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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
44 ON FARM AWI was the national supporter of the National Merino Fleece Young Judges Championship and the National Merino Sheep Young Judges Championship held at the Royal Queensland Show in August. AWI helped fund the events to support young people within the industry to further their skills through visual selection and appraisal of wool and sheep. By providing the opportunity to broaden their experiences and knowledge base through competition, the finalists will become ambassadors for the wool industry. The Young Judges Championships are for people aged between 15 and 25 and are helping to train the next generation of young judges and livestock breeders. To participate in these National Championships, the competitors must first have won their own state finals. The New Zealand champion also competes in these National Championships. NATIONAL MERINO FLEECE YOUNG JUDGES CHAMPIONSHIP The National Merino Fleece Young Judges Championship was won by Tara Clarke of Melrose, South Australia. She had a narrow victory ahead of runner-up Liana Prentice of Springvale, Victoria, with Brandon Prince of St Gregory’s College in NSW in third. Eighteen year old Tara is from a property in the Mid North of South Australia that mainly grows cereals. She became interested in sheep and wool while studying at Booleroo Centre District School. “Booleroo has a good focus on agriculture in years 10-12, and I began to pick up livestock and fleece judging there”, she said. “Now that I’ve left school, I want to stick with wool so I’ve applied to take a wool classing course through TAFE.” Tara said the competition at the EKKA involved judging two lines of four fleeces (eight in total). “I had to speak on my chosen group and was judged on my handling of the fleece, the observations that I made in my oral presentation, my speaking ability and general presentation. I was really shocked to win. I got the top marks for my presentation and handling which managed to get me over the line.” The other state champions who competed were Charlie Brumpton from Mitchell, Queensland; Bonnie Kenner of Bagdad, Tasmania; Tyson Introvigne of Bridgetown, WA; with New Zealand competitor Ross McCullough from Glenavy. NATIONAL MERINO SHEEP YOUNG JUDGES CHAMPIONSHIP Competitors in the National Merino Sheep Young Judges Championship had 12 minutes to judge four poll Merino sheep put up for appraisal and were judged on their handling as well as their reasoning. The Championship was won by Felicity Brumpton of Mitchell, Queensland, followed by Alistair Keller of Booleroo Centre in South Australia in second place, and Robert Glen of Guildford in Victoria in third place. Felicity, who is the daughter of Nigel and Rosemary Brumpton of Mt Ascot Merino Stud, operates the Jolly Jumbuck Poll Merino stud in partnership with her brothers Charlie and Lachlan. She said she was thrilled by the win. “There was some great competition from the other state champions and the New Zealand representative, but I was very proud to win it for Queensland to show that there is a strong passion for Merinos and wool in the state,” she said. “It was also really nice to have my family there supporting me – on home turf at the EKKA – and my brother Charlie who competed in the fleece judging competition. “Next year I’ll be starting an Animal Science degree at UNE in Armidale where I plan to major in Livestock Production. Given my background with Jolly Jumbuck, I’m particularly interested in genetics and YOUNG JUDGES CHAMPIONSHIPS The winner of the Merino Fleece Championship was Tara Clarke of Melrose, South Australia. The winner of the Merino Sheep Championship was Felicity Brumpton of Mitchell, Queensland. The competitors in the National Merino Fleece Young Judges Championship. Front: Tara Clarke (SA, 1st), Liana Prentice (Vic, 2nd). Back: Charles Brumpton (Qld), Tyson Introvigne (WA), Brandon Prince (NSW, 3rd), Ross McCullough (NZ), Bonnie Kenner (Tas). PHOTO: Danni Church AWI supports the National Merino Fleece and Merino Sheep Young Judges Championships to help bring through the next generation of young judges and Merino breeders.