Two first-time exhibitors at the NSW State Sheep Show have come away with top honours in the Suffolk section.
Charlotte Close and family of the Closeup Suffolk stud, Finley, received champion Suffolk ewe and supreme Suffolk of show with their exhibit, Closeup 39/21.
Coming from the largest class of the day - ewe showing milk teeth shorn (open) - which had 14 exhibits, the ewe impressed judge Paul Routley of Almondvale White Suffolks, Urana
"Looking from behind, this is a very even line of ewes," Mr Routley said. "But I've gone with the champion who is a beautiful, smooth ewe with good loin and neck extension.
"She has a silky head which carries back into her body.
"It is hard to fault her - she is built perfectly."
The May 2021-drop winning ewe was sired by Kurralea 'Ben' 4/19 and out of Cloesup 264/17. She was part of Closeup's team of six ewes and seven rams
Closeup also received reserve champion ewe with Closeup 49/12, a twin-born May 2021-drop ewe also sired by the Kurralea ram. She was the class winner of the ewe showing milk teeth (open) and also received best Suffolk head.
"Selecting the reserve was harder (the selecting my champion), but I've gone with this ewe that has exceptionally great skin. She is a proud, well-balanced ewe," Mr Routley said.
Running around 100-150 stud Suffolk ewes alongside their Poll Dorset stud, Miss Close - who is also the NSW Suffolk Society president - said they were grateful to receive most successful Suffolk exhibitor during their first time at the NSW State Sheep Show, Dubbo.
"This is our first time back showing since COVID," she said. "Last year I came to Dubbo as the NSW president and it looked like a good show, so decided to attend.
"It is unreal to have 98 head of Suffolk on show (from 12 exhibitors), and to see new people involved with the breed.
"We are growing as a NSW Suffolk Society... we have the sale tomorrow [Sunday] and it is an exciting time to see things we have been working on come to."
Champion ram went to debut entrants Ian and Shelley Durkin and family, from Mountain Valley Suffolks.
The June 2021-drop twin-born ram, Mountain Valley 21-20, was by Blue Rock 'Ricky' 190391 and out of Baringa 17S008.
"Coming to the pointy end of judging, you realise how good the rams here are," Mr Routley said.
"The champion is an extremely meaty and muscly sheep. He stands well, has a big bold head, deep loin - he is a complete ram."
The six hour trip was worthwhile for the Coolatai-based stud, which also received first in the group of one ram, two ewes (milk tooth) class, and sold the top-priced ram in the inaugural sale (see p64).
"This is our third drop of Suffolks... we bought five ewes for (our son) Matthew when he was five," Mrs Durkin said. "It is our first big show, we did Glen Innes, Walcha and Barraba this year.
"We lost the champion's sire, Ricky. After being collection in Dubbo he was with the ewes for three months then we found him dead... hopefully he got the ewes and we get a lot of lambs by him."
Reserve champion ram was Bowen 210020 from Greg Good, Bowen stud, Millthorpe. The July 2021-drop ram was by Karinya 199028 and out of Bowen 150544.
"The woolly ram in reserve is very correct, stands well and is very wide through the loin," Mr Routley said.
First in the group went to Cheval Park Suffolk stud, Taralga, and most successful novice exhibitor went to Peel High School, Tamworth.
In 2023 the Suffolks will be the feature breed.
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