Expo makes its comeback

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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With the supreme exhibit of the Williams Gateway Expo Merino and Poll Merino competition, exhibited by the Manunda stud, was Manunda stud co-principal Luke Button, of Tammin, Judges Jason Griffiths, Andrew Chapman and Richard House, and AWN WA wool manager Greg Tilbrook.
Camera IconWith the supreme exhibit of the Williams Gateway Expo Merino and Poll Merino competition, exhibited by the Manunda stud, was Manunda stud co-principal Luke Button, of Tammin, Judges Jason Griffiths, Andrew Chapman and Richard House, and AWN WA wool manager Greg Tilbrook. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

The 21st Williams Gateway Expo held on Saturday was a crowd pleaser celebrating its return to normalcy after the event was cancelled last year because of COVID-19.

Expo president and Williams Merino breeder Dennis Haddrick said it was good to be back.

“We had great weather with plenty of sunshine and the crowd was similar in numbers to our last three expos,” he said.

With one of the main events taking place at the sheep shed, the expo produced first time Expo supreme winners in both the Merino and Poll Merino judging with 124 entries and the British and Australasian sheep breeds competition with 252 entries.

The Button family, of Manunda stud in Tammin, who are regular participants at many of WA’s Merino and Poll Merino judging competitions were pleased to take out the top supreme award at Williams for the first time.

Their best in the shed exhibit, Manunda 65, a Poll Merino ram, was earlier judged grand champion ram of the Expo against an Angenup Merino ram that was awarded supreme exhibit at Wagin Woolorama in March.

Judge Richard House said the supreme line up that included the rams from Manunda and Angenup, had both displayed outstanding qualities.

“We awarded the Poll as best on the day,” he said.

With the champion group of Poll Merinos, exhibited by the Rangeview stud, was Rangeview stud co-principal Jeremy King, of Darkan, John King, Gemma King, 13, Melinda King, Erin King, 9, and Tom King, front 14.
Camera IconWith the champion group of Poll Merinos, exhibited by the Rangeview stud, was Rangeview stud co-principal Jeremy King, of Darkan, John King, Gemma King, 13, Melinda King, Erin King, 9, and Tom King, front 14. Credit: Countryman

Also winning a first title at the Expo, the King family of Rangeview stud in Darkan, were awarded the champion group award for their two Poll Merino rams and two Poll Merino ewes, all carrying fine to superfine fleeces.

With the interbreed supreme exhibit of the Williams Gateway Expo British and Australasian sheep breeds competition, exhibited by the Lakeside Poll Dorset stud, was Steve Eales, of Popanyinning.
Camera IconWith the interbreed supreme exhibit of the Williams Gateway Expo British and Australasian sheep breeds competition, exhibited by the Lakeside Poll Dorset stud, was Steve Eales, of Popanyinning. Credit: Countryman

In the British and Australasian breeds judging, the supreme exhibit title went to Lakeside Poll Dorset stud, owned by Wally Mills, of East Brookton.

“I have never won such a prize,” he said.

Mr Mills’ first ever prized Poll Dorset ram was exhibited by Steve Eales, who runs the Lakeside stud at his Popanyinning property.

With the interbreed champion ewe of the British and Australiasian sheep breeds competition, exhbited by Codji Springs White Suffolk stud, was judges Rivers Hyde and Laurie Fairclough, with Codji Springs stud co-principals Ryan and Courtney Marwick, of Pumphreys Bridge, with their children Asha, 10 weeks, and Kaylee, 2.
Camera IconWith the interbreed champion ewe of the British and Australiasian sheep breeds competition, exhbited by Codji Springs White Suffolk stud, was judges Rivers Hyde and Laurie Fairclough, with Codji Springs stud co-principals Ryan and Courtney Marwick, of Pumphreys Bridge, with their children Asha, 10 weeks, and Kaylee, 2. Credit: Countryman

The Marwick family, of Codji Springs White Suffolk stud in Pumphreys Bridge, were awarded the interbreed ewe title.

Stud co-principal Ryan Marwick said it was Codji Springs first interbreed title after the stud was established in 2018.

With the champion interbreed group from the Williams Gateway Expo British and Australasian sheep breeds competition, exhibited by the Leween Poll Dorset stud, was Maureen and Lewis Shepherd, of Narrogin, Tim Shepherd, Jack Shepherd, 14, Maddie Shepherd, 12, Claire Shepherd and Kate Shepherd, 9.
Camera IconWith the champion interbreed group from the Williams Gateway Expo British and Australasian sheep breeds competition, exhibited by the Leween Poll Dorset stud, was Maureen and Lewis Shepherd, of Narrogin, Tim Shepherd, Jack Shepherd, 14, Maddie Shepherd, 12, Claire Shepherd and Kate Shepherd, 9. Credit: Countryman

Also taking a major first win at the Expo, the Shepherd family, of Leween Poll Dorset stud, in Narrogin, won the British and Australasian interbreed group title with their two rams and two ewes.

Stud co-principal Tim Shepherd said one of the ewes in the group was the judged interbreed supreme champion at Wagin Woolorama.

British and Australasian sheep breeds steward Grant Bingham said the packed shed of meat sheep was the result of the Expo being only a one day show with its friendly atmosphere of support.

The Expo’s shearing competition brought 17 competitors to the second event of the season.

With most of the competitions cancelled last year, because of COVID-19, many shearers made their first return to competition.

Broomehill shearer Damien Boyle took out the open title, repeating his victory from 2019 at Williams.

Williams Gateway Expo models Emmi Duff, 15, and Emma Liddelow wore woollen fashion designs by Toorallie.
Camera IconWilliams Gateway Expo models Emmi Duff, 15, and Emma Liddelow wore woollen fashion designs by Toorallie. Credit: Countryman

Also on parade at the Expo was woollen fashion designs supplied by the Williams Wool Shed.

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