IN nine hours of fastidious judging, Trevor James, Mundulla, SA, crowned Wattle Farm, Temora, and Retallack, Ariah Park, both of the grand champion ram and ewe titles respectively.
The event marked the largest meat breed shown at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Thursday, with ten exhibitors parading 135 Border Leicester sheep.
It was one for the record books for the Sutton family of Wattle Farm, whose team of 18 took-home the junior, senior and grand champion ram title.
While it was a “tough decision”, Mr James said Wattle Farm rising one year-old ram was sashed the junior champion for his “great example of the breed, with tremendous neck extension, length and wool coverage”.
In his inaugural show outing, the August-2016 drop - who shares last year’s grand champion ram’s sire, Cadell Wonga 11th - boasted impressive growth for age at 83 kilograms.
A young ram with “tremendous volume”, exhibited by Toni and Derek Treanor, Kildara Glen, Duramana, was sashed reserve junior champion – a prelude to his first-place win in the objective measurement class.
However it was the senior champion ram, Wattle Farm JJ, who has had a run of previous show success including grand champion at Dubbo Show and supreme Border Leicester sheep at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show (ASWS), Bendigo, Vic, which truly caught the judge’s eye.
The son of Geraldine Gladiator went on to win the Brian Walton Memorial Perpetual Trophy grand champion ram title because of his “length, bone and fleece qualities”, ahead of reserve grand and senior champion ram, exhibited by Normanhurst Border Leicester stud, Boorowa, co-principal Tom Corkhill.
Sired by Normanhurst ram that won junior champion ram at 2014 Sydney Royal, Mr Corkhill said the rising two year-old had continued his run of prominent wins, following champion ram at Canberra Royal and will be retained for stud use.
Isabella and Graham Grinter, Retallack, started their run of success in the ewe judging, before dominating both the champion junior and senior Border Leicester ewe, before the senior woolly exhibit went on to be crowned the grand champion position.
In her show debut, the champion ewe was applauded for her “well-covered fleece, beauty, who paraded well”, with plans to continue her championship run, being scanned in lamb to reserve champion ewe at ASWS and Sydney Royal Show last year.
It was a “coin toss” between a stylish young ewe from Tara stud, Rockley, but it was a “feminine ewe a wonderful head” from Wattle Farm, that pipped her at the post for the reserve junior ribbon.
Bauer Border Leicester Stud, Ariah Park, climbed the ranks after taking out the reserve champion senior ewe, which went on to win the reserve grand title.
Retallack’s success continue in the group judging where they nabbed a win, consisting of one ram and two ewes showing milk teeth only, who were predominantly by stud super-sire, Exceed and Excel.