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Bright, bulky fleece the best

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Bob GarnantCountryman
Head fleece judge  Tim Chapman with the 2016 Royal Agricultural Society of WA's Supreme Fleece after judging the competitive field on Monday.
Camera IconHead fleece judge Tim Chapman with the 2016 Royal Agricultural Society of WA's Supreme Fleece after judging the competitive field on Monday. Credit: Bill Hatto

Brilliance from Pithara in the form of a fine micron Poll Merino fleece was the pick of the IGA Perth Royal Show wool judging competition on Monday.

For wool producers Darrel and Glenys Mcllroy, of Glendawn Merino stud, and their son Brad and his wife Emma, the supreme champion fleece sash win was their first after 10 years (off-and-on) of entering the competition.

“We are over the moon,” Mr Mcllroy said.

Before deciding to shear the two-tooth ram last year, Mr Mcllroy said he contemplated exhibiting it as a full wool at the show, but now feels certain the decision to shear it was a “golden idea”.

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“The ram was sired by a Lewisdale-Corrigin ram which goes back to East Strathglen Duke,” Mr Mcllroy said.

“Our small stud of 350 stud ewes has been on Lewisdale-Corrigin bloodlines since 1976.

“We breed them big with good white wool here in the Wheatbelt.”

Mr Mcllroy said over the years, there has been less sheep being bred on neighbouring properties.

“Unfortunately as well, some sheep producers have also gone over to meat breeds,” he said.

“It is important that the wool industry keeps improving in an attempt to attract the younger generation.”

Mr Mcllroy and his family look forward to spending some time at the show this year.

A particular drawcard for the Mcllroys is a visit to the Jim Horwood Pavilion where the family’s fleece will be on display for all visitors to see.

With 170 fleeces in total in the show competition this year, from 25 exhibitors, the Mcllroys must have had all the “white stuff” to favourably soften the judge’s decision.

Head judge Tim Chapman said the 20.7 micron Mcllroy fleece had a yield of 80.1 per cent, a greasy fleece weight of 12.8kg, clean fleece weight of 10.3kg, staple length of 123mm, a tensile strength of 54 Newtons per kilotex, and a comfort factor of 99.5.

“It was very bulky for a fine wool fleece and showed great character,” Mr Chapman said.

“The fleece was very soft to handle and was very bright and white and had excellent objective measurements.”

Mr Chapman said overall the wool fleece entries were showing tremendous whiteness and were high yielding, but some lacked in tensile strength.

“The entries were a reflection of the good season.”

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