Varley, Newdegate and Williams farmers take out top three in State Ewe Hogget Competition

Email Shannon Verhagen
Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition judge Jason Griffiths, Dyson Jones wool manager Peter Howie, runner-up Robert Newman, winner Bryce Sinclair, third-place winner Shaun Counsel and judge Scott Pickering.
Camera IconNewdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition judge Jason Griffiths, Dyson Jones wool manager Peter Howie, runner-up Robert Newman, winner Bryce Sinclair, third-place winner Shaun Counsel and judge Scott Pickering.

After a “great year for sheep” with plenty of rain, it was local breeders who came out on top at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition.

Many farmers’ dams which had run dry over the past few years were replenished with this year’s widespread rainfall, with summer and autumn rain ensuring plenty of green feed for stock.

FIRST: Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition winner Bryce Sinclair.
Camera IconFIRST: Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition winner Bryce Sinclair. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman/Pictures: Shannon Verhagen, Shannon Verhagen/Countryman

Canowie Fields stud co-principal Jason Griffiths, of Gairdner, and Pyramid Poll stud co-principal Scott Pickering, of Cascade, travelled to judge the competition.

“It’s just good to see people putting their sheep up for critique and supporting the local competition,” Mr Griffiths said.

“Generally all the sheep were in good condition and presented very well. It’s been a great year for them.”

SECOND: Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition runner-up Rob Newman, of Newdegate.
Camera IconSECOND: Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition runner-up Rob Newman, of Newdegate. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman/Shannon Verhagen/Countryman

Varley grain and sheep farmer Bryce Sinclair and Newdegate grower Rob Newman claimed first and second prizes respectively for their animals in a competitive field of seven.

“It’s good to finally get a win,” Mr Sinclair said. “I’ve been doing it for a fair while now.”

“I was happy with the sheep, but you come in and start looking over everyone else’s sheep and they’re all pretty good. There were some bloody nice sheep here.”

Mr Sinclair — who was also the event organiser — was pleased with the number of entries, which came from local farms as well as Williams and Nyabing.

“There’s a good mix,” he said.

“Seven is a good number.”

THIRD: Shaun Counsel, of Warrening Gully in Williams, placed third in the Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition.
Camera IconTHIRD: Shaun Counsel, of Warrening Gully in Williams, placed third in the Newdegate Machinery Field Days State Ewe Hogget Competition. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman/Shannon Verhagen/Countryman

Williams farmer Shaun Counsel, of Warrening Gully, was pleased to snag third place for his ewes, which were all part of their own nucleus. “We breed our own rams — they are all bred from rams we’re breeding ourselves,” he said.

“They’ve been through a lot of rain this year — 300mm of rain in six weeks through July-August.

“Their wools are still quite white, they probably could be whiter but considering what they’ve had on top of them (I’m happy).

“We’re really happy with the way the wools we’ve been breeding are holding up to the weather — that’s the aim of the game.”

He said they also bred for structure, to ensure their body was “right to handle rain”.

First prize was $1500, with $1000 for second and $500 for third.

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