Cleve climbs to top of massive wether competition

Adelaide Show: Cleve wethers win big feature showing


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IT was the biggest School Wether Competition yet, and this year's feature of the sheep shed did not disappoint.

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IT was the biggest School Wether Competition yet, and this year's feature of the sheep shed did not disappoint.

A whopping 201 wethers lined up in 67 teams of three, an increase of 39 sheep on last year's competition.

Cleve Area School's Sims Farm was triumphant in the overall award, exhibiting the team of three wethers with the most valuable meat and fleece evaluations.

The three wethers collectively were valued at $1002.55, having had the highest meat value of $811.62 and the seventh highest combined fleece value.

Cleve Area School have been part of the competition since it began in 2011, having previously won the major prize in 2016.

And it was far from their only ribbon this year, with the team also winning the show team development award, placing second in the most professional school team judging and third in both the three most valuable skins and best pen of three wethers sections with their overall champion team.

A second team of wethers from the school also took home a handful of ribbons, placing fifth in both the best pen of three wethers and best meat value, making them fifth overall in the competition.

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Highest fleece value of the competition was awarded to a team from Karoonda Area School, with the three fleeces from 18.6 to 19.8 micron making a combined $212.23.

Highest weight gain by a group of three was awarded to Orroroo Area School with the team that came second overall, having gained 129kg collectively since the beginning of the competition in March.

That same team from Orroroo also had the most valuable skins of the competition and were placed fourth in both the best pen and fleece sections.

Convenor Stephen Kellock, Kelvale, Keith, said the huge line up was a credit to the schools and students - and the feature showing was far from being the only attraction to the competition.

"We'll probably have more entered next year, we had three schools enquire about the competition while we were there this year," he said.

"I am not sure if we can line them all up in the one class if that happens, so things might alter a bit, but we'll wait and see.

"The sheep industry is going along well and schools are quite encouraging about being involved in industries doing well, and kids just love handling animals and that is what the competition is there for, for the kids."

Mr Kellock said he was wrapt with the quality and evenness of all the teams of wethers this year.

"The quality was really good, there were a couple of teams there only there for the first year and they would have learnt a lot, and it is great that they get in there and ask the teachers what they do as we go along," he said.

When it came to the winners, Mr Kellock said meat yield was crucial to taking out the big prize.

"You can't have them over fat otherwise they are discounted on yield and you have to have muscle to weight ratio good as well," he said.

"One of the winning team of three was a lamb with a carcass weight of 52.2kg at 700 cents a kg - so that's just huge."

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