Stud record reflects optimism

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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The annual Narrogin Long Wool Day was a hive of activity last week as the shed filled to capacity with rams from 42 Merino studs.

Event co-ordinator Ashley Lock said it was the biggest group of studs ever to display at the Narrogin Ram Shed venue.

Plenty of encouraging conversations took place as many breeders, representing a wide section of the State, were busy talking up the industry.

"With the season turnaround in the last six weeks and the continuation of good wool and sheep prices, there is some optimism out there," Mr Lock said.

One of the highlights of the event was when dual national blade shearing champion John Dalla shore the East Mundalla ram that was awarded supreme at the recent National Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo.

The top-gun shearer and Narrogin Agriculture College teacher was watched by a big crowd of onlookers who were curious about how much the ram's fleece would weigh and what the much talked about Merino would look like freshly shorn.

East Mundalla stud principal Philip Gooding said his short stint in the show ring brought home another Bendigo supreme exhibit for WA.

While the ram was entitled to continue competing at the Katanning show on August 18, during WA's Merino Week, it was decided that was not in the best interests of the animal.

"It is time to look after the ram and get the unique sire ready for the breeding season," Mr Gooding said.

"We were very pleased how the fleece came off and how the bare-shorn ram stood, showing the quality that made him a true champion."

Merino consultant Bruce Cameron said the wool was of outstanding quality and the breeding should be very beneficial to the industry.

The Eaton family, of Olinda stud, displayed their medium wool champion Poll Merino ram from Bendigo which is destined to compete in the show ring at Katanning.

Also adding to the Long Wool Day was the Blight family's newly acquired Shahs' stud rams.

Stud co-principal Clinton Blight said the Shahs Poll Merino stud would coincide nicely with the family's Seymour Park rams at the Narrogin Ram Sale on September 30.

"We will offer 120 rams in total," Mr Blight said.

A total of $3000 was raised for the Royal Flying Doctor Service when DBC-packaged lamb was auctioned.

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