When it came to the interbreed judging at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show (ASWS), it was a force of femininity that rose to the top to take the individual awards.
A 15-month-old Poll Dorset ewe, bred by the Frost family, Hillden stud, Bannister, was crowned the supreme prime lamb exhibit of the show.
With the win came a rush of emotion from stud principal Brian Frost, who said it means that much more when conditions on the land are so testing at present.
“You are going from one extreme to the other. This win means even more - the emotions definitely build up,” Mr Frost said.
The supreme ewe (224-17) was out of H611-14 and by Hillden 295-14, a ram that was sold to a WA client three years ago, but semen was retained by the stud.
A month ago she was named the supreme exhibit at the NSW Dorset Championships at Cowra.
Mr Frost described the supreme Poll Dorset ewe ewe as “beautiful, feminine and doesn’t put a foot wrong”.
“She is not an overly big ewe, but she is just so correct,” he said.
Interbreed judge Wallace Binnie, Bungeet, Victoria, said she was the ultimate in fleshing, femininity and finesse.
“She was a sheep that could have stood on her own in the paddock or show ring,” Mr Binnie said.
“She was a natural that didn’t need to be pushed or shoved to get her to look at her very best. She’s a top example of the breed.”
Reserve prime lamb exhibit went to the White Suffolk ram exhibited by the Mitchell family of Rene stud, Culcairn.
“The reserve supreme was a marvellous animal,” Mr Binnie said.
“He was a beauty - a very good sheep.”
Winning the supreme long wool section of the show was a Border Leicester ewe bred by the Jackson family of Jackson Border Leicesters, Moyston.
Stud co-principal Ross Jackson said the rising two year-old ewe by ‘Jackson Ironman’ and out of a Duenclin ewe, was a big volume ewe carrying a great fleece of wool.
“She has bought us the biggest win that we have ever had at this show,” Mr Jackson said.
“We have previously won some big ribbons at Adelaide, but this would be right at the top of the list.”
The ewe was last year reserve junior champion at the ASWS and reserve champion ewe at the Adelaide Royal Show.
Long wool interbreed judge Noel Price, Broadwater, said she stood out in the line-up.
“She was a great deep bodied ewe with a lot of femininity,” Mr Price said.
The reserve ribbon also went to a ewe in the Corriedale breed, exhibited by Peter Baker of Baringhup, Vic.
The short wool heritage was a Southdown ram exhibited by Fairbank, Hagley, Tasmania, and Chandapara stud, Tylden (in equal partnership), and the long wool heritage was a Lincoln ram shown by the Christie family, Garvald, Vic.
Hillden were also named the winners of the supreme Australian prime lamb group with their group of one ram and two ewes.
The judges, Mr Binnie, Nick Lawrence and Marylyne Stevens, said they were looking for an exceptional lead ram that was stronger than the ewes, yet the ewes had to be top breeders, and that is what they found in Hillden’s Poll Dorset group.
“The Poll Dorset group stood out, but they were hard pressed by the White Suffolks and the Suffolks,” Mr Binnie said.
Mr Frost said the lead ram of the group, who will be retained by the stud, was particularly meaty, with a tremendous back leg.
“The two ewes are smooth and particularly good on their feet and legs,” Mr Frost said.
“I think they will both be top breeders.”
Reserve supreme in prime lamb group went to the White Suffolk breed also exhibited by Rene stud, Culcairn.
In the long wool section, the Border Leicester group were named supreme, bred by the Sutton family from Wattle Farm stud, Temora.
Mr Price said the Border Leicesters were an extremely even group, which is what got them over the line.
All three sheep in the group (one lead ram and two ewes) were sired by a Glenlea ram (11-2015) bought at the Horsham sale in 2016.
Stud principal Jeff Sutton said they were big upstanding types, well balanced with stylish heads.
“They were very big sheep for their age, they are only just 12 months old now,” Mr Sutton said.
Interbred judge Trevor James said the Border Leicesters had big upstanding frames with good, even wool on all three animals.
Reserve long wool group went to the Corriedale breed which were shown by Sweetfield stud, Mt Moriac, Vic.
Wattle Farm were also announced the overall winners of the ASSBA group.
In second place was Otto stud, Walla Walla, NSW, representing Suffolks and Boonong Park, Langwarrin, with their Hampshire Downs in third.
Cleanskins group was won by the Australian Whites breed exhibited by the Rowney family of Gammandale, Lascelles.
Reserve position in the cleanskin group went the the Wiltipoll breed which was exhibited by Reevesdale stud, Murringo.
The winning heritage short wool group was the Hampshire Downs breed from Boonong Park.