Eyre Peninsula stud White River achieved a rare feat, winning both the champion hogget ram and ewe at the 70th annual Hay, NSW, Merino Sheep Show at the weekend.
From 40 rams across three states, the final seven featured five SA rams, but in the end it was a unanimous decision by the three judges to award the Riverina Wool Australian Champion Hogget Merino Ram to the Daniell family's Poll Merino, WR11067. The prize included $5000 cash.
Judge Matt Ashby, Ashrose, Gulnare, said the winner was the most balanced ram for its size and outlook.
"His wool type is excellent, white and crimpy while his structure is good with a great spring of rib," he said.
The 13-month-old weighed 133 kilograms and was bred from two significant purchases from the Adelaide Merino ram sale.
WR11067 was a grandson of Moorundie Park 305, bought at the 2017 sale and out of a daughter of an Old Ashrose ram the stud bought in 2015 for $27,000.
Wes Daniell said it was fantastic for the Minnipa and Poochera-based stud to notch up their fourth win in the class since 2010.
"There were some outstanding rams that made the final seven so to have two of our rams chosen and one of them win is a great feeling and helps set us up for Bendigo, Vic, where he will be on display," he said.
He said WR10067, which had been genetically tested as a double poll, had impressed last year at weaning and even more at March regulation shearing.
They intend to retain the ram as a stud reserve.
"He has a beautiful soft silky muzzle, excellent purity with not a blemish on him, excellent poll factor, he is well covered with a long stapled, rich crimpy sire's wool," Mr Daniell said.
"He has excellent length of body and stands very square behind."
White River continued its winning ways with a daughter of Wallaloo Park 226 (the 2020 sale topping ram at Adelaide) given the nod for the Nutrien Ag Solutions champion hogget Merino ewe.
Judge Chris Clonan, Alfoxton, Armidale, NSW, described the winner as a "really productive ewe".
"She stands square, has a very even wool covering with a deep crimp and which handles well," he said.
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