Ewe little beauties bag wins
Barloo-blood maiden ewes have triumphed in the Elders Flock Ewe Competition for the second time in three years, winning Mingenew farmer Geoff Cosgrove first place.
Mr Cosgrove’s pen of 18-month-old Merino ewes were selected the best from a field of entries by Mid West shearer and competition judge Mike Henderson.
In a double win, Mr Cosgrove’s pen of Cramphorne-blood, 18-month-old Merino ewes scooped second place in the competition, drawing Mr Henderson’s eye.
It was the second time a pen of the Cosgrove’s Barloo-blood ewes had taken out top spot in the competition, after first winning in the competition’s inaugural year in 2017.
This year’s crop of Barloo ewes were fed lupin stubble between November and March, a boon for the ewes’ condition.
“I was confident the Barloo sheep would win, they are a good line of sheep and had a pretty good run on lupin stubble,” Mr Cosgrove said.
“But we were pleased the Cramphorne-blood ewes came third.”
Mr Cosgrove, who is also the McIntosh & Son Mingenew Midwest Expo chairman, said the farm had stayed true to the Barloo bloodline for more than 30 years.
He said Barloo genetics were known for their yield, and he would continue to focus on increasing fertility and consistency.
But the farmers also picked up about 600 Cramphorne-blood ewes at a clearing sale in Muntagin earlier this year, and did a “rough draft” to select their Expo entry during shearing last week.
“We liked them because they had a real softness in the wool and a good frame, very similar to what we are doing at the moment,” he said.
Morawa farmers Rob and Pam Kowald scooped third place in the competition, posing for a photograph with their ram-seller Arra-Dale Merinos and Sandown Poll Dorsets -White Suffolk stud principal Les Sutherland after the win was announced.
The Kowalds run about 2500 at their Pindawa Pastoral Company property and were pleased with their third-place win, after only deciding to enter the competition early on Wednesday morning.
Their 12-month-old Merinos were shorn in March and were “big sheep” which Ms Kowald said yielded “very good wool” and prime lambs.
“This was our first time entering the competition, Ross at Elders is our stock agent and he talked us into it,” she said.
The Elsegood family of Mingenew took out fourth place, their first win in the Expo competition.
Teams of maiden ewes were allowed to have no more than two permanent teeth, and were judged on their wool and commercial qualities, as well as their conformation, structure and size for type.
Elders Mingenew livestock agent Ross Tyndale-Powell said the winning sheep were “well grown”, “with a good long staple in the wool”.
Assistant livestock steward Billi Marshall, who judged last year’s competition, said both the flock ewes and heifers were of a high standard, especially considering the season.
“Everyone up here had a late start and struggled with follow up rain... so the condition of the livestock were representative of the season we have had,” she said.
“It was really good to see some local producers provide livestock for the competition.”
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