Entries for the Sheep Online Junior Judging Competition have now closed. A big thank you to all those who entered.
Age Group: Under 12
Lexi Thomas; Silk Southdowns
Age Group: 12 to 15
Imogen Thomas; Silk Southdowns
Age Group: 16 to 19
Emi Hughes; Bernalta Poll Dorset and Texel Studs
Gavin Wall, Chairman of the RASV Sheep Committee
Whilst the 2020 Royal Melbourne Show is not running as normal and we may not have had sheep at the Show, our youth and students have had the opportunity Celebrate the Show Online this year.
By virtually judging three breeds of sheep in the Online Sheep Junior Judging Competition, many up and coming sheep enthusiasts were given the opportunity to flex their sheep judging skills.
This could not have happened without the generosity our judges and we acknowledge and thank the following sheep breeders who provided the videos.
- Texel (short wool sheep) were provided by Tim Jorgensen of Mertex Studs.
- Wiltshire Horn (cleanskin sheep) from Jill Noble & Gary Tie of Hallston.
- Romney sheep (long wool sheep) from Tintern Grammar, Ringwood East.
The RASV Sheep Committee extends a sincere thanks to these individuals for making their sheep available and taking the time to video them - an arduous task considering the COVID-19 isolation restrictions – filming and opening mouths and wool with one hand was a feat in itself!
Thanks also to the judging panel: Bron Ellis, Elizabeth Russell and Jill Noble for taking the time to watch each of the contestants video or audio and methodically consider each of the contestant's comments and order of placing of the three rams in respective breed categories. It was terrific to see entries from NSW, VIC and SA and the standard was exemplary. Each of the judges were very complimentary about the quality across each of the three age categories.
I had the good fortune to be the fourth member of the judging panel and I too was thoroughly impressed and equally delighted that the winners were unanimously agreed upon by the judging panel. To each of the winners, I offer my hearty congratulations, each of gave a great performance expressing your opinions on the class of rams. This was a great accomplishment as it was a first which didn’t enable the opportunity to make comparisons to past experiences. Neither did they have a chance for a hands-on to demonstrate your ring-craft skills.
To those who participated and didn’t place, thank you for having a go, use this as a stepping-stone to hone your skills and learn from the experience. Thanks also to parents, teachers and others who have encouraged and provided good coaching/teaching of selecting show sheep. All of which will help enhance knowledge and skills, as well as provide encouragement and support that will inspire these young folks to greater levels.
There is every indication that the sheep industry is in for an exciting period in the years ahead. We need skilled and enthusiastic juniors to take full advantage of this exciting opportunity and I hope that this is one of the many programs that will help to ignite a passion for the future stars of the sheep and wool industry.
Sheep Committee Chairman
Royal Agricultural Society of VictoriaShort Wool Ram 2 - 1st Place
190064 - 112kg Depth 54 Width 103 Fat 9
Overall balanced ram with outstanding EMD and width for his weight. He paraded well, his body had good even barrel, well sprung ribs and flesh covering the rib cage. His top line was balanced with smoothness through the shoulders for ease of lambing. His head was masculine and showed true Texel characteristics to produce prime trade lambs.
190048 - 125kg Depth 51 Width 101 Fat 10
This ram didn’t have quite the muscle width and depth of ram 2 even though a heavier ram. He was still very upstanding and paraded well, what put him in 2nd place was the topline not balanced behind the shoulders.
190067 - 108.5kg Depth 51 Width 101 Fat 8
This ram was different style to the rams above. He was a stylish ram and his weight for muscle depth and width were probably the best of the three rams. He was heavier set across the shoulders and width between the brisket. He also paraded with his hind leg tracking inwards. This on the day had him in third place but would still be very suitable for producing trade lambs.
120 kg 3 year old LambPlan MCP+ 124.4 (36)
This is a three-year-old ram, the heaviest at 125kg (just right for Romney) and is the sire of Ram A/1. He is very well-muscled, very correct on feet, legs and pasterns; walks wide and square. Good even foot shape indicating a correctness of structure. He is a little stronger in his wool but within an acceptable range. Ear coverage is good which is an indicator of desirable wool qualities. His head coverage may be considered little on the open side but he has been fighting and showing the effects. I have found that fertility increases as you take the wool off the head and legs but, if you take too much wool off the head and legs, wool density/quantity will diminish.
His Lambplan MCP+ - 124.7.
110 kg 2 year old LambPlan MCP+ 122.0 (31)
This two-year-old ram is 112kg and very well-muscled. He scanned very well as a yearling. He and his mate had the highest points in the performance class at Melbourne last year. He is very correct on feet, legs and pasterns, walks wide and square. Good even foot shape indicating a correctness of structure. Although he is a little finer in the wool, it has some slight colour. Ear coverage is good which is an indicator of desirable wool qualities. He was chosen last season for the MLA Research flock program – the only Romney ever included. There is little between this ram and his sire, (Ram B/2).
Lambplan MCP+ - 122.3
100 kg 2 year old LambPlan MCP+ 116.65 (33)
This is a two-year-old ram, the lightest in the class at 108kg. Slightly smaller frame than the other two rams but he has the best wool quality in the class. Muscling is good and correct structure, although he does walk a little close in the back legs, he has good even foot shape indicating a correctness of structure. He has a little more wool coverage on the head and good black points.
His Lambplan MCP+ - 117.4
Width: 87 Depth: 43 Fat: 6 LW: 105 EMA: 28.81 EMA/LW: 0.274
This ram has excellent breed characteristics of Wiltshire Horn rams. He has superior structure, is square and tracks/locomotes very well. He places his legs very well under his body. He has got depth. His definition and muscle in hindquarter is a huge differentiator and this would link to commercial attributes/ability to produce trade lambs.
Width: 94 Depth: 45 Fat: 7 LW: 99 EMA: 32.57 EMA/LW: 0.329
This ram has size and scale and a very good representation of the breed. He didn’t have quite the muscle in the hindquarter although his figures were very good and he is the heavier ram. He was still very upstanding and paraded well, what put him in 2nd place was the hindquarter.
Width: 70 Depth: 31 Fat: 5 LW: 59 EMA: 16.71 EMA/LW: 0.283
This is a younger ram who has growing to do and is less mature than the others on display. He has a nice wide horn set and good black points so has good breed characteristics of Wiltshire Horns. His figure are good for his age and he has the potential to breed good trade lambs. He does not compare to the other two rams due to age and maturity.