Maiden ewes presented by Brad and Maria Cartwright of Kempton, Laggan have been named overall winners in the 2020 ANZ Agribusiness Crookwell Commercial Merino Flock Ewe Competition.
The Thalabah-blood ewes came first in the long wool section before being selected as the overall winners by returning judge Georgia Waters of Merani Park, Dalgety and new judge Alan McCormack of Walwa Merino Stud, Gurrundah.
Up against 15 other merino flocks, Kempton also won Overall Pen of Champion Maiden Ewes and People's Choice Award, announced at Crookwell Show on February 9.
Judges described Kempton's merinos as "a dual-purpose animal that's been really well looked after [and] fed properly in a tough season."
Kempton achieved 91 per cent lambing in 2019 with an average fibre diametre of 19.2-micron.
Mr and Mrs Cartwright have entered the competition every year except for two.
He said he increased supplementary feeding, installed a trough and bought water last year to make up for the dry conditions.
However, Mr Cartwright was celebrating 45 millimetres of rain over the Crookwell Show weekend and 25 mm on the Sunday prior.
He said he would feed his ewe weaners for the next couple of weeks while they chased the green grass.
Anthony and Michelle Selmes win short wool section
Runner-up of the long wool section was Daniel Fitzell of Flowerburn, Peelwood, followed by Shannon Arnall of Carinya, Laggan in third place and Brian Anderson of Lower Sylvia Vale, Binda in fourth place.
Maiden ewes presented by Anthony and Michelle Selmes of Glenayr, Wheeo won the short wool section and Champion Flock Ewe Fleece Award.
Runners-up of the short wool section were Graeme and Diane Hewitt of Wongalea, Binda, followed by John and Michael Lowe of Innisvale, Crookwell in third place and Brian Lowe of Pineville, Crookwell in fourth place.
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First-time entrant Phil Mahoney of Sunnyside won the Future Development Award.
The Australian Wool Network Award, which acknowledges continued support and commercial improvement to an entrant who didn't receive a finalist placing, went to Dave Culley of Woodbine Park.
Long wool and short wool winners, Kempton and Glenayr, are now invited to enter the Regional Southern Tablelands Flock Ewe Championships on March 20, also involving winners from Taralga (March 3), Gunning (February 14) and Boorowa (February 21) Flock Ewe Competitions.
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