Seventeen entrants of new and returning producers were put on exhibition over the past two days at the Crookwell ANZ Agribusiness Flock Ewe Competition.
Some 200 spectators, including heavyweights, former Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) chairman, Wally Merriman and AWI Sheep Industry Specialist, Stuart Hodgson.
They joined the judges as they toured property after property across the Upper Lachlan Shire district to assess the sheep.
The top eight finalists were announced at a presentation dinner at Crookwell Returned and Services League on Thursday, January 24.
The top four finalists in the long wool section were Shannon Arnall of Carinya at Laggan, Tom McGuiness of Bigga Station at Bigga, Peter and Cheryl Anderson of Coral Ridge at Laggan, and Pat and Emily Carlon of Lower Sylvia Vale at Binda.
The top four finalists in the short wool section were Graeme Hewitt of Wongalea at Binda, John and Michael Lowe of Innisvale at Crookwell, Gavin and Casper McDonald of Aberdeen at Laggan, and Brian Lowe of Pineville at Crookwell.
Return judge Matthew Coddington of Roseville Park Merino Stud was joined by Georgia Waters of Merani Park at Dalgety.
Some of the factors judges took into account while judging were; the number of sheep, the evenness, and how the producers have managed the sheep over the year.
“The flocks were all of high quality in this area; it’s highly commended to you [producers] for presenting the sheep the way you have through this drought,” Mr Coddington said.
“We have to be more innovative and adapt to changing seasons and changing markets.
“Merino has to be adaptive, to be a multi-purpose animal.”
Organiser, Brad Cartwright commended the entrants, and return entrants.
Over the past 11 years anyone who has entered the competition has developed, Mr Cartwright said.