THE day of judging for the British and Australasian breeds at the 2017 Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama kicked off when the Suffolks, White Suffolks and Poll Dorsets made their way into the ring in what was an impressively large line-up of entries.
And the quality was certainly there according to judge Randal Levett, Tipperary Poll Dorset stud, Walkaway, who was in charge of crowning the best of the Poll Dorsets.
"There were a lot of hard classes to judge, with well-presented sheep from a range of studs in every category," Mr Levett said.
As is always the case, there was plenty of choice for Mr Levett in the Poll Dorset judging, but in the end the grand champion title was won by a ram from the Garnett family's Curlew Creek stud, Gnowangerup.
The grand champion was an April 2016-drop lamb out of a Curlew Creek ewe and sired by Dumbledee 15028.
"The Curlew Creek ram deserved to win," Mr Levett said.
"He carries a bit more flesh, walks well, stands up nicely and has clean points.
"There's plenty of length and muscling in the right places."
Mr Levett said at the end of the day it was a hard choice between the champion ram and ewe.
"Really I was splitting hairs," he said.
"Both the ram and ewe were the standouts on the day, but I had to go with the ram in the end."
The champion ewe was an upstanding June 2016-drop Stockdale ewe, sired by Gloroy 588 and out of a Stockdale ewe.
Mr Levett gave the champion sash to the Stockdale ewe over a strong contender from Shirlee Downs in the same class.
"The champion ewe had that ideal smoothness of shoulder and good neck extension," Mr Levett said.
"There'll be no lambing problems out of her.
"She stands, walks and carries well which put her on top in the end."
Last year's grand champion Poll Dorset winner Shirlee Downs won both reserve champion ribbons in the ram and ewe judging.
The reserve champion ram was the winner of the objectively and subjectively scored class with a weight of 98 kilograms and raw scan data of 44 millimetre EMD, 8mm fat and an overall point score of 90.2 from a possible 100, while the reserve champion ewe was from the ewe under one year old showing milk teeth, where it came second to the champion ewe.
In the group classes it was all about Curlew Creek again.
The stud took top honours in the pair of ewes class over Dongadilling and Willow Park, despite Mr Levett saying the pairs were very even across the line-up and hard to split.
Curlew Creek came out on top of Dongadilling and Stockdale in the group of one ram and two ewes, with the evenness of carcase in the trio hard for the judge to go past.
The blue ribbon for the progeny group of three was also awarded to Curlew Creek over Brimfield and Dongadilling.
Mr Levett said the group was a credit to the Garnett family.
"It's a good sign when you see a sire breeding three very even sheep," Mr Levett said.
"The progeny groups which placed with ribbons today were all impressive in their evenness - congratulations to all."
But Curlew couldn't win them all, with the pair of rams first place sash going to Shirlee Downs over Elspeth and Brimfield, with a duo of stylish rams which the judge believed had enough carcase to do a lot of good things for the Poll Dorset industry.
WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, also got a guernsey by winning the ewe over one year old category.