A STYLISH, young Texel ewe from Alan and Trish Franklin's Alicia stud, Busselton, gave the Texel breed its first ever interbreed title at the Perth Royal Show when it was sashed the queen of the shed.
While it has been Poll Dorset, White Suffolk and Prime SAMM exhibits that have taken top honours in the past five years, this year it was the Alicia stud's Texel ewe that shone through and snatched the top award in the shed - the British, Australasian and other breeds supreme champion.
When the ewe was announced the best exhibit Mr Franklin, who has been showing Texels in the show since 2007, couldn't believe what had just happened and was blown away by the win.
The classy ewe earned the top award in front of an upstanding Poll Dorset sire from the Brimfield stud, Kendenup, which had been sashed the British, Australasian and other breeds supreme champion ram, after it got the nod from three of the five interbreed judges.
Judge and Texel Association federal president Ashley Smith, Cypress Park Texel and Poll Dorset stud, Ballarat, Victoria, said in the past three to four years he hadn't seen a Texel that stamped its authority on the breed like the ewe did.
"She is a ewe with true balance and plenty of barrel and volume," Mr Smith said.
"She hits the mark I believe in terms of the style of where the breed should be heading."
The July 2018-drop ewe is by Alicia 316 and out of an Alicia bred ewe.
Along with taking home the coveted supreme champion of the shed title, the upstanding ewe was also sashed the British, Australasian and other breeds supreme champion ewe of the show when it finished on 11 points just one point clear of the reserve champion.
At this point judge Ian Gilmore, Baringa White Suffolk, Border Leicester and Australian White studs, Oberon, New South Wales, said the Alicia ewe was a magnificent Texel ewe.
"She has tremendous structure, is magnificent through the shoulder and has a great hindquarter," Mr Gilmore said.
The Franklins, who exhibited four rams and four ewes in this year's show, run 38 ewes in their stud flock which has a strong influence of English genetics in it.
Missing out on the British, Australasian and other breeds supreme champion ewe ribbon by the single point and sashed the reserve champion was a White Suffolk ewe from Brenton Addis' Yonga Downs stud, Gnowangerup.
Mr Gilmore said the Yonga Downs ewe had a great presence and outlook.
"She has plenty of length and depth and shows good maternal characteristics," Mr Gilmore said.
The May 2018-drop ewe is by Jusak 166220.
The British, Australasian and other breeds supreme champion ram ribbon was awarded to a classy Poll Dorset ram from Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco's Brimfield stud when it received eight points from the judges.
Judge Jason Barker, Timor Australian White stud, Parkes, NSW, said the Brimfield ram was a very well-balanced sire.
"He has a good carcase, great depth of body and a good hindquarter and topline," Mr Barker said.
The ram was dropped in June 2018 and is sired by Brimfield 429-13.
While the Brimfield ram was a clear winner for the champion ribbon, it wasn't as clear cut for the reserve ribbon after a White Suffolk ram from the Hyde family's Kohat stud, Ongerup and a Suffolk ram from the Philipps family's Karinya stud, Boyup Brook, both finished on 16 points.
In the end, after a countback, it was the White Suffolk ram from Kohat that received the reserve British, Australasian and other breeds supreme champion ram ribbon after it got one top vote from the judging panel.
Mr Barker said the Kohat ram was a good example of the breed but it just didn't have the volume and carcase of the Poll Dorset sire.
"He is structurally very good, is well-balanced and very long," Mr Barker said.
The June 2018-drop AI-bred ram is by Bundarra Downs 2026-12.
The Suffolk breed missed out on claiming an individual interbreed exhibit but it made up for it in the group classes when it won both group awards.
The first win in the group classes for the Suffolk breed came when Matt and Alison Mitsopoulos's Kalinda stud, Boyanup, won the breeder's group class for one ram and two ewes.
The Kalinda team won on a countback after it finished on 12 points, the same number as a team of White Suffolks exhibited by the Yonga Downs stud.
Mr Barker said the Kalinda team was full of meat and the best carcase sheep in the line-up.
"They have good balance, are a good Suffolk type and their width of loin is impressive," he said.
When it came to the prestigious British, Australasian and other breeds champion group class for three rams under 1.5 years the Suffolk breed again shone through.
Taking top honours this time was Richard Philipps' and Sally Larkin's Karinya stud, Boyup Brook, when their group of three rams finished a clear winner on eight points.
Not only did they win the purple broad ribbon, they also took home $5250 thanks to class sponsors the Royal Agricultural Society of WA and Elders.
Mr Gilmore said the Suffolk group was a very powerful and even team (see picture page 21).
"Their overall red meat yield is exceptional," Mr Gilmore said.
"Two rams in the team were June 2018-drops and were sired by Karinya 655, while the third was a July drop sired by Pamellen 77.
A Poll Dorset team from the Brimfield stud finished second on a countback after finishing on 14 points with a Prime SAMM team from the Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading.