High spirits in the ring at Williams

Sally HincksCountryman

Spirits were high in the Merino ring at last Saturday’s excellent 12th Williams Gateway Expo.

Wool prices have been delighting growers, so it was no surprise that 153 Merinos from 34 studs were entered into the show, which goes from strength to strength each year.

And when it came to the ram grand champions, there were repeat performances from two magnificent rams — Philip and Daniel Gooding’s Woolorama supreme Merino exhibit doing likewise at Williams, while Don and Brad Eaton’s Olinda Poll Merino ram was honoured with the grand championship, a replication of his Woolorama performance.

Vying for the supreme purple broad ribbon at Williams with those two rams was the Navanvale champion strong wool Merino ewe — and later grand champion Merino ewe.

(She had earlier been awarded the Toorackie grand champion ewe of- show trophy against the East Strathglen grand champion Poll Merino ewe.)

The Gooding’s enormous Merino ram has had everyone talking since his first sighting at Woolorama, and the Gateway Expo judges were no exception.

“He’s a massive ram with very good wool,” judge Elliot Richardson, of Mianelup stud said, after the ram had been sashed with the strong wool tricolour broad ribbon.

An Angenup ram was in reserve.

“His sheer size is so impressive and the wool on him is slightly better than the Poll Merino,” judge Pat Brown, of Paraway Pooginook said, after the judges voted the East Mundalla ram as the overall champion.

The ram was sired by Charinga Tom and out of a Western Purple mother. He was prepared at Ashley Lock’s Narrogin shed.

An East Strathglen ram was reserve grand champion.

Accepting the supreme trophy, Philip Gooding thanked the organisers for a great day.

“There’s a great crowd and it is well-patronised. I also thank Ash Lock — the ram was a scrawny thing when he got to Ash’s,” he said.

Mr Gooding also congratulated the Eatons. “Their ram is what the industry wants,” he said.

The Navanvale grand champion Merino ewe — with an East Strathglen ewe in reserve — was described by judge Elliott Richardson as a big strong wool ewe and very correct.

“I can’t fault her at all,” he said.

The ewe is by Wallaloo Park 13 and, on the ewe side, goes back to Woodyarrup 264.

The Olinda grand champion Poll Merino won his medium wool class before being sashed as the champion in that section. “He’s a big, uncomplicated and very desirable ram,” judge Pat Brown said.

A Willemenup ram was in reserve.

The Olinda ram is a grandson of Sir Winston and out of a Wylie daughter.

The East Strathglen grand champion Poll Merino ewe stood well, said judge Dennis Haddrick of Toorackie stud.

“She’s a lovely feminine ewe, has a lovely muzzle and great long-stapled wool,” he said.

The medium wool ewe was a full sister to Sir Dick and was reserve medium wool Poll Merino ewe at Wagin Woolorama.

A Willemenup ewe was reserve grand champion.

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