TASMANIAN wool growers Allan and Carol Phillips have just won the prestigious Ultimate Clip competition but they are not resting on their laurels.
Despite their clip scoring an impressive 94.5 points out of 100 points in the New England Wool competition, Mr Phillips said there were still improvements to be made in wool quality, such as tensile strength and style.
“Our biggest aim is to improve the amount of wool in the top lines – to get a better mob of sheep.”
New England Wools judged 80 per cent of the Phillips’ 2011 Glen Stuart clip, classed by Mr Phillips, as being of ‘best types”.
The Phillips are the first Tasmanians to win the competition and the Tasmanian regional award for the second time.
60 woolgrowers from Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria gathered for the finale of the prestigious Ultimate Clip Competition at the Manly Pacific Hotel in Sydney on Friday June 17.
Awards were presented to entrants from every major superfine wool growing area in Australia.
The annual competition is run by superfine wool buyers, New England Wool Pty Ltd, to encourage and reward growers who produce wool that exhibits excellence in all areas of preparation and quality.
New England Wool southern regional manager, Andrew Raeber, said the care taken in the preparation of each line of Glen Stuart wool was obvious.
“The classer’s report told the complete story, and this was substantiated when viewing this beautiful, stylish and sound wool in the bales and in the sample boxes.
“The evenness of the crimp and staple length in each line was truly amazing when you consider the variability that can exist across a clip. It was a pleasure to value and a pleasure to buy (New England Wool purchased over 60 per cent of the entire clip).”
Mr Phillips and his wife Carol moved to Deddington in north-east Tasmania 14 years ago to produce quality wool on 2400 hectares of mainly native pasture and bush country. They run 5000 sheep in the closed flock and sell 20-25 rams a year. The basically Saxon blood flock (with a dash of Merryville) is about half wethers and last year averaged four kilograms of 15-16.5 micron wool with most lines having a tensile strength above 40 Newtons/kilotex.
New England Wool managing director Andrew Blanch said the Phillips’ win was a reflection of their life-long passion for producing superfine wool.
“So much so that just over a decade ago the couple relocated their stud from Victoria to Deddington in the hope of producing even better wool.
“The gamble paid off and the superior genetics in their Merino flock have thrived in the Tasmanian environment,” he said.
Mr Phillips said the family was thrilled by the win and he gave credit to the expert teams of shearers and shedhands provided by Flood Shearing Contractors of Cressy.
“We love what we do, but it is great to be recognised in this way. This is an accolade well deserved by the The Phillips were presented with trophies and a length of fabric, as well as a trip to Italy in 2012 to visit two spinning and weaving mills: Reda SpA and Vitale Barberis Canonico SpA. Both are shareholders of New England Wool.
Second place in the competition was awarded to the Pittman Family (Glenburnie Partnership) of Walcha. Their clip scored 94 out of 100 points with some premium bales thaving a tensile strength of 62 Newtons/kilotex. The family also took out the Regional Award for the Northern Tablelands. Twenty three bales throughout the season were valued into NEW’s super premium types and three received 1PP certification.
Equal third place went to the Cameron Family, from Guyra, New South Wales, and Don and Meg Thomas from Wallangarra, Queensland, with 93.5 points each. The Thomases were also awarded the Queensland regional award.
Regional award winners: Southern Tablelands - Peter and Merran Walmsley from ‘Clear Hills’ at Captain’s Flat; Central Tablelands - Max Rayner & Sons from Mudgee; Victoria - Everard and Marilyn Linke from Hamilton; Encouragement award - Kenneth and Tanya Cameron, and their son Josh, also of Walcha.