International judge Will Gibson, Middlemarch, New Zealand was very impressed with the display of Black and Coloured sheep at the 2020 Actew AGL Royal Canberra Show where over 40 exhibits competed in the feature breed for the sheep section.
Mr Gibson was an associate judge three years ago in Canberra and he was assisted this year by associate Robbie Harper, Canterbury, NZ.
"It was a great lineup of sheep, as good as the high quality here three years ago," he said.
"There was some really fantastic sheep and it is wonderful to see breeders persevering with structural correctness and maintaining the integrity of the fleece types."
Mr Gibson said the sheep in each of the classes had everything he was looking for among the various types.
"There was a lot of quality wool on good bodies with correct conformation," he said.
"The breed has a presence in the wool industry and as I was judging I was thinking about the spinners who use our wool.
"It was also wonderful to see the dedication of the breeders."
Supreme exhibit for the feature breed was the medium wool Corriedale ram shown by siblings Ryan and Steph Bechaz, Mornington, Victoria.
They have 50 sheep in their flock having started in 2012 when their first lambs were dropped.
Their interest was sparked during schooling at Elizabeth Murdoch College, Langwarrin, Vic and the original sheep were purchased from Jan Brown's flock near Amphitheatre, Vic.
The supreme exhibit had been judged grand champion ram having been successful in the medium wool section and was considered by Mr Gibson 'a fantastic ram'.
"He is structurally on the ball, holds his wool very well and is a genuine medium wool with great handle," he said.
Mr Bechaz thought his champion was one of the best he has bred and was descended in direct line from the first sire used in their flock.
"It is a consistent genetic line and I like the ram's conformation, his carcass shape and wool cut," he said.
Grand champion ewe was shown by longtime Black and Coloured breeder Anne Barnes, Werowna Park Black and Coloured Merinos, Yass.
Her ewe had been successful in the ultra/superfine class.
Mr Gibson said judging the ewe grand championship was the hardest class of the day and the decision came down to the ultrafine Merino and fine wool Corriedale ewes.
"I've gone with Merino, she is a genuine ultrafine wool sheep," he said.
"She has frame, a magic fleece with crimp right to the tip."
Mr Gibson thought the ewe carried a 'special wool with good character and handle.
"She has all the attributes I'm looking for in a productive ewe."
Individual class results:
Champion ultrafine/superfine ram - Helen Wright, Kan-B Colours, Glen Lofty, Vic.
Reserve champion ultrafine/superfine ram - Chevalier College, Bowral.
Champion ultrafine/superfine ewe - Anne Barnes, Werowna Park, Yass.
Reserve champion ultrafine/superfine ewe - Anne Barnes, Werowna Park, Yass.
Champion fine wool ram - Anne Barnes, Werowna Park, Yass.
Reserve champion fine wool ram - Anne Barnes, Werowna Park, Yass.
Champion fine wool ewe - Ryan Bechaz, Mornington, Vic.
Reserve champion fine wool ewe - Helen Wright, Kan-B Colours, Glen Lofty, Vic.
Champion medium wool ram - Ryan Bechaz, Mornington, Vic.
Reserve champion medium wool ram - Ryan Bechaz, Mornington, Vic.
Champion medium wool ewe - Ryan Bechaz, Mornington, Vic.
Reserve champion medium wool ewe - Melissa Henry, Quebon, Young.
Champion strong wool ram - Jan Brown, Jarob Farm, Amphitheatre, Vic.
Reserve champion strong wool ram - Chevalier College, Bowral.
Champion strong wool ewe - Chevalier College, Bowral.
Reserve champion strong wool ewe - Jan Brown, Jarob Farm, Amphiteatre, Vic.
Junior champion ram - Anne Barnes.
Junior champion ewe - Ryan Bechaz.
Junior grand champion - Ryan Bechaz.