The strength of the south-west Queensland wool industry was on display at the Roma Show, with the Roberts family of Victoria Downs Merino Stud, Morven, claiming the Champion Fleece of Show.
Stud and commercial sheep producers from across Queensland and northern New South Wales showcased the impressive cuts of wool they are seeing despite the ongoing tough conditions.
The medium wool stud ram fleece from Victoria Downs Merino Stud claimed victory over a fine wool stud ram fleece from Kurrajong Park Merino Stud, Delungra, NSW, beating them by just half a point.
Rodwells wool manager Michael de Kleuver, Melbourne, awarded the grand champion ribbon and said the fleece nearly picked itself as the winner due to its weight.
"It scored maximum for weight, it's super sound, and has a super soft handle," he said.
"If anything, it's probably a bit long so it didn't get maximum marks there, but the brightness was fantastic, the crimp is magnificent, beautifully defined and even from top to bottom."
Mr de Kleuver said he was amazed by the fleeces on display.
"I've judged at a lot of different shows up and down the east coast and in South Australia, and this, for a country show, is a tremendous effort by all the people who put fleeces in, because they are so good," he said.
"It's an absolute credit to the people who grow it and then manage to get the fleeces to look like they do, so I think it's fantastic given the seasons up here have been hopeless for a long time.
"The ones that are commercial fleeces, I'm actually amazed considering the year that the wool looked like it does; I thought we would have seen more dust, but most of the fleeces are white and bright."
Candice Roberts, Victoria Downs stud, said being awarded the grand champion ribbon was exciting.
"With the seasons that we've had, our sheep numbers are going down but our wool cut is still going up, so that's pretty good," she said.
"From a breeding point of view, that's all we're trying to do, is get more wool off less sheep."