Conducted in the Cox Pavilion during the 2021 Royal Sydney Show, the RAS/ASC Merino sheep young judges competition state final saw 13 competitors assess the paraded sheep under the watchful eye of over judge Matthew Coddington, Roseville Park Merino stud, Dubbo.
The Hugh Lydiard Memorial Trophy is awarded in honour of the late Hugh Lydiard, manager of the Egelabra stud at Warren for many years and a renowned mentor of jackaroos.
The reserve champion - Hain van Eyck - represented Stud Merino Breeders Association, Armidale while the champion - Campbell Rubie - represented Group 10, Central Western, Koorawatha.
Mr Rubie has grown up on the family farm Lachlan Merinos at Warroo, near Forbes and the year 11 student at Redbend Catholic College, Forbes credits his passion to his father Glen but mostly to his older brother Mitch.
"He has mentored me with lots of advice and encouragement," Mr Rubie said.
Mr Rubie will go on to compete in the national finals at The Ekka in Brisbane in August.
- Further reading - Sydney Royal 2021: Hugh Lydiard Memorial Trophy awarded to junior Merino sheep judge
In the state final of the RAS/ASC Merino Fleece Young Judges Competition State Final, a year 12 student from St Pauls College, Walla Walla and representing Group 8, Clarissa Peasley was awarded the state championship.
Competing against 19 entrants, Ms Peasley, from Forbes, will now represent NSW in the national final to be held in Brisbane at The Ekka in August.
She has entered many junior judging competitions to learn more about sheep and wool.
"But I have been in the woolshed at home since I was a baby, and I love handling the soft fleeces," she said.
The reserve champion was Isabel Hine, from Walcha, representing Group 9 while third place was awarded to Emma-Jane Lovell from Dubbo, representing Group 11.
- Further reading - RAS/ASC state final young fleece judges
In the junior handlers competition, Poppy McLaren, Nerstane, Woolbrook, was awarded first place ahead of Bateson Pittman, Glenburnie, Walcha, and Paddy Reid, Langdene, Dunedoo.
Over-judge Tim Bower, Stanley Vale, Uralla, noted the closeness of the competition when only one point separated each of the top three placegetters.
"They all interviewed very well, were neatly presented and attentive to holding the sheep," Mr Bower said.
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