MORE than 4000 entries from across Australia were received for the Merino SA and Fairfax Agricultural Media 'Win 50' promotion, with ewes from some of SA's premier Merino studs up for grabs.
Two large barrels were stuffed full of entries for the draw - conducted at the conclusion of LambEx 2014 last week - with more than 3600 entries mailed in from coupons in Fairfax Media newspapers, and 700 more entries received at the event.
The lucky winner of 50 Merino ewes was Ashlea Tuohey, from Axedale, Vic, who was overseas on her honeymoon and only received the good news a couple of days later.
"It was wonderful. I entered with a coupon every week so I'm really happy that all those stamps have been put to good use," she said.
Ashlea and her husband have a small amount of land at Colbinabbin, running 150 Merino wethers and a few Merino ewes.
They will mate the ewes to Border Leicesters.
Second prize of a 16-week-old Kelpie pup, donated by Kelvale Kelpies, and 10 Merino ewes remained in SA.
Craig McLachlan from Newbold Poll Dorset and Texel stud, Gawler River, was the winner. Bill Close, his father-in-law, accepted the prize on Craig's behalf.
"It is a long time since we have had stud Merinos on the property but we might have to think about breeding some now," Mr Close said.
Merino SA president Peter Meyer said the competition was a great success, raising the profile of the SA Merino.
Twelve studs - Blue Hills, Greenfields, Hilton Heath, Mernowie, Mulloorie, North Ashrose, Nyowee, Old Ashrose, Orrie Cowie, Radnor, Roemahkita and White River - each donated five March-shorn 1.5-year-old ewes for the competition.
"We are thrilled with the number of entries but also the positive comments about the ewes during LambEx and their evenness," Mr Meyer said.
"The way they have come up so evenly from a number of studs shows the breeding objectives of those studs breeding a SA Merino are pretty similar."
* Full report in Stock Journal, July 17, 2014 issue.