Supreme sash to Woolkabin ram
Record Merino sheep entries produced a memorable outcome for the Patterson family, of Woolkabin stud, Woodanilling, at the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo last week at Katanning.
The three judges were unanimous in their decision after inspecting some 250 entries to acclaim Woolkabin Elliot, a medium wool August-shorn Poll Merino ram, their choice for the supreme exhibit ribbon, which also entitled the ram to be sashed WA Ram of the Year.
Judge Ian Michael, of Nyowee stud, Balaklava, South Australia, said the ram had beautiful lustrous medium wool all over its frame which was made up of good bone and the Poll Merino represented a very productive type.
The four-tooth 21.1 micron ram, which was ET-bred, sired by a Strath-Haddon Poll, was earlier judged champion medium wool August shorn Poll Merino ram before being sashed as the grand champion Poll Merino ram of the show.
Also showing exceptional quality during the expo were the grand champions of their respected classes.
During the supreme judging, Woolkabin’s ram came up against three other grand champions — St Quentin’s August-shorn Poll Merino Ewe, Barloo’s March shorn Merino ram and Belmont Park’s March shorn Poll Merino ewe.
Earlier during the grand champion Poll Merino ram competition, the Woolkabin ram edged out a strong-wool Lewisdale ram which the judges admired for its massive size and excellent structure.
The House family, of Barloo stud, Gnowangerup, also had success winning the Landmark Junior Champion Ram competition award as well as the grand champion pair of rams award sponsored by Countryman.
The Barloo 2-tooth ram, from the stud’s Mandela family, was later sashed as the grand champion Merino ram of the show.
The March-strong wool Poll Merino ram class produced one of the largest number of entries (26), with the judges awarding a Mianelup ram as the champion, with a Willemenup ram in reserve.
The Mianelup ram, sired by Banavie 333, was later judged overall champion March shorn Poll Merino ram of the show, with a Mianelup medium wool ram, sired by Mianelup Expo, in reserve, which was from the largest class of 28 entries.
Judge Ray Edmonds, of Rhamily stud, Calingiri, said the Mianelup strong-wool ram had excellent structure, with extra thickness and a wonderful top-line.
Mianelup also produced the win in the Rabobank Trophy competition for their team of 5 March shorn Poll Merino rams against 9 other team entries.
Expo co-ordinator Rod Norrish said it was the largest number of entries ever put forth in Rabobank Trophy group class.
Other highlights of the expo included a 15 ram line-up in the production class, which produced a win for the Mackin family’s Kamballie stud, of Tammin.
The 20.6 micron, 126kg Kamballie ram measured a fat scan of 6.8 and an eye muscle area of 36.1 and had a combined carcase, fleece and visual scores to obtain the winning 79 points out of 100.
Elders Expo Fours competition produced two winners for a group of four rams — Woodyarrup stud (non-regulation shorn) and the Seymour Park stud (regulation shorn).
Along with the expo’s top awards, broad ribbon winners were well spread across many of the 42 studs that participated.
In the superfine classes, a 15 micron Rosedale March shorn Poll Merino ram, with a 99.9 per cent comfort factor, was sashed best in the show with fine wool judge Steven Phillips, of Yarrawonga stud, Harden, NSW, residing.
Rosedale co-principal Heather Meaton, of Kojonup, said the ram was also well decorated at the National Bendigo show, winning the champion ultrafine sash.
In the Elanco Pro Ram competition, a 19-micron Angenup ram took out the win which produced a 16.4kg fleece with a comfort factor of 99.6. The Elanco Pro Ewe competition produced a win for Tilba Tilba with the stud’s 80kg ewe producing an 18.1-micron fleece which weighed 10.2kg.
Also part of the Expo action, the WA State Ag School Sheep Handling Challenge had a strong focus on education for students.
Challenge organiser Kurt Wise said the winning team — WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin (team 1), were well practised.
The Great Southern Merino Sheepbreeders’ Association, which organises the expo, announced that starting this week, a new competition — the WA Premium Lot of the Week — feature an expo display of 44 winning wool sample lots judged during the AWEX 2017-18 auction season.
GSMSA committee member Jeremy King said the winning lots would be judged each week with plans in place to display and auction the entire collection of sample lots at the 2018 Rabobank WA Sheep Expo.
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