Good season adds to positive vibe

Claire TyrrellCountryman

A thriving meat and wool industry set up a record-breaking year for sheep exhibits at the Perth Royal Show.

Records were set in the British breed ram sale and the prime lamb auction.

The Bradford family, of Hilltop Park stud, sold their Poll Dorset ram for $20,000, surpassing the previous top price by $5000.

Supreme champion ram in the Poll Dorset category went to the Wilson family, of Willow Park. The ram sold for $9200 in the British breeds ram sale.

A top price of $5500 was achieved in the prime lamb auction for three Poll Dorset/Composite carcases from C Heggaton.

Councillor in charge of sheep and prime lambs Peter Gelmi said the auction and associated judging were highlights of the show.

"We had 34 pens of lambs for on the hoof and hook judging and carcase judging," he said. "The sale grossed a total of $34,600."

Last year's top price of $3600 in the prime lamb auction was broken twice in this year's sale, with a second top price of $4400. A total of $15,000 from the prime lamb auction was donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Meat breeds were well represented at the Show this year.

There were 665 sheep from 10 breeds - Border Leicester, Suffolk, South Suffolk, Shropshire, Wiltshire Horn, Wilti Poll, Poll Dorset, Prime Samm, Texel and White Suffolk.

There were also 16 Corriedales and 34 Dorpers and White Dorpers.

At the end of the week, 190 Merinos entered the show ring line-up. Manunda stud principals Wayne and Pippa Button, of Tammin, won supreme exhibit with their grand champion Poll Merino ram.

Manunda also won grand champion titles with their Poll Merino ewe and Merino ewe.

Mr Gelmi said a strong growing season had added to a positive atmosphere in the sheep shed.

"Most people are happy. Crops and sheep feed is good and sheep and wool prices are up," he said. "It is a positive time for the industry."

A total of 905 sheep were exhibited this year.

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