It was a hometown celebration in the ultrafine Merino ring with both the grand champion ram and ewe ribbons going to Victorian studs.
The grand champion ultrafine ram was exhibited by John Crawford and his daughter Nicole, Rock-Bank Merino and Poll Merino stud, Victoria Valley, with a ram which first won its four-tooth, August-shorn class.
By ‘Walter’, a ram purchased from Merryville stud, Boorowa, NSW, for $25,000, and from the Ringmaster family, Mr Crawford said he weighs 120 kilograms and expects he will cut a 13kg fleece.
His fleece measurements were 16.4 micron fibre, 2.4 standard deviation (SD), 14.6 coefficient of variation (CV) and 99.9 per cent comfort factor (CF).
Ultrafine judge James Collins, Mt Bute Poll Merino stud, Monton, said the Rock-Bank ram was structurally perfect.
“He is a modern, long-stapled, deep crimping wooled ram with loose skin,” Mr Collins said.
The reserve grand champion ram came from the Cox family of Bocoble stud, Mudgee, NSW, with their champion March-shorn ram.
The grand champion ultrafine ewe was a six-tooth, August-shorn class winner which eventually went through the ranks to be named supreme Merino exhibit of the show.
Bred and exhibited by George and Helen McKenzie, Montrose Hill stud, Illabarook, the ewe had a 15.5 micron fibre diameter fleece, 2.7 SD, 17.4 CV and 99.7pc CF.
Reserve grand champion ultrafine ewe was won by the Rayner family, Grathlyn stud, Hargraves, NSW, with an August-shorn ewe which stood second to the Montrose Hill ewe in the six-tooth class and followed her right through to the tri-colour ribbons.
In the Poll Merinos, the champion poll ram was exhibited by the Henderson family, Avington Merinos, Sidonia, and the champion poll ewe was bred by Murray Picker and family of Hillcreston stud, Bigga, NSW.