THE kids at Finley were elated after pulling off a clean sweep of the winner’s board in the School’s Interbreed Competition last weekend at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show – landing all three major awards.
Finley High School, Finley, NSW, claimed champion ram, champion ewe and the pairs class with their Poll Dorset entries.
The win comes on the back of the school’s success at the 2009 National Beef carcase competition where their steer secured the impressive supreme carcase title.
“This has topped off an incredible few months for us,” Finley agricultural teacher Gary Webb said.
While the kids were responsible for feeding and meticulously monitoring the stud sheep, some were still surprised with the school’s triple class feat.
“I thought the other sheep were all really good. I didn’t expect to win at all,” year seven student Alaura Perryman said.
“It was a pretty stiff competition.”
The champion ram, affectionately dubbed as “Kyle” by the students, was described by judge Bruce Hamblin as a “magnificently scoped sheep”.
He said the school should be extremely proud of their efforts with the Poll Dorset ram.
Mr Webb said Finley have come a long way since first entering their sheep in the competition three year’s ago.
“Initially, our stud animals were by no means the biggest sheep in the Poll Dorset shed and we would go home a bit disheartened,” he said.
“But now, we have better genetics and our feed regime has improved a lot. We just have to keep that up and continue to get better.”
Kyle, (who was sired by a ram from the Finley Close-Up stud), and the school’s other sheep were fed a special diet of barley, lupins and hay.
Back at school, the students are taught livestock husbandry, along with several other aspects of showing such as leading and presentation.
“In year nine, the curriculum includes a prime lamb production class. Poll Dorsets, in particular, are a very valuable industry in our region,” Mr Webb said.
The three colorful ribbons will return with the students to be proudly displayed in school’s front office, he concluded.
Finley narrowly edged out Tintern in the ram class, who were awarded the reserve sash for their Romney exhibit, while Elisabeth Murdoch came second in the ewe class with their Corriedale entrant.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.