New South Wales has dominated the headlines in the National Alpaca Young Judges Championship by claiming both the winner and runner-up awards.
Amazingly, the winner and runner-up are sisters with Samantha Hayward (17) claiming top spot in the Agricultural Shows Australia event and Christie Hayward (19) finishing just behind at the Sydney Royal Show.
Agricultural Shows Australia (ASA) staged the national championships of young judges and paraders competitions with finalists from each state of Australia and New Zealand.
Both the Haywards have been involved in alpacas for a long time despite their young age.
"I am so happy to do everyone proud," Samantha said.
"I have had so much guidance and assistance as I came up through the ranks and winning this award repays a lot of the belief everyone has had in me.
"I would especially like to thank everyone at Coolawarra Alpaca Stud for mentoring me.
"It is a great feeling to win this event after Coolawarra's Rubey Williams won it in 2019."
Christie said young judging had helped in practical ways too.
"We have a small stud, Red Earth Alpacas, and young judges helps us improve the quality of our herd," she said.
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