AFTER two days of extremely competitive exhibition, the Doherty family has taken out the 22nd annual Chris Naake Memorial Tablelands flock ewe competition in Mudgee.
Held over two days, the event culminated with a presentation dinner in Mudgee on Thursday night, which crowned the Dohertys as overall champions for the flock entered from the family's Goolma property, Klondyke.
Sourced from Allendale rams, the flock of 275 July-born, two-tooth ewes took out the competition's medium-strong category before claiming the top prize and boasted an average micron of 18.6, an average cut per head of 6.7kg and had a culling rate of 22 per cent.
"They scanned between the 93 and 95pc in lamb and we marked 125pc on joining numbers not scanned numbers," Klondyke principal Chris Doherty said.
"Like a lot of other flocks, they had a very tough start to life for the first six months because of the drought but everyone else was in the same boat.
"However, we are certainly really pleased to have won this award and with how our ewes came up."
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Competition judges Gary Kopp of Towonga, Peak Hill and Michael Corkhill of Grassy Creek, Reids Flat commended the Dohertys for the flocks they put forward.
"Congratulations on a great line of ewes and the top pen was just exceptional," Mr Kopp said.
"They have magnificent wools, stable lengths, coverage, structure, width through the back ends and good barrels.
"The nourishment in the wool is spot on and I would say the only thing to watch would be the evenness in the wool types.
"However, I'm being critical because there is not a lot to be critical of."
The competition's other big winner was the Lawson family of Wallerwaugh Pty Ltd of Glenfoyle, Grattai, which took out the super fine-fine section as well as the first ever Peter Gallagher Memorial People's Choice Award, which was voted on by other competitors and visitors.
Fed on grazing oats and pasture, the flock of 192 two-tooth ewes were classed by Garry Cox, had an average flock micron of 17, an average cut per head of 4.8kg, a culling rate of 30pc and were of Langdene bloodlines.
"We're honestly very humbled by the award and really pleased with the way our ewes have come up," Wallerwaugh principal Greg Lawson said.
"As well as that, to be awarded the peoples choice award by our peers is something very special and we are extremely grateful.
"Peter was a stalwart in helping the community and it was a very emotional thing to be presented that award by Elaine and we're very appreciative of those good local wool people who put our flock forward in the voting."
During the two-day showcase, visitors travelled more than 600km to view the 15 competing flocks, which event co-ordinator Brett Cooper said highlighted the grazing benefits of the region
"There wouldn't be a flock entered in this year's competition that you would be unhappy to call your own," Mr Cooper said.
"Obviously the season has gone with everyone but the quality of the 15 flocks was just exceptional and while there was a difference in type, everyone prepared their sheep really well.
"The judges themselves said there wasn't too much between any of the entrants, so it was a very even competition and hopefully sets us up well for the future.
"I think it's really important this competition continues to grow because it offers so many educational benefits to growers and we're all passionate about the industry, so it's up to us to help it continue to progress."
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