Five Merino flocks entered the second day of the 91st Berridale Merino ewe competition with return judge Garry Cox, Langdene, Dunedoo and new judge David Zouch, Hollow Mount, Bigga, taking note of the productive capacity of the ewes on display.
The May-shorn Yarrawonga/Avonside-blood maiden ewes displayed by Martin, Liz and Adam Walters, Boundary Creek, Dalgety, was awarded the Monaro Livestock and Property Trophy for overall winners.
When appraising the Boundary Creek flock, David Zouch said he and Garry Cox were immediately impressed as soon as they entered the sheep yards.
"We have just seen two magnificent flocks [the other being Ross and Sophie Walters' Springvale flock)," Mr Zouch said.
"I hope everyone agrees, but to see two mobs like these at the end is really going to test us as judges."
Mr Zouch gave the Boundary Creek flock unstinting praise when noting their outstanding productive traits.
"They are a magnificent line of ewes, their micron is going to be a bit finer, their wool is very soft, with great covering of fleece with a nice tip," he said.
"It was a pleasure to have a look at them and the weaners are the same - they are also magnificent."
- Further reading - Photos from day one 91st Berridale ewe comp
While he admitted as judges he and Mr Cox have some very hard decisions to make, he pointed out that it is the way it should be if the competition is to have any real value for all entrants.
"I commend you for putting these ewes up, they look great," he said.
"Anyone who wants to run Merinos, have a look at these last two mobs and you will make big money, real money."
Garry Cox endorsed those comments and told Martin, Liz and Adam they must feel so proud of their sheep.
"I can see you have put a lot of work into them," he said.
"The top end ewes they are genuine stud ewes - after judging here two years ago I thought you had a few too many solid ones but this year I think you have got rid of them.
"Those really heavy ewes aren't here and I think you have gone to the next level."
When Martin Walters was asked what was his next move with these ewes, he replied - "If I can hold them I will be pleased."
"But I am always trying to improve them," he said.
"Since we have been in the ewe comp we reckon we have put two kilos on them."
The Walters' have been competition entrants for the past ten years and Mr Walters was not afraid to admit his flock at the beginning left a lot to be desired.
"If you can remember that far back," he told the crowd, "our sheep were pretty ordinary.
"And the improvement in our flock and others is what this ewe comp is about.
"Don't try and win it, just use it to improve your sheep and everywhere we have been the past two days, the sheep have all been so much better."
President of the Berridale Agricultural Bureau committee, Ross Walters endorsed Martin Walters' comments to the hilt.
"I'm going to back Marty up, that is why I am in the competition," Mr Walters said.
"Marty got me to go in it and it is about improving your sheep, it is not about winning but lifting the productivity of your sheep."
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