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Supreme win for Angenup

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian

Heavy cutting mid-micron Merino sheep with stylish white wool were highly rewarded at the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo and Ram Sale event held last week at Katanning.

Making a winning comeback this year, the Norrish family, of Angenup stud, Kojonup, were extremely pleased when the judges sashed their 4-tooth Merino ram Angenup Bruce L80, with the supreme ribbon in the closing stages of the two-day expo.

The ram was earlier judged champion medium wool August-shorn Merino ram.

After the judges' decision, Angenup stud principal Rod Norrish said "it was good to be recognised for having the heaviest cutting full-wool Merino of the show".

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"The ram has a skin type that carries rich productive wool," he said.

Teamed up with another Angenup Merino ram, the stud won the grand champion pair of rams competition sponsored by _Countryman _.

Mr Norrish was especially proud of his grandson Lachy who helped his father, Gavin and uncle Paul, exhibit rams at the show.

"Lachy is going to be an excellent sheep man," Mr Norrish said.

The 15-year-old said he enjoys being a student at Bunbury Grammar while still helping out on the farm at weekends and holidays.

"My school mates are envious of my city-country lifestyle," Lachy said.

"If I am not at school, playing sport or surfing, then I am back home with my sheep dog doing some farm work and learning about the sheep and wool industry.

"I would like to continue the Angenup tradition after my education," he said.

Rabobank WA rural manager Crawford Taylor said it was important to retain and train youth into the farming sector.

"The bank is sponsoring a youth program across Australia which has a goal to train 1000 young people annually by 2020," he said.

Mr Taylor congratulated the Norrish family for both their supreme win and for employing Lachy to represent the next generation so brilliantly at Katanning.

Angenup's last supreme win at Katanning was in 2009 when the stud's Merino ram, Angenup Franklin, was crowned with the prestigious title.

Mr Norrish said he was anxious to weigh Angenup Bruce's fleece which was to be shorn the next day and _Countryman _ followed up to discover the result.

"The fleece met expectations and weighed 18kg for 12 months of growth," Mr Norrish said.

He said the sire of Bruce was a ram from Langdene stud, NSW, which was selected to infuse extra staple into the Angenup flock.

"The ram was out of an Angenup Franklin ewe," Mr Norrish said.

Judge Henry Armstrong said Angenup's ram had a quality fleece and was very heavy cutting which carried down to its belly and hocks.

"The ram will have impact for its quality and abundance of wool," the judge said.

In the supreme line-up, Angenup Bruce was put up against three other qualifiers including a big-barrelled Poll Merino ram from Claypans stud, which earlier was sashed overall grand champion Poll Merino ram, and two overall grand champion ewes (a strong wool Poll and fine/medium wool Merino), both August shorn from Navanvale stud.

Chris Hogg and son Mitchell, of Navanvale stud, also exhibited the reserve overall grand champion Merino ram (medium wool August-shorn), exemplifying depth of breeding that has rewarded their stud with top show ring results in recent years.

"I put down our success to producing bold crimping, mid-micron and well-nourished, wool type Merino sheep on reasonable frames," Chris said.

Other Poll Merinos to claim top awards included an entry from the Coromandel stud which was sashed the grand champion Poll Merino March-shorn ram and Westerdale stud's August-shorn Poll Merino ram was placed reserve to the Claypans ram.

Fine wool judge and former fine wool stud breeder Don Jackson said the classes he presided over were small in numbers but very tidy. "Over the years, fine wools have improved in quality and are getting more lustrous," he said.

In the production class of 13 entries, won by Woolkabin stud, Stocksmart representative Michael O'Neil said the sheep scanned well for muscle, but fat may have been overlooked by the breeders. "High fat contributes to lamb survival," he said.

The Mullan family, of Eastville Park, were pleased to win the Rabobank trophy for their group of five Poll Merino ewes.

"It was our first win for this competition," Rob Mullan said.

Eastville Park won a spread of ribbons including the grand champion March-shorn Poll Merino ewe award and the stud's overall point tally topped the show to claim the Genstock trophy.

The spread of wins also included the Richardson family's Mianelup stud which was awarded with the grand champion March-shorn Merino ram sash and the same ram was also judged junior champion ram of the show.

The Gnowangerup stud also took out the Elders Expo Four group prize for four Poll Merino rams.

The Elders Expo four Merino win was awarded to the Dewar family's Woodyarrup stud.

Belka Valley stud won its third consecutive Landmark ProRam title while the ProEwe win went to Rangeview stud.

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