A COMBINATION of hard work and faith in the future of Texel sheep as a prime lamb breed has paid off for Robert and Maria Wood through one of their shorn Te Rakau rams being judged champion Texel ram at the Perth Royal Show. Maria said she was ecstatic about the win and this year was their second consecutive exhibition of Texels at the show since they started their stud in 1994 from the first embryos that came to WA. Judging of Texels last week was carried out by Malcolm Seymour, Miling, who said the young ram he chose as champion had length of body and good muscle in the loin and hindquarter, areas on which it was chosen over a 4-tooth ram. Maria said the ram had a mixture of Danish and Finnish genes, which contributed to the length and muscling of the ram. She said they also had a commercial flock of first cross ewes which were proving to be outstanding prime lamb dams that could reproduce the sire's carcase attributes. Their mating program involves a combination of embryo flushing, artificial insemination and natural mating. A Sandown-Nankeen stud 4-tooth ewe and her lamb gained the champion ewe title for owners David Watts and Graham Sutherland. Mr Seymour said the ewe had good length, showed plenty of meat in the right places (loin and hindquarter) and that her condition was not affected by rearing a big lamb. "She had good even spring of rib," he said.