THE Longford Show sheep section is always keenly contested by some of the best breeders and handlers in the state and this year was no exception, according to chief sheep steward Brian Shadbolt.
“That was a great effort considering the poor weather in the lead-up – only six sheep didn’t make it on the day and we had a healthy showing of 90 sheep all up,” he said.
“Entries came from as far afield as Mount Dromedary and Devonport and they were complemented with a strong local contingent.”
It was a Dorper from Mount Dromedary Stud which won the Champion of Champion sash for best exhibit of the show with 190009 ‘Armageddon’, a superb ram which also took out the Champion Interbreed Ram and the Geoff Pearce Memorial Cup for the champion prime lamb breed ram. In a stunning day out for the Dorper breed, Mount Dromedary also took out the Reserve Interbreed Group of Three, making a 4am alarm worthwhile for stud owners Bob and Simone Burrows.
Longford local Rodney Summers of Marananga Stud also had a great day, winning several categories with his Hampshire Downs. “It was great to see Mount Dromedary, Devonport’s Morris Baldock from Mountain Mist and Janet Ainscow from Channing Downs assist each other handling and showing their sheep – that is great camaraderie between the breeders,” Brian said.
Cressy District School had the biggest entry on the day, with 14 students showing 15 Brumby Plains Suffolks in six categories, but also assisting with the Mount Dromedary Dorpers and the Shakespeare Downs Hampshire Downs from West Tamar breeders Les and Julie Hodge. One of the students, Gus Emery, won the sheep handlers competition and the school was also awarded the $100 Encouragement Award. “In the sheep handling the judges made it not only a competition but a lesson – giving out pointers and inviting Rodney Summers, who has judged in England, to comment as well,” Brian said.
Cressy students train for the event one to two times a week throughout the year in preparation for the event with the assistance of school farm manager Nick Goss and agricultural studies teacher Lochlan Skinner.