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WOOL | 15 July 2016

2016 Australian Fleece Competition Results





For the first time in Australian Fleece Competition history, a commercial fleece has won the prestigious Grand Champion prize.


Paul & Margy Seaman, from “Rosemont”, Crookwell, NSW, have taken out the Grand Champion Fleece title at the Australian Fleece Competition in Bendigo with a superfine Merino fleece. The Grand Champion trophy has previously only been won by Stud entries.


The Australian Fleece Competition, now in its 16th year, is the largest fully measured fleece competition in the world, this year attracting 481 entries.


The competition, a joint effort by AWTA, ASBA & Landmark, is run in conjunction with the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, which will be held in Bendigo this Friday 15 July to Sunday 17 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 donate to this year’s nominated charity, Diabetes Australia. This year the Australian Sheep and Wool Show coincides with National Diabetes week.


The Grand Champion 17.7 micron fleece scored an amazing 96.10 out of a possible 100 points, and was accordingly awarded the Champion Commercial fleece as well.


Paul Seaman said that he and wife Margie, who have supported the fleece competition for more than 10 years, were “honored to be judged Grand Champion, particularly being the first exhibitor to win with a commercial fleece.”


“Wool is the ultimate fabric and a labour of love for us, with a fantastic future due to diligent breeders and scientific research”, said Paul.


Reserve Champion went to JB & JB Russell, from Melrose Merino Stud, Victoria, with a Fine Merino entry which scored 96.00, a mere .10 behind the Grand Champion.


HM Barty & Sons, “Beverley Merino Stud”, Redesdale, Victoria, continued their successful history by winning the Most Successful Stud Exhibitor trophy


The Global Dohne Conference feature attracted 40 fleeces to the competition. The Champion Dohne fleece award was taken out by Margie Pye, Caroonboon, Wanganella, New South Wales. Reserve Champion was awarded to Richard Beggs, Nareeb Nareeb Dohne Stud, Glenthompson, Victoria.


Judges for this year’s competition were Mr Andrew Jackson, Director, United Wool Company, and Mr Matthew Thomas, Landmark Queensland Wool Account Manager. Both praised the high standard of the entries, and said the impeccable quality of the fleeces was reflected by the record high points achieved this year.


“Fleeces of this calibre are not only pleasing to the eye, but also a processor’s delight” Mr Jackson said.


Competition convener, Landmark’s Athol Frederick, said picking the winning entries was always a difficult task for judges, particularly with microns ranging from 12.5 to 50.


“Commercial fleeces comprised 50% of entries this year, reinforcing the fact that the fully measured criteria is proving beneficial for growers” Mr Frederick said.


Supported by 29 sponsors and more than 190 exhibitors, the competition offers $16,000 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, will again be part of the competition. This year’s Champion and Reserve Champion titles were taken out by Avenel Merino Stud, Wanganella, NSW.


Mr Frederick said this year’s chosen charity, Diabetes Australia, was a worthy recipient of this year’s donation, with 1.2 Million Australians currently affected by Diabetes.


“Over the past 15 years, exhibitors in the Australian Fleece Competition have donated over $116,000 to national charities. The generosity from wool growers and sponsors is overwhelming, and this year’s nominated charity is very 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


Andrew Jackson
Fleece Competition Judge, Director, United Wool Company
0418 800 673


Matthew Thomas
Fleece Competition Judge, Landmark
0419 937 883



Photo and Interview Opportunities


The major awards will be presented at 1pm on Saturday 16th July, in the Bendigo Exhibition Centre, Prince of Wales Showgrounds.




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