A heavy wool-cutting ram from Tumby Bay stud Collandra North has won the Elders Hogget of the Year at the Eyre Peninsula Pre-Sale Expo held at Wudinna showground on Monday.
Interstate judge Roger Polkinghorne, Charinga Merino stud, St Arnaud, Vic, defined the winning ram as "beautifully balanced" and a testament to the stud's breeding history.
Mr Polkinghorne awarded the Poll Merino tagged White 35 the top spot from an impressive field of 14 hoggets.
"That ram was a true wool-cutter and the industry needs more wool-cutters," he said.
"Wool is a big part of profitability and a ram with such nourished wool and a beautiful carcase is so important."
White 35 was also previously sashed reserve champion March-shorn medium wool ram at this year's Hay Merino Sheep Show in NSW.
The 15-month-old ram - sired by Collandra North White 319 - carried fleece measurements of 20.6 micron, with 3.6 standard deviation, 17.5 coefficient of variation and 98.9 per cent comfort factor.
Collandra North stud principal Sydney Lawrie said the ram's bloodlines traced back to "robust, big wool-cutters".
"It goes back to White 319, which was a big, robust sheep for us," he said.
"It has great bone and it's deep through the twist.
"Its wool nourishment will keep wool white and bright in the drier seasons too."
The winning hogget will be retained in the stud and it will be joined to stud ewes in November.
"We are hopeful it will help continue to stamp constitution and white, bright, nourished wool throughout our stud," Mr Lawrie said.
White 35was placed ahead of a 15-month-old ram from Brimanna stud, Yeelanna.
The February-shorn ram carried fleece measurements of 21.6M, with 3.3SD, 15.1CV and 99.7CF.
Stud principal Jayden Harris said the ram - sired by Moorundie PB388, a ram that sold for $52,000 at the 2017 Adelaide Ram Sale - would be retained in the stud as a new sire.
"It has good, gutsy wool with a long body," he said.
Allala Poll Merino stud, Kapinnie, was third in the competition while Roemahkita Poll Merino stud, Cummins, placed fourth and fifth.
Elders studstock manager Tony Wetherall said it was a well-attended expo.
"The display of rams is a testimony to the studs because they have clearly invested in top genetics," he said.
"It is clear that EP studs are up there with some of the best in the country.
"Last year was tough and these rams have not seen a lot of green feed - so the genetics of the studs is exceptional to have rams looking this good."