Ewe continues winning ways

Coryule wins major prize in Royal Melbourne Show Fleece Competition.


Royal Melbourne Show Sheep
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Coryule Merinos has again won the the champion skirted fleece of the Royal Melbourne Show Fleece Competition.

Coryule Merinos has again won the the champion skirted fleece of the Royal Melbourne Show.

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The Willowvale-based stud and farming operation has now won the prize five times in the past six years.

It was awarded to their superfine fleece, which came off a ewe that already had a tremendous haul of show ribbons. She was champion junior ewe and reserve champion fine wool ewe at Balmoral; junior fine wool ewe and reserve champion fine wool ewe at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, Bendigo; supreme Merino exhibit at Ballarat; and reserve champion fine wool ewe at Sheepvention, Hamilton.

“She’s had a cracking year,” said Coryule manager Craig Trickey.

She was shorn the day after Sheepvention. With bigger jobs held off by the rain, the shearer shore five ewes and two rams from the Coryule show team.

Mr Trickey skirted the wool. He said to prepare the fleece, they unrolled it and checked it over a second time.

He said once it was skirted, the fleece weighed 8kg.

The ewe was out of an ET program and was by Nerstane 231 and out of the ewe Coryule 321 – who had won the same fleece competition in 2013.

Mr Trickey said at this stage, they had the two year-old ewe earmarked for an ET program and would hopefully flush her early next year.

Coryule also had best fine Merino fleece, off a ram.

Another major winner of the competition – which is conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria –was Doug Hopkins, Challicum, Buangor, near Ararat.

He won champion lambs' wool with a Polwarth fleece.

Mr Hopkins runs Challicum Polwarth stud, as well as a large commercial operation with about 3500 Polworths and about the same number of Merinos.

The sheep lamb in April and are shown in October.

Mr Hopkins usually picks out the sheep whose fleece he’ll consider entering before shearing. He picks them based on the wool’s character and consistency. He puts the fleeces aside and then goes back through them.

Mr Hopkin likes to continue the family tradition of entering this fleece competition, and said it’s important to keep agricultural competitions and displays going at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Each year, the Henry W. Hopkins Memorial Award is presented to a first-time exhibitor.

Mr Hopkins also won best Merino lambs' wool, best Polwarth lambs' wool, best comeback or crossbred lambs' wool, best Polwarth fleece, best non-Merino fleece as well as most successful lambs' wool and overall exhibitor.

The fleeces available for viewing at the Show until Tuesday, October 3. 

Craig Trickey, Coryule Merinos, Willowvale, and Doug Hopkins, Challicum Polwarth stud, Buangor, with their respective champion skirted fleece and champion lambs' wool of the Royal Melbourne Show Fleece Competition.

Craig Trickey, Coryule Merinos, Willowvale, and Doug Hopkins, Challicum Polwarth stud, Buangor, with their respective champion skirted fleece and champion lambs' wool of the Royal Melbourne Show Fleece Competition.

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