A BRIGHT white, heavy cutting fleece from Gulnare based stud, North Ashrose, has clinched supreme success in the 2021 Royal Adelaide Show's wool competition.
The Ashby family's 15.3 kilogram fleece, which was also the grand champion Merino ram's fleece, outscored nearly 210 entries from across the state.
It received 83.3 points out of a possible 100, including full marks for clean fleece weight and soundness.
Stud co-principal Tom Ashby said the 19.8 micron fleece was shorn in late July from a two-year-old stud reserve which had been a member of the stud's show team.
"We had all our other entries ready to go so we decided just before they cancelled the show to shear his one's fleece off and put him back in the paddock," he said.
The AI-bred son of Collinsville Cruden will be used in the stud's next mating season.
Mr Ashby said the family had been entering wool for many decades to support the show but it was also great to benchmark their wool quality against other studs, especially as the competition involved both subjective appraisal and objective measurements.
"When I started picking the fleeces to come here was in the early 1980s, I took a liking to being part of the competition and supporting the Adelaide Show, occasionally along the way you get a win and go again next year," he said.
"We are trying to breed that middle micron, 19 to 21 micron which in SA is a popular type of wool, but it is having the right nourishment, the right colour and also the depth of quality throught the fleece and that is what we have been consistently doing over a long time."
North Ashrose last collected the supreme fleece trophy back in 2017.
This year it also maintained its stronghold on the two Merino skirted fleeces class which it has won for much of the past decade.
The blue ribbon went to the fleeces from a couple of the Ashby's two-year-old stud ewes, also shorn in late July.
"Any group class you can win is always a great one to win, whether you are winning three rams and two ewes or a pair of fleeces it shows your consistency of stud breeding," Mr Ashby said.
Another long-time exhibitor, PT Venning, Clare, was edged out for supreme fleece by just 0.1 points with his grand champion Merino ewe's fleece.
The 16.2M fleece, which weighed 8.2kg with a 61pc yield, received 83.2 points out of 100.
In a stroke of luck, the wool section was judged a week before the 2021 Royal Adelaide Show was cancelled and the fleeces were still displayed in the cabinets in the sheep pavilion for those attending last week's Elite British Breed ram sale and Merino ram sale.
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