South Australian studs made a major interstate broad ribbon raid on the 68th annual Hay Merino Sheep Show in NSW at the weekend, winning nearly all the major awards.
A six-tooth, August-shorn medium wool ram from the Sullivan family, Greenfields stud, Hallett, claimed grand champion ram and supreme exhibit ahead of the grand champion ewe from Wongara Poll Merino stud, Old Junee, NSW.
Judge Nick Wadlow, Old Ashrose stud, Hallett, said the Greenfields ram stood out for being a complete package.
"Its finish and structure is fantastic," he said.
"It has terrific length of staple, its wool is bright, soft and deeply crimped."
J&F 7.2 was bred in the purple, sired by 2017 SA Ram of the Year Greenfields Rex and out of a Greenfields Hussey show ewe which was part of Greenfields pair that represented SA in 2017 at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo, Vic.
Robert Sullivan said the medium wool ram would be retained.
"It is a very good all round sheep, structurally correct and stands well on its feet and legs," he said.
"It has a very long staple of bright medium wool with a good underline and carries a lot of wool right to its points."
Mr Sullivan said Hay was a great opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top studs from Vic and NSW, as well as many SA studs.
"There has always been a lot of strong competition at Hay so it is always good to show to get an idea of where your sheep are at," he said.
Yorke Peninsula-based stud Orrie Cowie made it the third year in a row that a SA stud has claimed the Riverina Wool Australian champion hogget ram title and $5000 cash prize.
Judge Alan Dawson, Winyar stud, Canowindra, NSW, said the Orrie Cowie ram was a very productive type with great wool and lock structure.
Orrie Cowie principal John Dalla, Warooka, said it was fantastic to see the 20.1 micron polled ram, Orrie Cowie 023, rise to the top.
The embryo transfer-bred ram was out of a daughter of Orrie Cowie Prince 613 and sired by Orrie Cowie Eclipse 310, a ram sold privately to Overland stud, NSW, for $35,000 in 2017.
OC 023 weighed 111 kilograms at just 13 months of age.
"We started the Eclipse family when we bought the Coddington Poll ram for $28,000 in 2013 but he is the best of that family we have bred to-date," he said.
"It is very close to what we are trying to breed here at Orrie Cowie, a really balanced sheep with good structure and growth but also high quality wool and plenty of it."
Collinsville stud shows genetic strength in Hay
MID North stud Collinsville was in the winners circle all day at the Hay Merino Sheep Show in NSW ensuring it was the most successful exhibitor.
The stud's broad ribbon haul included Elders champion March-shorn ram and champion August-shorn strong wool ram.
General manager Tim Dalla said it was pleasing to win the award with such strong competition, proving the depth of quality of their show team.
"We entered five short wool classes and won four of them. Most of those rams will be for sale in September," he said.
The stud's champion March-shorn ram - 180641 - came through the two-tooth medium wool class.
The 20.7 micron ram, sired by Star Affair 214, is likely to be offered at the Adelaide Merino ram sale
"It is an elite, heavy-cutting wool ram with outstanding structural correctness - one of the best polled rams we have looked to offer in recent times," Tim said.