A LARGE line-up of strong entries made for stiff competition in this year's Angaston Agricultural Bureau Hogget Competition at Keyneton on Thursday last week.
And it was an entry from a new competitor which took top honours for the hogget of the day and the open pen of three ewes.
Gerald Mullighan, Hilltown, said he had seen the competition results in Stock Journal and with his dad originally from Towitta, the location of the competition was "kind of like coming home".
"We just like our sheep and there's not too many (hogget) competitions about anymore," he said.
Based on Bungaree-Uardry bloodlines, Mr Mullighan's winning April-drop, September-shorn ewe had wool measurement figures of 19.9 microns, with a 3.5 standard deviation, 17.8 coefficient of variation and 99 per cent comfort factor.
Judge Mark Vandeleur, Rices Creek Poll Merinos, Tintinara, said he selected the ewe for having a "bit more wool density" along with a terrific topline, good length of body and soft, nourished wool.
The other two ewes in Mr Mullighan's winning pen had fleeces of 19.6M and 19.5M, SD of 3.1 and 3.4, CV of 15.6 and 17.2 and CF of 99.5pc and 99.7pc.
"There is a real meatiness and bulk of wool to these ewes," Mr Vandeleur said.
He also admired the nourished wool and "good bone density" of the pen.
Second and third place in the open pen of hoggets went to Gerald Woidt, Coomandook, who won the section for the previous two years and also exhibited the top hogget for the previous three years.
In the Angaston Ag Bureau section David Woodard, Eden Valley, took first place.
Mr Woodard's ewes carried fleeces of 16.3M, 17.4M and 17.5M; SD of 2.4, 2.8 and 2.8; CV of 14.7, 16.4 and 16.1; and CF of 100pc, 100pc and 99.8pc.
Second place in the section was Michael Evans, Wootoona Props, Angaston, who also took out the hogget of the day for the section with a ewe testing 14.9M, 2.5 SD, 17 CV and 100pc CF.
The later lambing section was won for the second year in a row by Brett Nietschke, Koonunga.
His pen of ewes tested 18.8M, 18.4M and 17.8M; SD of 2.8, 3 and 3.2M; CV of 15.1, 16.3 and 17.9pc; and CF of 99.9pc, 99.7pc and 100pc.
The winning hogget for the section came from the same pen.
The Schools Merino Judging Challenge was held in conjunction with the competition for the third year, with 48 students from four local high schools, Birdwood, Faith, Nuriootpa and Tanunda, in attendance.
The students were tutored on the finer points of judging Merino ewe hoggets, as well as then undertaking the judging competition, learning about wool features, target markets, marketing preparation and agricultural careers development.
The competition was won by students from Birdwood High School. Like Stock Journal on Facebook