WHILE most of the State was in election mode, judges in the Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama wool shed were in selection mode, seeking the most superior fleece from the 97 exhibits.
And they found it in lustrous proportions in a shed-prepared ram's fleece from the Rintoul families' Auburn Valley stud, Williams.
Despite being consistent performers in wool competitions across the State, stud co-principal Peter Rintoul said it was the first time they had claimed the major gong at Woolorama.
The fleece, which had also been judged reserve grand champion ram fleece at the 2016 IGA?Perth Royal Show and supreme champion fleece at the 2016 Narrogin Show, amassed 92 points to claim champion medium wool fleece and then the supreme award.
At Perth it had tested 19.2 micron, 99.7 per cent comfort factor, 71.1pc yield and 11.1kg wool cut, while at Woolorama it scored maximum points for the brightness necessary for top grading and top points for handle, length, evenness and density.
Wool quality was clearly in the genes with its sire, an AI son of Pooginook Gem, having produced the supreme champion fleece at the 2013 Perth Royal Show.
Mr Rintoul said this year's ram had a personality which suggested it knew it was special but it would not have won a prize for good manners.
"We showed him here at Woolorama last year and three of us had a go at hanging on to him," he said.
"Brooke started with him and he jumped up and she gave up.
"I took over and he bowled me over in the show ring so it was left to Jeffrey to finish with him and get him under control.
"He was a character, people would come to look at his wool and he would try to bite them."
The Rintouls also won champion pair of fleeces with two medium wool-shedded ewe fleeces, which had missed out on the equivalent award in Perth by a sultry point.
Stuart and Andrew Rintoul, Tilba Tilba stud, Williams, also created their own bit of stud history in winning the superfine and fine championship double.
The fleeces, which each scored 91 points, were off show ewes from their white tag family with the superfine fleece testing at 16.8 micron and the fine fleece at 17.3 micron when shorn.
"The superfine won champion superfine ewe at Perth Royal and Katanning sheep shows last year and both were in our winning team of three ewes at Perth," Stuart Rintoul said.
A mark of the quality of the 11 fleeces they entered, the Rintouls also won most points in the wool section.
Mr Rintoul said it was great to see the wool industry in such a positive place especially for the finer 18 to 22 micron end of the market which he had seen lift from 60 to 630c/kg clean.
Completing the Williams region monopoly of stud fleece championships, the Hogg families' Navanvale stud won champion strong wool with a stud ewe fleece, also awarded 91 points.
The bulkiness of the fleece had it spilling out of the display box, not surprising given the ewe cut 12.5kg of 19 micron wool.
Navanvale stud co-principal Chris Hogg said the ewe had been prepared for show but didn't make the show ring but its sire Navanvale Wally was the champion March shorn ram at the Bendigo sheep show in 2014.
The top award of champion fleece in the farmer's non-stud section went to WA College of Agriculture Cunderdin with its champion fine fleece which scored 83 points.
Year 12 students Daniel Willmott, Tambellup, who shore it and Danny Halligan, New Norcia, who classed it, said the fleece came off a two-year-old wether.
Students selected 12 fleeces during shearing a few weeks ago to enter in the Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama wool section.
The college runs 1200 breeding ewes and about 200 wethers based on AMS bloodlines with a flock average of 18 to 18.5 micron.
Last year's championship winner Peter Horne, Wagin, missed out on going back to back by a point with a ewe fleece judged champion medium fleece on 82 points.
The passionate woolgrower took 22 fleeces to Woolorama, all off mixed age ewes, and the quality proved sufficiently good to give him most points in the farmer's non-stud category.
Mr Horne runs 2000 breeding ewes and said he loved wool and the continual challenge of trying to breed a better quality fleece.
Also from Wagin, Peter and Rebekah Cumming, claimed the champion strong non-stud fleece while Vic Pritchard, Dudinin, repeated his 2016 performance to win champion superfine non-stud fleece.
For the second year the wool section was sponsored by Country Wide Insurance Brokers.