CONDOBOLIN'S Don Brown Memorial Ewe competition continues to dominate the Central Western zone championships having won 15 times in the past 20 years.
And this year makes 16 times in 21 years with back-to-back champions, the Crouch family, Karu, while the Hood family, Cherry Gardens, Parkes, was awarded runner-up for the third time and the Watt family, Allambie, Alectown, third for the second time.
LIKE most sheep owners throughout the state who have been able to hold on to their flock ewes the Crouch family have learnt a lot about containment feeding at Karu Pastoral Pty Ltd, Condobolin.
While Harold Crouch with son Phillip and wife Bernadette, with their daughter, Meg, say they are all getting better at feeding in feedlot conditions, their 2018-drop maiden ewes have come through very well.
So well, they won the 21st anniversary Central West Merino Ewe Competition for the second consecutive year.
The 20 micron maidens are product of a 70 per cent lambing totalling 463 head from an April/May lambing with 297 retained after a 35pc culling by flock classer Chris Bowman, Hay.
Unlike many commercial flocks, the Crouchs breed their own rams from within their flock and secure outside rams for the nucleus on a regular basis.
Their flock ewes last year cut 10 kilograms of wool in June, helped along by sheep pellets, Phillip Crouch said.
This is the 16th time the winning flock was produced from the Don Brown Memorial competition of Condobolin since 2000.
CW competition chairman, Russell Jones, said there had only been one year when the competition had to be cancelled due to wet weather, and that was 2012.
"The competition was established to showcase the winning and runner-up flocks of the Don Brown, Trundle's Ted Little and Parkes' Doug Bicket competitions," he said.
"In the early years Forbes and Peak Hill competitions were also included, but have since stopped and the rules changed last year to allow either first or second prize teams from either competition to be judged overall winner."
Mr Jones said a total of 52 judges and associates had officiated in the 21 years with just six returning a second time over the period.
This year both judges had returned, Graham Wells, formerly of One Oak stud, Jerilderie, had first judged in 2001, and Roger Polkinghorne of Charinga, Banavie and Gowandale studs, St Arnaud, Victoria, who first judged in 2006.
The Parkes competition produced second and third placings this year with Roger Hood, his son Andrew and his son Colby, of Cherry Gardens, a little north of Parkes, awarded runner-up accolade for the third time.
Cherry Garden flock is based on Overland blood and classed by Andy McLeod, Dubbo.
Third placing went to Allambie Pastoral, Alectown, operated by Steve and Liz Watt and their sons, Rob and Ben.
The Allambie flock has used Darriwell blood for close to 40 years and is classed by Darriwell studmaster, Russell Jones, Trundle.