AFTER a 40 year hiatus, the Badgingarra community relaunched its Merino ewe hogget competition in exciting fashion recently.
Commercial and stud producers with local businesses got behind the reborn competition led by local sheep producers Mike Kenny and Graham Lethlean.
Traveling by car or an arranged bus, the big turnout visited 10 properties during the day, with eight commercial producers presenting six teams of 20 spring shorn (long wool) ewe hoggets and two autumn shorn (short wool) teams to be judged by Wayne Button, Manunda stud, Tammin.
While they weren't part of the competition, the group also visited the Wilkinson family's Challara stud and the Rose family's Mardo Well stud properties.
Mr Button said the ewes were judged on criteria such as brightness, handle and crimp of wool which is important in the higher rainfall areas, structural conformation and team evenness.
Scoring came down to the wire with only half a point separating first and second place and second and third place in the spring shorn competition, with the Kenny family's team of ewe hoggets finishing in first place followed by the Felber and White families in second and third place respectively.
The Martin family won the maternal class of ewes judged to be best suited to prime lamb breeding, while the Taylor family won the autumn shorn class.
Mr Button said the day was extremely well run and supported by the local community and he was impressed with the quality of the sheep.
"It was a positive day, fantastic for our industry and I was honored to be part of it," Mr Button said.
"It was exciting to see the amount of people supporting the day including all ages and genders and I was most impressed with the investment being made back into their Merino enterprises up there.
"New sheep handling equipment, new or improved shearing sheds, making their sheep work easier and more enjoyable.
"The quality of the wools were outstanding and overall the feet were good which pleasantly surprised me a bit given the lighter country up there.
"And this showed in the extremely close competition.
"While the winning team in the spring shorns didn't quite have the wool cut of the other two teams, they were a more even and complete package."