There was strong and friendly competition among the stud meat sheep breeders when 135 exhibits representing eight breeds paraded before judges Lachie Mainsbridge, Glen Innes, NSW and Gavin Wall, Victoria, at this year's Toowoomba Royal Show.
Mr Mainsbridge judged the meat sheep section while Mr Wall, who is the president of the Federal committee of the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders’ Association, undertook the interbreed and state junior judging.
Taking the top honours were Warwick based Poll Dorset breeders Chris and Meryl Rubie, Sovereign Poll Dorset Stud. The couple claimed the supreme sheep award which is selected from the supreme ram and the supreme ewe. The Rubies were also awarded the Lorna Milton Memorial trophy for supreme pair consisting of a ewe and ram and the breeders group.
Judge Gavin Wall described the ewe as magnificent individual, while the ram had a lot of the same characteristics.
"No matter which way you look at her she was the complete package. She has the ideal frame, good muscle and not too much fat. Very difficult to find any faults with the ewe," Mr Wall said.
A delighted exhibitor Chris Rubie said that following a break from showing last year, due to relocation of the stud operation to Warwick, it was very pleasing to return with such strong success.
He said the new genetics introduced to their stud are starting to show great results with a significant increase in muscling and a strong focus on structural correctness. As well the performance recording also provides data on carcase composition including eye muscle area, fat cover and growth rate.
This coupled with strong selection criteria for breed type and structural soundness has also advanced the stud in providing superior flock rams for the prime lamb industry.
In other placings the champion Dorper ewe was won by Melanie Hurley, Melete Dorpers, Kogan.
First time exhibitors Janylle and Barry Henry, Allora claimed the champion Dorper ram.
Stephen and Donna Emmerton, Davemm Hill White Dorpers, Haden, also enjoyed a successful show claiming the champion White Dorper ram and ewe pen consisting of a ram and ewe, and the breeders group.
The champion Suffolk ewe and ram ribbon were both won by Josh Milton, Milton Park Suffolk and White Suffolk Stud, Hendon, who also claimed the champion White Suffolk ewe and ram.
Champion Dorset Horn ewe and ram was exhibited by Lyndon Frey, Silverdale Dorset Stud, Inglewood, while the champion Texel ewe and champion Texel ram were both awarded to Scotts PGC College.
The champion Southdown Ram and Ewe was won by C.E.G. Southdown stud which is owned by Catelyn, Emily and Grace Batterham, and managed under the guidance of their father Geoff.
The Alex McPhie Memorial Cup champion pen of fat lambs was won by Peter Hood, Plainview Texels, Pittsworth and reserve champion pen of lambs was taken by Scott Menge, Ryder Holdings, Oakey.
Judge of the prime lambs, Pat McMahon, McMahon Brothers Killarney said there were some exceptional lambs and he was looking for the most recovery of meat ‘as we are in the money making business’. An auction followed with Grays Meats paying the top price of $190/head for Peter Hood’s champion pen.