West Wyalong's Lindsay Brown has taken out the Sydney Royal Show's sheep young judges competition, while Hay's Monte Barnes was crowned the champion of the young fleece judges.
Representing Armidale, Mr Brown nudged out Georgia Briggs, with Megan Baker placing third, followed by Ben Kavanagh and Brooke Grills in fourth and fifth place.
Mr Barnes, who represented the south west group, was followed by reserve champion Miranda McGufficke, and third place-getter Declan Kavanagh, with James Gilmour and Immy Ousby rounding out the top five.
After judging for a decade and missing out on the top gong for the past few years, Mr Brown said he was happy to see his improvement in the competition.
"I'm pretty pumped," he said.
"For the last few year's I've come fifth and just haven't quite got all the way, so it's fantastic to make it all the way this year.
"It's nice to know I've been doing something right and improving every year.
"I've been working for Alfoxton Merino Stud just outside of Armidale and Chris and Cindy Clonan have been really good in helping me develop knowledge in the industry. Chris has been really instrumental in allowing me to know more about the ins and outs of Merino sheep.
In his final year studying a bachelor of agriculture and business at the University of New England, Armidale, Mr Brown said he was looking into a career in wool brokering and marketing.
"I've always had a pretty keen interest in sheep," he said.
"My Dad has instilled his passion for sheep in me and I've just followed on and been really interested in sheep for as long as I can remember.
"I'll look to stick with the sheep and wool industry in whatever capacity. I'm just happy to be in the industry, it's a great place to be."
Mr Barnes, whose family run a sheep stud at Hay, said he was passionate about all aspects of the sheep and wool industry, having also competed in Merino and meat sheep judging for a number of years.
"It's an honour to win," he said.
"I've been coming here for five or six years now and this is my second time in the fleece judging. I lucked out on the sheep judging this afternoon, so it's nice to be rewarded with the win this evening.
"I've been around sheep my whole life and I just live and breathe sheep."
Currently a fourth-year student at Wagga, completing an agricultural science degree and majoring in agronomy, Mr Barnes said a career in cotton agronomy was on the cards for the foreseeable future, but sheep would always be his greatest passion.
"My heart will always lay with the sheep, but agronomy is just something different.
"I'd definitely like to get back into it one day soon."
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