New England lamb producers jumped at the chance to showcase their top stock in the inaugural Tamworth Autumn Lamb Show and Sale but it was a local Loomberah family who took out an award very close to the hearts of many in the yards.
The strong season was reflected in the yarding of 1750 show lambs with a lot more heavy lambs present than normal.
Judges Andrew Jackson of Thomas Foods, Eversons livestock buyer Bill Pavitt and livestock buyer Luke Wellings sifted through the quality offering but couldn't look past a pen of export lambs from Tongue Pastoral, Loomberah, for the grand champion award.
Tamworth traditionally hosts a spring lamb show and sale but agents wanted to offer an opportunity for those in Walcha and Guyra districts to showcase their animals too.
It was also a fitting tribute to long serving staff member, the late John Korsman, who passed away suddenly before Christmas.
Kevin, Janelle, Paul, Karlie, Ben and Rachel Tongue presented a pen of lambs around 80 to 85 kilograms sired by Abelene Park Poll Dorset and Farrer White Suffolk rams that sold for $345/head to Thomas Foods.
Garvin and Cousens Tamworth principal Andrew Warden accepted the John Korsman Memorial Shield on their behalf and said it was the first win for the Tongue family who had been big supporters of the Tamworth shows.
"In the show today there are some nice New England lambs that don't normally get the opportunity to be in the show because we have the show at the other time of the year in the spring," he said.
"It's taken a lot of time, blood, sweat and effort.
"I think the Tongues have had those lambs on a bin with crop so they have put a lot of time and effort in trying to target those lambs into the export market so they've really looked into making that happen."
The light trade (40-44.5kg) category was won by RE, JA, and WN Haworth, Bywondah, Ogunbil, which sold for $190/hd while the runner up pen from the Hunt family, Moree, made $182/hd.
Miltiades Grazing took out the medium trade (45-49.5kg) which sold for $198/hd while Cameron and Judy Lisle of Glen Lossie Partnership, Wollun, were second and sold for $183/hd.
It was the Lisle family's first time entering a Tamworth show and as friends of the Korsman family, their award in the inaugural event was even more special.
"It's a great thing for northern breeders, hats off to the agents for having it," Ms Lisle said.
Coming in second to the grand champion pen was Peter Ingall, Ingall Fairview, Wallabadah, with his export pen of lambs making $265/hd.
The best pen of Dorpers both came from Allan Dell, Gunnedah, and sold for $247/hd and $246/hd.
Ram breeder Marshall Douglas of Abelene Park at Woolomin said it was great to see New England clients being well rewarded for breeding quality lambs.
Overall the sale attracted 3300 head with the market up across most categories.
Suckers saw the biggest jump in price, peaking at $250/hd compared with $222 the week before.
Hoggets were also up from $202/hd last week to $220 but older lambs fell slightly from $281/hd to $275/hd.
In the ewes it was Merinos who rose to $203/hd compared with $195/hd while crossbreds reached $254/hd and Dorper ewes to $220/hd.
Wethers sold to $266/hd, a massive jump from $188/hd the previous week.
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