WITH the biggest line-up in years of more than 90 entries from nine studs, the well-supported Suffolk section of this year's judging was never going to disappoint.
It was certainly a treat for sheep enthusiasts to witness a show ring brimming with some of the State's best Suffolk genetics on display, which made judging one of the hardest jobs going.
Thankfully, the very thorough and precise Sandy Forbes, Royston Prime SAMM and White Dorper studs, Napier, was up to the task, deliberating on every single aspect to ensure the most worthy animals were rewarded with a first place ribbon.
Once again the consistent breeding of the Pamellen team rose to the challenge and two of their sires were awarded champion and reserve champion ram from tough competition.
Such was the evenness of the Pamellen rams, Ms Forbes admitted that the choice between first and second place was a very difficult one.
"The ram in second place is well-proportioned and was very close to being in first place, but I think he's not carrying as much condition as the champion ram," Ms Forbes said.
"The champion ram will go on to produce some excellent lambs, with a thickness through the loin and hindquarter.
"He also has a smooth shoulder which is very impressive for a terminal breed."
According to Pamellen stud principal Pam Hinkley, the champion ram was a standout sire within their Clackline-based stud, the product of a successful artificial insemination (AI) program using semen from a Westcombe sire, New Zealand.
The champion ram was a 2016 drop lamb and has recorded the stud's top LambPlan figures to date, with exceptional growth characteristics.
It wasn't just the Pamellen rams performing well this year, as the stud was also awarded reserve champion ewe that had been sired through the same AI program as the rams.
The stud also won the group of one ram and two ewes drawn from previous milk teeth classes.
The handy Pamellen ewe was described by Ms Forbes as being a fabulous example of the Suffolk breed, but it was a structurally correct Karinya female who put an end to the parade of Pamellen placegetters, not only winning the champion ewe title but also grand champion Suffolk ribbon.
Bred by Karinya stud principals Richard Philipps and Sally Larkin, Boyup Brook, from a homebred ram by the name of Karinya Astro, the ewe was a winner from early on.
"We actually had her picked from when she was a fresh lamb," Ms Larkin said.
"We knew she was pretty special and she is definitely the best one we brought for showing."
Ms Forbes apparently agreed, after initially awarding the young ewe first place in the ewe under one year, showing milk teeth class, followed by the champion ewe sash.
She chose the Karinya ewe over the Pamellen ram for grand champion for its length, femininity and reproductive potential.
"This lovely little ewe stood out all day to me," she said.
"She has fabulous length, a lovely feminine type, but she's also carrying a lot of muscle through the loin and hindquarter.
"I think she will go on to produce some very exciting progeny."
In her closing remarks, Ms Forbes congratulated the Suffolk Society on the large number of entrants, the biggest Suffolk line-up at the Woolorama in many years, and said it was a privilege to judge such a great exhibition of sheep.