Baa-rilliant results at the 2023 Melbourne Royal Sheep Competition!

Drawing the top breeders from across the country, the Melbourne Royal Sheep Competition was, once again, nothing short of spectacular.

In the spotlight at this year’s competition was the magnificent Suffolk breed, known for its charcoal-faced elegance and subtly muscular build.

Taking out the Supreme Champion Suffolk Feature Exhibit title was Blue Rock Suffolk Stud from Romsey, Victoria, whose 1.5-year-old ewe, pulled straight from the paddock, claimed the special title.

Blue Rock Stud’s champion ewe also claimed the Champion Suffolk Ewe title, Best Short Wool ASSBA Interbreed and Reserve Interbreed Champion Ewe.

Hay War Memorial High School also emerged victorious in the sheep competition, clinching the titles of Champion Dorper and White Dorper.

The school’s Aberline Dorper and White Dorper Stud show team also secured top honors as the Best Maintained Team and Champion School in the Sheep Schools’ and Youth Competition. Judges commended the students for their exceptional public interaction and support provided to fellow studs and competition stewards.

Seasoned competitors Barry and Jill Shalders of Willow Drive South Suffolk in Grassmere secured the Supreme Champion titles in the South Suffolk and English Leicester competitions and also took out the All Breeds Sheep Interbreed Supreme Heritage Sheep of the Show. Willow Drive was also successful in the Best ASSBA Breeds Short Wool Ram – Over 1 1/2 Years Old, and Best ASSBA Breeds Long Wool Ram, Over 1 ½ years old.

Aurora Park Border Leicester Stud also made a significant mark at the Melbourne Royal. In addition to their ram being crowned the Supreme Champion in the Border Leicester competition, they also took home the sashes for Best ASSBA Breeds Longwool Ram, under 1 ½ years old, in wool and closely and evenly shorn, as well as Best ASSBA Breeds Longwool Ewe, under 1 ½ years old, closely and evenly shorn, and the ASSBA Breeds Interbreed Longwool Group.

Their impressive ribbon collection is a testament to their stature as top-notch breeders.

Continuing their victorious streak, Werowna Park Black and Coloured Stud emerged triumphant for the second consecutive year, proudly claiming the supreme title in the Black and Coloured sheep breeds category.

Sweetfield Corriedale Stud, based in Geelong, with their dedication to producing top-quality Corriedale sheep earned the esteemed title of Supreme Champion Corriedale and the All Breeds Sheep Interbreed Breeders Group Championship.

In the Dorset Down category, Colin and Margaret Chapman’s Woodhall Dorset Down Stud, committed to preserving the heritage breed’s history, earned well-deserved recognition as they were crowned Supreme Champion.

Making a striking debut in the show ring, Ryan Bechaz of Mulley Park, hailing from the Mornington Peninsula, impressed everyone by clinching victory in the Hampshire Down category.

Adding to the excitement, Year 10 student Cheyenne Tucker from Finley High School left a lasting impression in the Poll Dorset division, securing the title of Supreme Champion Ram.

However, Finley High students didn’t want to go home before they had claimed both the Interbreed Championship Ewe and Ram, which was a testament to both the teachers and the student’s dedication.

Veteran exhibitors Ian and Rae Christie of Garvald Lincoln Stud continued to excel in the Lincoln competition with a Supreme Champion Exhibit and the Best ASSBA Breeds Longwool Ewe, Over 1 ½ years old, showcasing their long-standing expertise.

Meanwhile, Pete and Liz Russell’s Tullamore Park Texel Stud, based in Donald, Victoria, earned acclaim in the Texel category.

The Deppeler Suffolk stud from Derrinallum dazzled in the White Suffolk category, with their exceptional sheep claiming the supreme champion title, along with the prize for Best ASSBA Breeds Shortwool Ram – Under 1 1/2 Years Old, closely and evenly shorn.

Jason O’loghlin of O’loghlin Wiltshire Horns also made a notable impression in the Wiltshire Horn category with a Supreme Champion Ram.

Other Interbreed results that were judged on Saturday 23rd included Best ASSBA Breeds Shortwool Ram – Under 1 1/2 Years Old, In Wool, and Best ASSBA Breeds Shortwool Ewe, under 1 ½ years old, closely and evenly shorn, both claimed by Cotter Suffolks and White Suffolks.

The Best ASSBA Breeds Longwool Ewe, under 1 ½ years old, in wool was awarded to Helen Raven of Jurumbula Hampshire Down Stud, while the ASSBA Breeds Interbreed Shortwool group was taken out by Shelley Hedwards of Lamont Park.

Additional results in the esteemed All Breeds Sheep Interbreed competition included the Ram Trifecta, which was deservingly awarded to Jonno Sutherland at Sayla Park Suffolk Stud, Kilmore.

These outstanding achievements at the Melbourne Royal Show underscore the dedication and passion of breeders in shaping the future of sheep breeding in Australia.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants for their remarkable contributions to the industry.