Angelique Dellaney surprised herself when she won the junior Prime SAMM sheep judging competition on Thursday, September 7.
The year 9 Lucindale Area School student had never judged before and won the competition from a pool of 24 entrants.
“I didn’t know I could do it; I didn’t think I’d do very well,” she said.
Angelique, who lives at Koppamurra, liked to analyse an animal from the head first when judging.
“I look at the teeth and just work my way to the back of the body, so I really look at the shoulders, the back, the rump, and then how they stand,” she said.
Angelique had studied agriculture since she started at the school in year 8. She thanked agriculture teacher Carol Hille, among others, for their support.
Angelique said she would like to live on a farm with sheep.
Judge Ike Ashby of Mount Alma Dohne Merinos, Coonalpyn, liked Angelique’s approach to examining the animal.
“I was quite impressed when she went through the sheep; she was quite methodical,” he said.
His advice to participants was to be systematic in their approach to sheep judging.
Mr Ashby said most participants scored between 40 and 50 points.
“I was very impressed with their ability to pick out the faults and the positive aspects about the sheep,” he said.
Mr Ashby said there was a range of views presented.
“With judging sheep, a lot of it is opinion,” he said.
“You rarely get a sheep that’s faultless.”
Mr Ashby said judges had to be respectful to the breeder, even if they did not like the sheep, in how they delivered their comments and behaved with the animal.
Mr Ashby said teeth and feet are crucial, as an animal’s ability to cross country and feed itself affected its ability to maximise profit. As such, it was good to analyse an animal’s teeth first.
He said the best sheep in the selection was quite correct.
Mr Ashby said muscling is very important in Prime SAMMs, as it was a 60 per cent meat, 40pc wool sheep.
The best sheep of the samples presented was a ram from Lawral Park Prime SAMM stud. The animal, 6100, weighed 129.5kg, had 22.1 micron wool and 48mm eye muscle depth.
The ram won Supreme Champion Prime SAMM Exhibit and Champion Prime SAMM Ram at the show.
Mrs Hille said she was incredibly proud of Angelique’s win.
“Angelique has put in a lot of hard work and it’s clearly paid off,” she said.
“She’s very enthusiastic and seeks to do her best at all times. She always seeks to find out more.”