At the Australian Sheep and Wool Show held in Bendigo from 20th-22nd July, a quality line-up of Polwarth sheep produced healthy competition among exhibitors. The breed was represented by Catherine McAuley College, Fairview, Moorabbee, Riverview (Tasmania) and Taljar (Kangaroo Island). Judge, Geoff Risbey awarded Supreme Champion Polwarth to Fairview Henry with Taljar taking out Grand Champion Ewe. Riverview won the National Polwarth pair, as well as, Champion Polwarth fleece. Moorabbee featured in the fleece competition winning the Most Valuable Commercial Fleece (Group of 5) section. Some seventeen students from Catherine McAuley College participated in the Junior Fleece Judging section and Junior Handler section. The overall winner of the junior sections, Will Cole, was awarded the inaugural Geoffrey A. Kemp Memorial Trophy.
The 180th Campbell Town show (Tasmania) was held on the 25th-26th May on two sunny days with good attendance. Sheep exhibits were down on past years, however it was pleasing to see our Polwarth section attended by Rendelsham (Estate of the late Andrew Nicolson) and Riverview (Wayne and Maxine Walker) studs.
Despite numbers being low, Noel Littlejohn did not have an easy task judging. The quality and preparedness of the sheep shown was excellent. Rendlesham won the ribbon in the 2 ½ year ram class and then went on to take out the Supreme Champion Polwarth sheep.
Wayne Walker & family won the Champion ewe section (under 1 ½ years) with a very stylish ewe. In the fleece section, Rendlesham won Champion Polwarth fleece and also Group of Three. Well done to the above studs for exhibiting and doing the breed proud.
It was indeed a surprise to have our Federal President attend. Thank you Greg for coming over, great to see you and have you join with us for our annual get together at Zep’s restaurant after the show.
Overall the show committee were pleased with this year’s event. Sadly the showing in the Merino section was down on past years. Had it not been for three studs from Victoria coming across, this section would have been quite low. Now looking forward to seeing the Polwarth’s at this year’s Bendigo Show. Onwards and upwards!!!
Ken Arnold, Life Member of Polwarth Association
Riverview’s Charlotte Walker took out first place with a stylish ewe in the under 1.5 years ewe section
Australia’s largest Polwarth stud based at ‘Streanshalh’ in Tasmania, hosted a group of Japanese wool buyers and industry representatives in early May. The group were interested in Polwarth wool with its soft springy texture and micron of 21-22, for the manufacture of blankets. ‘Streanshalh’ owner, Mrs Judith Nicolson and long time farm manager, Mr Peter Baker organised for the visitors to view fleeces from the recent shearing, as well as, see some of the 5700 strong flock.
Recently, a representative from Vitale Barberis Canonico, manufacturers of men’s fine wool suits since 1663, visited Fairview Polwarths in Victoria. The company is keen to purchase a quantity of Australian Polwarth wool each year to blend with their finer micron wool. Davide Fontaneto from Vitale Barberis Canonico (VBC) and Andrew Raeber from New England Wool, said the compression quality of Polwarth wool contributes to the quality of their suits. VBC are keen to build a long term relationship with Polwarth breeders to meet their needs in terms of quantity and wool specifications.
Narang Polwarths in South Australia have been out and about attending their local shows. At the Tanunda Show held on 10th March they won Champion Ram. A fortnight earlier, Peter and Caroline attended the Angaston Show on 24th February. Their champion ewe who performed well in 2017, won Champion Polwarth Ewe.
Congratulations to Taljar stud (Kangaroo Island) who took out top accolades at this year’s Royal Adelaide Show winning the Supreme Interbreed Long Wool Ram and Reserve Champion Interbreed Long Wool Ewe. Interbreed judge was Gavin Wall from Melbourne.
Statistics for the ram included: age 2 years;
Eye muscle depth 40;
6mm fat coverage.
Announcement of the Interbreed Champion Longwool Ram
Statistics for the ewe included: age 2.5 years;
Eye muscle depth 42mm;
8mm fat coverage.
Ewe had lamb at foot; June drop; weight 37kg.
Taljar’s Interbreed win featured on the front cover of the Stock Journal
Taljar’s Supreme Interbreed Champion Longwool Ram and Reserve Interbreed Interbreed Champion Longwool Ram
Following her associate judge role for the Polwarths at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo, Kayla Starkey has gone on to achieve Runner-up in the Senior Judging Section for 15-25 years at the Royal Adelaide Show. Kayla scored 131, only three points behind the winner on 134 points. Well done Kayla!