A 1600-kilometre trip from the banks of the Maranoa River in Mitchell, Qld, has paid dividends for Mount Ascot Merino stud after it was named the most successful exhibitor in the fine medium wool category.
The Brumpton family won the grand champion fine medium wool ewe title, reserve ram champion and junior champion ewe, among a string of other accolades at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo on Saturday.
In total, the stud one 13 broad ribbons in its most successful show to date.
Mount Ascot Merino stud principal Nigel Brumpton said it was an "unbelievable" achievement.
"The standard of the sheep was incredible, particularly going up against sheep from WA and SA," Mr Brumpton said.
"We produce free-growing sheep for the commercial producer and while we're in Queensland, we sell into the pastoral areas of NSW as well as Queensland."
Mr Brumpton said the ASWS gave interstate studs an opportunity to benchmark their sheep against the best Merino breeders in the country.
"If we can put our sheep up against some of the best sheep in Australia at Bendigo, and come out with a ribbon, that shows the type of sheep we're breeding," he said.
The Brumptons hauled nine sheep down for the competition
Mr Brumpton said the grand champion fine medium wool Merino ewe had "great confirmation and outstanding free-growing wool".
"The ram that we won with in the medium wool class, and the fine medium ewe were both full brother and sister and born via an embryo transfer," Mr Brumpton said.
Meanwhile, Westerdale Poll Merino stud, Mcalinden, WA, took out the grand champion fine medium ram title.
"He's always been a great ram and is the son of Glenlea Park 881 which is a sire we've used extensively through AI," Westerdale Poll Merino stud principal Craig Jackson said.
"It's always good to come over here to chat and catch up and see what's happening in the industry.
"There's a lot of great sheep at Bendigo so we're pleased with how our ram stacked up."
Mr Jackson said the two-year-old polled ram would be retained by the stud.
The WA stud has won a series of ribbons at the ASWS in the last 20 years, including fine medium poll grand champion in 2005.
"We're in the high rainfall zone of Western Australia so we sell a lot of sheep into that area, along with the occasional semen sale to eastern Australia.," Mr Jackson said.
Fine medium wool judge Brent Flood, Banavie Merino stud, Marnoo, said the judging aspect was quite challenging because of the evenness of the exhibits.
"I found these sheep to be of extreme quality and I came away very enthusiastic about the direction that the Merino breed for fine medium wool is heading," he said.
"I was really impressed with the wool cut and quality, and also the dual-purpose attributes of the sheep as far as carcase, body length and structure goes.
"I was really impressed with the staple length of the fine medium sheep around 18-19 micron, which allows those sheep to be shorn twice in one year or three times in two years, giving producers an extra income stream."