For the fourth year in a row, Norton Summit's Jade De-Gregorio has been named winner of the Royal Adelaide Show Junior Alpaca Judging competition, with her experience and professionalism at assessing alpacas and fleeces paying off to help her secure the top title.
The 22-year-old first competed at the Royal Adelaide Show seven years ago, and said she felt more comfortable after years of experience.
"The first three or four years I didn't place in any of the competitions, but to now be at this point where I can be pretty confident is really nice," she said.
Miss De-Gregorio said the key to judging was assessing with consistency.
"You have to make sure you check the same things on each animal, and you have to have a bit of a baseline, so when you're checking something you know if it's good or bad," she said.
"But it's all about comparisons, so being able to compare and say one is denser than another, or one is finer."
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As a former Urrbrae Agricultural High School student, Miss De-Gregorio was involved in many alpaca competitions at country shows during her school days, and is now an SA representative of the Alpacas Education Committee,.
"We're trying to organise a few more events to run in SA to get a few more people involved in judging," she said.
Overjudge Marc Mullette, Shahrizai Alpacas, Middleton, said Miss De-Gregorio was a polished competitor, who had well and truly mastered the fundamentals of judging.
"She's got really good instincts, you can't teach people that," Mr Mullette said.
"It's those instincts as well as her experience that makes her very hard to beat in the competion.
"I don't know what these other kids are going to do to catch her."
Mr Mullette praised all the contestants on their judging performance.
"It's such a hard thing to do, and they have to be really courageous, they did very well," he said.
Miss De-Gregorio's win has qualified her for the National Young Judges Championships, to be held at the Perth Royal Show in late September and early October.
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