WA sheep shine at massive Bendigo sheep show

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Bob GarnantCountryman
Coromandel stud principal Michael Campbell and his Poll Merino ram earned broad ribbons at the Australian Wool and Sheep Show at Bendigo.
Camera IconCoromandel stud principal Michael Campbell and his Poll Merino ram earned broad ribbons at the Australian Wool and Sheep Show at Bendigo. Credit: Chloe Smith

WA-produced Merinos and Poll Merinos have secured a slew of broad ribbons at the country’s premier sheep event — the 142nd Australian Wool and Sheep Show at Bendigo.

Promoted as the world’s biggest wool and sheep event, the show — held from July 19 to July 21 — attracts Australia’s most passionate food, fashion and fibre lovers under its mighty umbrella.

It captivates the best breeders of prime lamb and wool genetics with about 3000 sheep from five States on show, all vying for the champion ribbons for each breed, which has become a national benchmarking showpiece.

Classes ranged from supreme prime lamb and supreme long wool, plus industry standard-setters such as Merino National Pairs and National Fleece competition.

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A total of 64 Merino and Poll Merino from WA, the biggest consignment ever, made their way across the Nullarbor through the efforts of co-ordinators Rob Mullen, of Wickepin, and Ashley Lock, of Narrogin.

Mr Lock said WA breeders did the State proud.

“We were consistent grand champion award winners throughout the wool classes,” he said.

Mr Mullen and his family were pleased to be awarded reserve grand champion fine/medium wool ram with their Quailerup West Poll Merino entry.

Also from the finer category, the Jackson family, of Westerdale stud, of Collie, took out the reserve grand champion fine wool ram award for their August-shorn Poll Merino.

In the medium wool classes, the Campbell family, of Coromandel Poll Merino stud, at Gairdner, were awarded grand champion medium wool ewe and reserve grand champion medium wool ram for their Polls.

Coromandel Poll Merino stud co-principal Michael Campbell had earlier WA success with the ram, which was awarded supreme exhibit at Wagin Woolorama and Williams Gateway Expo.

Most successful WA exhibitor was the Ledwith family, of Kolindale stud, at Kulin, who were awarded the sash for grand champion strong wool ram of the show and also took out the reserve grand champion strong wool for their two Polls.

Medium wool judge Elliot Richardson, of Mianelup stud, at Gnowangerup, said it was his first time to judge the national show.

“It was a big challenge with the numbers of sheep entries and depth of quality,” Mr Richardson said.

A very unfortunate truck and trailer crash with 100 animals on board occurred en route to Bendigo.

Truck owner Doug Giles, who was on board, said the accident happened near Madura, three hours from the South Australia border.

“All of the sheep survived and have passed a veterinary inspection, but we had one cow and an alpaca that died,” he said. “The driver was not seriously injured and I have a shoulder injury.”

Mr Giles said none of the animals continued the journey to Bendigo and were trucked back to Newdegate safely.

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