Denmark students judged the best at Wagin
WA College of Agriculture — Denmark students shone at this year’s Wagin Woolorama Young Judges Championships.
Denmark students took out the top honours and were named overall winning school at Woolorama on Saturday.
The school’s students performed well across the four sections including Merino, Poll Dorset, Wool and Cattle.
The group included Year 12 students Hamish Bowie, 17, Brodie Green, 16, and Davin Jarvis, 17, and Year 11 students Chontelle Bock, 16, and Maddison Bryden-Dwyer, 15.
The team edged out students from other agricultural schools and claimed the title from last year’s winners WA College of Agriculture — Cunderdin.
The win came after a team of four students from the school — including Hamish and Davin — finished third in the Young Judges Merino Championships last year. It was an exciting day for Hamish Bowie, who was also named Champion Young Judge and the best of all of the 90-plus students.
WA College of Agriculture — Narrogin Year 10 student Tyson Lansdell, 15, took out second place.
Hamish grew up on a Bridgetown cattle farm and said he held high hopes to get a heavy diesel mechanics apprenticeship before eventually returning to the family farm.
His family runs 1000 head of cattle across 1600ha across various properties near Bridgetown, but he has a particular passion for sheep.
“Everyone did really well today, I didn’t expect to win,” Hamish said.“I find the fleece judging the hardest, especially the points system.
“We have been training since Year 10, during school hours and then when it comes up to the shows, we end up training once a week.”
Chontelle and Maddison, from the winning WA College of Agriculture — Denmark team, said their agricultural background was helpful. The pair grew up in Jerramungup and South Stirlings respectively and have boarded at the college for two years.
Maddison said she and Chontelle — who were the only Year 11 students chosen to represent the school this year — felt “pretty confident” in their judging endeavours.
“We had to place the sheep in order of first to fourth and try to get it as accurate as what the judges had,” she said.
“We were looking for depth, spring of ribs and length of neck, how well they stand, confirmation and muscle definition.
“You have to show a lot of interest at school to get picked for the competition.”
Chontelle said “selling” their opinions to the judges was the hardest part of the day.
“You have to make them feel like they (the judges) want to buy the sheep and tell them why you chose them,” she said.
In the wool competition, Hayden Baker won the open while his classmate won the novice category.
Wagin Woolorama Young Judges wool section over judge Rick Wise said the students did a great job.
“It was very impressive, they all did a great job at judging, and the people who organise the junior judges deserve a pat on the back too,” he said.
“Do put your clipboard down or tuck it under your arm get right down and feel the fleece, don’t tear the fleece apart.”
You have to make them feel like they (the judges) want to buy the sheep and tell them why you chose them.
In the Merino teams competition, WA College of Harvey — Cunderdin scooped top prize followed by Narrogin, Morawa, and Denmark.
Wagin Woolorama Young Judges Merino section over judge Courtney Sutherland thanked the Mullen family for and said the youngsters had done an exceptional job.
“Watching you all come through in the past few years, your ability to talk about the sheep, the confidence you have and the way you place them, it is a pleasure to watch,” he said
“You don’t necessarily have to get the same placement I do but you have to justify why you do.
“I interviewed nearly 50 kids and their comments were spot on. The top half a dozen were amazing.
“I intend on asking two of them to be associate judges next year.”
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