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WOOL | 13 August 2015

2015 Australian Fleece Competition

Georgina & Hamish Wallace, from Trefusis Merino Stud, Ross, Tasmania, have taken out the Grand Champion Fleece title at the Australian Fleece Competition in Bendigo with a Superfine Merino fleece.

The Australian Fleece Competition, now in its 15th year, is the largest fully measured fleece competition in the world, this year attracting nearly 500 entries.

The competition, a joint effort by Landmark, Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) & Australian Sheep Breeder’s Association (ASBA), is held in conjunction with the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, which will be held in Bendigo this Friday 17 July to Sunday 19 July.

Almost two thirds of the fleeces on show were donated by exhibitors for auction at the completion of the competition with all proceeds to be donated to this year’s nominated charity, Life’s Little Treasures Foundation

The Grand Champion 17.8 micron fleece scored 94.55 out of a possible 100 points.

Georgina Wallace, from Trefusis Merino Stud said that she was absolutely thrilled to win the Grand Champion Fleece in this year’s National competition. “It’s a dream come true. The fleece is off a ewe named Josie, after my mother, which was Reserve Champion Merino Fine Wool Ewe at Bendigo last year.

PT Venning from Clare, South Australia, won 3 of the major awards on offer, including the Reserve Grand Champion Fleece, scoring 93.65 for a 17.1 micron Extra Superfine Merino fleece, the Champion Commercial fleece, as well as taking out the Most Successful Exhibitor award.

Judges for this year’s competition were Mr Andrew Jackson, Director, United Wool Company, and Mr Adrian Dewell, Landmark South Australian Wool Manager. Both praised the high standard of the entries, and acknowledged the difficult growing conditions throughout large parts of Australia.

“Commercial fleece entries in particular reflected the tougher conditions, with a large number displaying variation in staple conformity, or a lack of uniformity. This variation has the potential to cause issues during processing” Mr Jackson said.

Competition convener, Landmark’s Athol Frederick, said picking the winning entries was always a difficult task for judges, particularly this year, with some classes having up to 46 entries.

“Commercial entries outnumbered Stud entries for the first time this year, which tells us that the fully measured criteria is proving beneficial for growers” Mr Frederick said.

Supported by 28 sponsors and more than 200 exhibitors, the competition offers $14,000 in prizes, with the grand champion fleece exhibitor collecting a $2000 travel voucher sponsored by Landmark and WFI Insurance.

The Performance Class, which caters for exhibitors shearing in six to eight-month cycles commercially, continues to grow, and was taken out this year by L & M Proctor, Kooreh, Victoria.

Mr Frederick said this year’s chosen charity, Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, was well known for their continuous support for premature babies and their families.

“Over the past 14 years, exhibitors in the Australian Fleece Competition have donated over $100,000 worth of fleeces to national charities. The generosity from wool growers and sponsors is overwhelming, and this years nominated charity is worthy of our support” Mr Frederick said.

All competition fleeces were weighed and sampled for objective measurement (including length and strength), under standard procedures of the AWTA.

For more information on the Australian Fleece Competition, please contact the below.

Athol Frederick
Convener, Australian Fleece Competition
0428 510 518

Tim Steere
0407 116 416

Adrian Dewell
Fleece Competition Judge, Landmark
0427 975 716

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