Poll Merinos tops among nation's elite

Bob Garnant and Nicola Bell, Weekly TimesThe West Australian

Medium wool Poll Merinos from WA made their presence known at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo at the weekend, but it was a NSW's fine/medium that stole the show.

Matthew Coddington, of Roseville Park, Dubbo, took out the supreme title with a 17.4 micron Merino ewe, Roseville Park 2301.

Judge Robert Harding, of Glendonald stud, Victoria, said the ewe stood well and had beautifully balanced wool that covered right down to its legs.

Speaking about the Roseville Park ewe and a North Ashrose ram that were in the supreme judging, Mr Harding said: "It was a close decision, but the ewe won because she is almost faultless and has a tremendous amount of quality."

Winning a swag of broad ribbons and named best exhibitor, Mr Coddington and wife Cherie had a very rewarding show result.

"The last Bendigo supreme for our camp was in 1998," Mr Coddington said.

Following on from the show, the supreme's half brother, offered by Graham and Susan Coddington, of Coddington Poll stud, Yeoval, NSW, sold for the $28,000 top price at the ram auction.

Putting their best sheep forward for WA, Collyn Garnett, of Willemenup stud, Gnowangerup, and Clinton Blight, of Seymour Park stud, Highbury, combined to take out top awards against a barrage of the nation's best.

Judge Richard Halliday, of Callowie stud, Bordertown, South Australia, described the grand champion medium wool ewe of the show, displayed by Willemenup, as having tremendous make and shape, with great staple length.

"The sheer volume of the ewe makes her really outstanding," he said.

The Willemenup ewe also stood well alongside a Poll ram from the stud in the national Merino pairs competition in which the pair earned the Garnett family the reserve champion sash.

Mr Garnett said he was extremely pleased it being the stud's first national pairs competition and placing runner-up after qualifying earlier in the year at Wagin Woolorama by winning the Countryman Cup.

Willemenup also took out the grand champion strong wool ewe of the show.

Also representing WA's strong hold in medium wool Poll Merino breeding, Mr Blight, of Seymour Park stud, displayed the grand champion medium wool ram of the show.

Mr Blight said there was tremendous interest in the ram from onlookers at the show.

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