FIFTEEN years of entering sheep in the State Ewe Hogget Competition and experience gained from 10 years of organising it, finally paid off for Bryce Sinclair at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days recently.
Mr Sinclair's pen of 10 paddock-selected ewe hoggets with Fern Park and Crichton Vale bloodlines was judged on conformation, wool type, profitability and evenness across the group, as the best of seven entrants.
One of those other entrants Mr Sinclair bettered with his pen of hoggets was his father Dean, DP & RM Sinclair, Varley, also a long-time participant in the competition.
Judges Scott Pickering, principal of Derella Downs and Pyramid Poll Merino stud, Cascade and Jason Griffiths, principal of Canowie Fields Merino and Poll Merino stud, Gairdner, awarded the June-July drop, October-shorn, BP Sinclair, East Newdegate, sheep 740 points out of a possible 800 in the 34th State Ewe Hogget Competition judged on the first day of last week's Newdegate Machinery Field Days.
Runner up was past winner Rob Newman, RG Newman, Newdegate, with 695 points awarded for his pen of 10 April-May drop, August-shorn Keetlen Valley bloodline hoggets.
Third place for Shaun Counsel, Warrening Gully Farm, made the trip from Williams worthwhile with his 10 July-August drop, November-shorn, Charinga and Banavie bloodlines hoggets.
Dyson Jones Wool Marketing Services provided the $1500 first prize, the Stud Merino Breeders' Association of WA provided the $1000 second prize and Elders the third prize of $500.
Mr Pickering said the hoggets displayed were "a credit to all the exhibitors".
"It was a fairly hard job judging, although the winner was a standout group, with very good structure, well grown for their age, very even in the wool type - there was probably one sheep out of the 10 that was a little bit off the wool type, which is pretty amazing - and their feet were good," Mr Pickering said.
"We (judges) both decided accordingly on first, second and third," he said.
Mr Griffiths confirmed Mr Pickering's assessment of the winner's pen.
"They were very even, with a good top line and they've got very productive skins on them, they're a good heavy-cutting type," Mr Griffiths said.
"There were some really good sheep presented here and congratulations to the people who put their sheep up for scrutiny.
"Overall, it's great to see there are still people interested in sheep and bringing them along for people to have a look at."
Mr Sinclair said he was very pleased to have won, but was not looking forward to telling his father that his sheep had beaten his father's.
"Dad's been entering for years but has never won it (State Ewe Hogget Competition)," said Mr Sinclair, who shears about 12,000 sheep yearly on a 13,500 hectare mixed cropping and sheep enterprise.
"I've been organising the competition for roughly 10 years and I've been entering it for probably 15 years," he said.
"I've come second - about three or four years ago - before, but this is the first time I've won it.
"We use Crichton Vale bloodlines and, earlier, Fern Park bloodlines so they're bloody big sheep and they've got good, stylish 19.5-20 micron wool on them with a well-defined crimp.
"It's been a pretty good year for sheep - they (penned hoggets) dropped June-July, so they dropped on the green tucker and had green tucker all the way through summer," he said.
Mr Sinclair thanked the other competitors for putting sheep in for judging, the judges, the Newdegate Machinery Field Days organising committee for continuing to host the competition and the sponsors.
"There was good support for the competition this year, considering the field days weren't able to be held last year and people are busy shearing at the moment," he said.
Mr Newman agreed "it's a pretty easy year to run sheep".
The judges said his hoggets were "a good line of sheep with good wool and a very even group".
Mr Counsel said he was "pretty happy with the way they've (hoggets) come up considering we've had about 600 millimetres of rain for the year so far".
The judges noted his pen was the youngest group of sheep and being November shorn, had the least amount of wool on them, but they were a very even grouping.
Other entrants were DP & RM Sinclair, Varley, with June-July drop, October-shorn, Crichton Vale bloodline hoggets, Compass Agriculture, Nyabing, with May-June drop, October-shorn, Wiringa Park bloodline hoggets, IF & SJ Lloyd, Newdegate, with March drop, September-shorn, East Mundalla bloodline hoggets and WT & MC Hurst and J Jolly, Nyabing, with May drop, March-shorn hoggets with Claypans and St Quentin bloodlines.