LOVING THE LAMB:
Elizabeth Sutton joined a record number of visitors and exhibitors at the 2014 Australian Sheep & Wool Show, showcasing the best of Australia’s world-class wool, prime lamb and fibre fashion industries.
THE 2014 Australian Sheep & Wool Show had a record number of entries across the competition board, attracting an increase in visitors to Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showgrounds.
With close to 3000 sheep entries and 500 fleeces from all states, the biggest show of its type in the world has experienced a three-fold increase in the 15 years it has been held.
The show’s youth component, with junior competitions and judging has also has a year-on-year increase and this component of the event will continue to be expanded by the Australian Sheep Breeders’ Association.
The Woolcraft section had an increase in entries, with exhibitors coming from both metropolitan and regional areas to take part.
Represented on the ground via the Australian Sheep Breeders’ Association were combined holdings of stock and production worth more than $895 million.
A mere seven per cent of primary producers who attended the show produce 163,000 prime lambs, 220,000 surplus sheep and 26,000 bales of wool per year, as well as supplying lamb for 200,000 Australians.
While farmers competed for excellence, did business via stud stock sales and absorbed the latest industry knowledge on genetics and innovative farming techniques, more than 30,000 visitors headed for Bendigo – the geographic mid-point of Australia’s main sheep breeding regions – to watch competition events, shop for wool products, enjoy craft classes, take in fashion parades and hone their food and cooking skills.
The champions of each breed were judged to determine the Supreme Prime Lamb which was won by Valley Vista Park in Coolac, NSW (Poll Dorset) and Supreme Long Wool which was won by Quamby Plains, Hagley, Tasmania (Corriedale).
This year’s feature breed, the Merino, had record competition entries which included the National Merino Pairs Competition, selecting the country’s best ram and ewe.
Supreme and Grand Champion Ram was won by Grathlyn, Mudgee, NSW and Grand Champion Ewe was from Rock-Bank, Victoria Valley.
The most successful exhibitor was won by Roseville Park, Dubbo, NSW.
The Bendigo Festival of Lamb is also part of the event and chefs and food demonstrators attracted large crowds as they highlighted the versatility of lamb.