There might have only been a few entries in the English Leicester classes at the 2019 Australian Sheep & Wool Show at Bendigo, but competition was keen with a breeder from Tasmania competing for the first time.
Judge John Beattie, a Lincoln breeder from Yarrawonga, still had an exacting task in adjudicating the sheep bought before him.
The English Leicester is one of the most significant of the long wool breeds, and its heritage status belies its enormous influence on the Australian wool industry.
Supreme exhibit was awarded to the champion ewe bred and shown by breed stalwart Colin Taylor, Koenarl, Timboon.
In the ewe classes, the 11-month-old exhibited by Mr Taylor took the championship ahead of another Koenarl-bred ewe for the reserve championship.
Mr Beattie said he gave the championship to the young ewe for her evenness of wool and her growth.
"I am really impressed with this young ewe, she has terrific potential, her wool was good right across her body," he said.
"It was a lovely line of young sheep, but this young lady has an outstanding fleece."
Mr Beattie said the reserve champion was a "terrific old ewe with the right sort of wool".
In the ram classes, a 2-year-old ram exhibited by Mr Taylor was considered for the championship by Mr Beattie for its evenness of fleece across a very good frame.
"The wool is 50 per cent of the job and I am very impressed with this ram," Mr Beattie said.
"He also stands well and is very correct behind."
The reserve champion ram was shown by George Willows, Nant, Evandale, Tasmania.
Mr Willows, who is still a student, inherited the English Leicester flock from his late grandfather and was very excited to win a major ribbon at his first showing at Bendigo.
His 2-year-old ram was noted to be also very even in his fleece by the judge but lacked depth of body.
"The ram is still a very good sheep but he came up against a ram with a bit better finish," Mr Beattie said.
"I couldn't find any fault with the champion ram, he is a very heavy cutter.
"He is very well covered and a credit to the breed."
Mr Beattie gave the nod for the Best hind-quartered English Leicester to the champion ram.
"As good in the hindquarter as anything here today, very square and very deep, his body counted in the end," he said.
The best wool sheep for an English Leicester ram was awarded to Koenarl.
In the under one and half year group class, the team exhibited by Vanessa and Nick Wootten, Upland, Main Ridge, took the award.
The Duncan McGregor Trophy, a special prize sponsored by the English Leicester Association for best yearling of either sex, was awarded to Mr Taylor for his young ram.
The Encouragement Award was given to Mr Willows for his ram over one and half years.
He also took first and second place in the pair of two rams under one and half years class.