allowed their maiden ewes to come out of winter in good condition last year.
"We were a little under-stocked compared to normal and had them confined prior to winter so we had a body of feed on the ground for lambing," Mr Hewitt said.
"We didn't put them back into the paddock until we knew we had enough grass to get through winter."
Judges, Guy Evans of Tara Park Merino Stud, Boorowa and Alex Wilson of Kalaree Poll Merino Stud, Tarago commended the sheep's body structure and nourished wool.
"If I was looking at them in an auction I would have to bid up," Mr Wilson said.