A Barcaldine family that had lambing percentages as low as 2 per cent six years ago has taken out the ribbon for grand champion fleece of the show at Blackall.
The whopping 9.3kg fleece from Clover Hills based on Egelabra bloodlines was also decorated as best medium wool and best flock fleece of the show.
Ben Chandler was on hand to receive the Barcoo Pastoral Society awards on Saturday and said it was very exciting to be back in the Merino sheep industry for the second time around, after being decimated by wild dogs.
The Chandlers began an exclusion fencing program in 2015, saying at the time that the impact of wild dogs on their renowned sheep and wool-producing area was "undoubtedly as bad as it gets".
They've since fenced 140km of their country and have started to become independent of clusters in the area, marking over 100pc of lambs last year and looking to do the same this year.
"It's a great start to the year - we've had 25 inches since the start of spring," Mr Chandler said. "We've nearly finished lambing, we avoided any of the heartbreaks of recent flooding, and we had grass cover to help with bogging issues."
He said they were very happy with the Egelabra rams they were using, saying they were breeding beautiful white, bright wool.
On the other hand, the Bredhauer family, which won the wool pavilion aggregate with the champion strong wool fleece, the champion medium wool pair and the reserve champion fine wool fleece, is going out of sheep, thanks to predators.
The Bredhauers sold their Lambert poll Merino stud to Terrick Merinos last decade.
Scott Bredhauer said on the weekend that as the only wool producers left in their area south of Blackall, the pressure from predators was too great to sustain their flock, and getting staff was also an overriding concern.
Barcoo Pastoral Society steward Allister Macdonald said they'd displayed 125 fleeces from as far afield as Quilpie, Tambo, Blackall, Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton and Stonehenge, largely thanks to agents Bob Tully, Paul Grams, Duncan Ferguson and James Turnbull assisting in their collection and transport.
Prizes were well spread around, going to Wynn Downs and Janet Downs in the Longreach district, Lilyveil, Tarbarah, Benalla and Springleigh in the Blackall area, and to Coreena at Barcaldine, as well as Clover Hills and Lambert.
Alison Krieg at Benalla showed the pair of fleeces with the highest clean commercial value, at $179.70.
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