Manunda ram choice proves to be right on the Button

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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With the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo and Sale supreme exhibit, Manunda 146, was Manunda Poll Merino stud co-principal Wayne Button, centre, of Tammin, with his sons Scott and Luke.
Camera IconWith the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo and Sale supreme exhibit, Manunda 146, was Manunda Poll Merino stud co-principal Wayne Button, centre, of Tammin, with his sons Scott and Luke. Credit: Countryman

A full wool Poll Merino ram bred in WA’s Wheatbelt has taken out the supreme exhibit award at the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo & Sale event held in Katanning last Thursday and Friday.

The Button family, of Manunda Poll Merino stud, in Tammin, were first-time exhibitors at the prestigious Expo, bringing only one ram to be judged — one of their best.

Manunda stud co-principal Wayne Button said his family usually only displayed and offered rams for sale at Katanning in past expos.

“My two sons Scott and Luke were keen to participate with our special ram in the show judging this year,” he said.

“We have competed successfully at Wagin Woolorama and the Perth Royal Show in the past and I recall winning three supreme awards.”

The Buttons’ 21.6 micron two-tooth ram, Manunda 19-0065, sired by Manunda 1310 and a grandson of Banavie 333, started its reign to the top in the August shorn medium wool Poll Merino ram class with seven in the line-up.

Medium wool judge Shayne Mackin, of Tammin, said the ram had stylish, white and bright wool when he sashed it champion of the class.

“It has the best wool so far,” he said.

During the grand champion Poll Merino ram judging, the Manunda ram stood up against a quality line-up, but this time Mr Mackin collaborated with three other judges including Heather Meaton, of Kojonup, Peter Jackson, of Collie and Philip Gooding, of Tarin Rock, who all agreed the ram was worthy of the win.

Mr Jackson said the Manunda ram had frame size.

“He has a strong sirey head and carries good rich wool,” he said.

Displaying their award winning grand champion August shorn Merino ewe was Woodyarrup stud co-principal Craig Dewar, of Broomehill, and his son Lachlan.
Camera IconDisplaying their award winning grand champion August shorn Merino ewe was Woodyarrup stud co-principal Craig Dewar, of Broomehill, and his son Lachlan. Credit: Countryman
Displaying the award winning grand champion August shorn Merino ram, exhibited by Wililoo stud, was Elanco territory manager Paul Dugan, Wililoo stud co-principals Tegan and Rick Wise, of Woodanilling.
Camera IconDisplaying the award winning grand champion August shorn Merino ram, exhibited by Wililoo stud, was Elanco territory manager Paul Dugan, Wililoo stud co-principals Tegan and Rick Wise, of Woodanilling. Credit: Countryman
Displaying their award winning grand champion August shorn Poll Merino ewe, was Coromandel Poll Merino stud principal Michael Campbell, right, of Gairdner, and his son James.
Camera IconDisplaying their award winning grand champion August shorn Poll Merino ewe, was Coromandel Poll Merino stud principal Michael Campbell, right, of Gairdner, and his son James. Credit: Countryman
With the award winning grand champion March shorn Poll Merino ram, exhibited by Wililoo stud, was Country Wide Insurance Brokers Narrogin account manager Bec Osborne, Wililoo stud co-principals Tegan and Rick Wise, of Woodanilling.
Camera IconWith the award winning grand champion March shorn Poll Merino ram, exhibited by Wililoo stud, was Country Wide Insurance Brokers Narrogin account manager Bec Osborne, Wililoo stud co-principals Tegan and Rick Wise, of Woodanilling. Credit: Countryman
Displaying their award winning grand champion March shorn Merino ram, was Eastville Park stud co-principals Grantly and Lee-Ann Mullan, of Wickepin, with Country Wide Insurance Brokers Narrogin account manager Bec Osborne.
Camera IconDisplaying their award winning grand champion March shorn Merino ram, was Eastville Park stud co-principals Grantly and Lee-Ann Mullan, of Wickepin, with Country Wide Insurance Brokers Narrogin account manager Bec Osborne. Credit: Countryman
With the award winning grand champion March shorn Merino ewe, exhibited by Nyabing-based St Quentin stud, was St Quentin stock hand Corey Neilson, and Virbac agent Tony Murdoch.
Camera IconWith the award winning grand champion March shorn Merino ewe, exhibited by Nyabing-based St Quentin stud, was St Quentin stock hand Corey Neilson, and Virbac agent Tony Murdoch. Credit: Countryman
With the award winning grand champion March shorn Poll Merino ewe, exhibited by Nyabing-based St Quentin stud, was Virbac agent Tony Murdoch and St Quentin stock hand Corey Neilson.
Camera IconWith the award winning grand champion March shorn Poll Merino ewe, exhibited by Nyabing-based St Quentin stud, was Virbac agent Tony Murdoch and St Quentin stock hand Corey Neilson. Credit: Countryman

The Manunda ram’s final test was during the supreme judging when it stood against seven other highly awarded grand champions including a Wililoo August shorn Merino ram, the Woodyarrup August shorn Merino ewe, a Coromandel August shorn Poll Merino ewe, the Wililoo March shorn Poll Merino ram, an Eastville Park March shorn Merino ram and St Quentin’s March shorn Merino and Poll Merino ewes.

Mr Gooding said the Manunda ram was what the industry was looking for after the four judges gave it the nod to be sashed with the supreme ribbon.

Rabobank WA southern depty regional manager Phil Edkins presented the Rabobank Trophy to Wililoo stud co-principal Rick Wise, of Woodanilling.
Camera IconRabobank WA southern depty regional manager Phil Edkins presented the Rabobank Trophy to Wililoo stud co-principal Rick Wise, of Woodanilling. Credit: Countryman

In other major prizes, the four judges awarded the Nutrien Livestock junior champion ram award to the Wise family, of Wililoo stud, in Woodanilling, for their March shorn Poll Merino ram.

Mr Jackson said the ram was very correct and had rich bold wool that was soft.

The Wise family also was awarded three group class wins, including the prestigious Rabobank Trophy for a group of five Merinos or Poll Merinos.

Wililoo stud co-principal Rick Wise said it was the first time his family’s stud had won the Rabobank Trophy.

“We have had a successful show through a combination of hard work, our breeding program and ram preparation,” he said.

With the award winning grand champion pairs, was Wililoo stud co-principals Clint, Tegan and Rick Wise, of Wililoo stud, in Woodanilling.
Camera IconWith the award winning grand champion pairs, was Wililoo stud co-principals Clint, Tegan and Rick Wise, of Wililoo stud, in Woodanilling. Credit: Countryman

The Wise family’s pair of Wililoo August shorn Merino rams were awarded with the grand champion pairs ribbon and they also won the champion pairs award for their March shorn Poll Merino rams.

This year sparked a new competition for a pair of one ram and one ewe, which was won by the Campbell family, of Coromandel stud, in Gairdner.

Judge Daniel Gooding, of Tarin Rock, said the Coromandel pair had productive skins with nourishment, were very even and had good constitution.

The Elders Expo Four competition judged from two categories, brought two winning teams to the fore from 20 entries, with the blue ribbons won by a team of Woodyarrup Merino rams and a team of Mianelup Poll Merino rams.

Judge Gavin Norrish, of Kojonup, said the Woodyarup rams had full bodies and carried long stapled wool, while judge Daniel Gooding said the Mianelup rams were very even, structurally correct with early growth and nourished wools.

The Elanco PRO ram and PRO ewe champions were awarded to entries from Seymour Park and St Quentin respectfully.

WSD Agribusiness territory manager Marcia Devenney, presented the first place prize for the WSD Agribusiness State Ag School Challenge to WA College of Agricutlure - Narrogin students Levi Wagenknecha, 15, Aaron Schilling, 16, Tyson Lansdell, 15, and Libby Hardingham, 15.
Camera IconWSD Agribusiness territory manager Marcia Devenney, presented the first place prize for the WSD Agribusiness State Ag School Challenge to WA College of Agricutlure - Narrogin students Levi Wagenknecha, 15, Aaron Schilling, 16, Tyson Lansdell, 15, and Libby Hardingham, 15. Credit: Countryman

WA College of Agriculture — Narrogin students won the WA State Ag Schools Challenge that involved judging Merino rams.

Challenge judge Kurt Wise, of Woodanilling, said the students from four schools were all very keen.

“They all had a good education base and understanding of the industry,” he said.

The Genstock most points award was won by the Rintoul family, of Tilba Tilba stud, in Williams.

They dominated the superfine and fine wool classes.

Great Southern Merino Sheepbreeders’ Association president Grantly Mullan said the Expo ran very smoothly.

“The judges went well and the quality of Merinos was exceptional,” he said.

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