A TENSE finish in the Suffolk ring at the Royal Melbourne Show yesterday saw the Deppeler family's ewe from Derrinallum narrowly edge out the champion ram.
Tasmanian judge Dianne Huett, Deloraine, visibly struggled to pick a winner due to the quality line-up of sheep on the day, but went with the ewe at the last minute for the supreme gong.
"I am flabbergasted," she said.
"This class stretched me to the limit. But when you see the ewe is the same size as the ram and she's produced the goods, then I had to go with her.
"She will go far, however that takes nothing away from the ram, because these were two sheep I was impressed with from the beginning."
Deppeler Suffolks stud principal Rebecca Deppeler was overwhelmed and thrilled with the result.
She said her two-year-old entry, dubbed Georgie, was shown at the Melbourne Royal last year, where she was awarded champion ewe.
This year she went one better and clinched the supreme title, with a four-week-old ewe lamb at-foot.
"I knew she would go well, but I didn't think she would go this well," Ms Deppeler said,
The Deppelers exhibited five sheep altogether, and also exhibited the reserve champion ewe.
The champion ram and reserve champion ram broadribbons were both paraded by the South Australian stud, Allendale, Bordertown, SA.
Stud principal Alastair Day said the winning ram was an August-drop entry, and had previously been shown at the Adelaide Royal Show, where he won the August-drop class.
"The plan is to sell both of these rams at our sale in October now," Mr Day said.
The Day family prepared nine rams altogether.
The livestock judging at the Royal Melbourne Show continues today with the sheep interbreed competition.