• Loddon Herald

Fleeces best around

ONE competition was judged before the 2021 Australian Sheep and Wool Show was cancelled by COVID last Thursday and two Loddon studs are now Australian champions.

The national fleece competition saw Kedleston Park named the champion performance exhibit and also the most valuable for its 20.5 micron Merino fleece.

And the Cartwright’s Bungaree stud took out champion feature breed fleece (border Leicester) and Hugh Cartwright the British and other breeds major sash.

Hugh, who was this year’s Loddon Shire Young Citizen of the Year, also won the agricultural colleges and schools event in the national competition that marked its 20th year.

More than 400 fleeces from across Australia were entered in the competition.

Kedleston Park’s John Humbert said: “It was lucky the fleeces were judged prior to lockdown.”

John’s fleeces were shorn on March 3 and had growth rates of 3.04mm and 196 grams a week.

The win was John’s first in the national competition’s six-monthly shearing sections although he has previous achieved success in medium and fine wool sections.

“There is a growing trend in the industry to six-monthly shearing,” John said.

His Australian Sheep and Wool Show ribbons followed Kedleston Park’s domination at Ballarat Sheep Show the previous week.

In the March-shorn poll sections, Ked-leston Park was named champion poll fine wool ram, champion poll fine wool ewe, champion poll medium wool ram, champion poll medium wool ewe and champion poll strong wool ram.

“I’m glad we went to Ballarat - we’ve been going for years - and at least we have got in one show for the year with lockdown cancelling Bendigo.”

Hugh’s successful exhibit was a fleece from a Border Leister Merino cross of 32 micron.

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