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WOOL | 18 July 2008

Stiff Competition Astounds Fleece Judges

The Australian Fleece Competition is the largest and richest fully measured fleece competition in the world. This year the competition attracted 475 entries from all states of Australia. To find Australia’s top fleece, all are weighed and sampled for objective measurement (including length and strength) under standard procedures of the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA).

The judges of the 2008 Australian Fleece Competition were astounded by the excellent quality of fleeces displayed.

Mr Ian Whiting, a Director of Modiano Australia and Mr Chris McDonnell, NSW Wool Manager for Landmark, remarked on the extremely competitive competition and the very fine margins between place getters, in many of the classes.

They said that there was often little separation between the qualities of fleeces in the first 10 places of a class.

The Grand Champion fleece was entered by David Fletcher. The fleece measured 17.1 microns and scored a total of 94.25 points out of a possible 100.

"This is a major highlight for me, in a lifetime of breeding merino sheep. I am elated and honoured to win this award," Mr Fletcher said.

The Competition is jointly run by Landmark, AWTA and the Australian Sheep Breeders’ Association, involving the support of 30 sponsors and 207 exhibitors.

The Grand Champion is the recipient of a $1,500 travel voucher sponsored by Landmark and CGU Insurance. A total of $13,000 is up for grabs as part of the competition.

BM & SL Gordon from the Lyndon Merino Stud at Guyra, in the New England region of NSW, won the Reserve Champion Fleece, with an extra ultrafine ewe’s fleece, by the closest of margins. Their 15.5 micron fleece scored 94.15 points, only 0.10 behind the Grand Champion.

Competition convenor, Athol Frederick from Landmark, said that the Competition continues to thrive, despite prolonged adverse seasonal conditions, as it is based on both commercial and subjective assessment.

"The Australian Fleece Competition really provides wool producers, both commercial and stud, with a good demonstration of how their product compares with wool from other areas and states, and it is now recognised as an excellent opportunity to showcase the Australian wool industry to the world," said Mr Frederick.

The proportion of commercial fleece entries in the Competition continues to grow, amounting to 48% this year, up from 44% in 2007.

The Grand Champion Commercial Merino Fleece award went to Garry & Kaye Davidson, from Walpa in Gippsland Victoria, for a 17.5 micron entry with a clean fleece weight of 4.5 kilograms, and scoring 92.35 points. The Champion Corriedale Fleece award went to Bron Ellis of Sweetfield Stud, Mount Moriac Victoria, scoring 84.30 points, in an impressive showing of corriedale fleeces, this year’s feature breed.

Fleece exhibitors’ generosity will provide a healthy donation to charity after the competition is over, when 60% of the fleeces are donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, currently celebrating 80 years of service.





Grand Champion

David Fletcher, Auchen Dhu



Reserve Champion

BM & SL Gordon, Lyndon



Champion Commercial

Garry & Kaye Davidson



Reserve Commercial Champion

P & C Marshall, Tareela



Champion Corriedale

Bron Ellis, Sweetfield



Most Successful Entrant

PT Venning, Coora



For a full list of results and winners see the Wool website.

For further information -

Chris McDonnell Landmark Mobile 0417 442 523
Tim Steere AWTA Mobile 0407 116 416
Athol Frederick Landmark Mobile 0428 510 518

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