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WOOL | 20 July 2012

Young Merino Stud Breeder Wins National Fleece Competition

12th Australian Fleece Competition



A Superfine Merino fleece from Grassy Creek Merino Stud at Reids Flat, in the Southern Slopes region of New South Wales, has taken out the Grand Champion Fleece title at the Australian Fleece Competition, currently being held in Bendigo, Victoria.


The Australian Fleece Competition, in its 12th year, is the largest fully measured fleece competition in the world and this year attracted over 470 entries, from across Australia. It is held in conjunction with the Australian Sheep and Wool Show.


Almost 70 per cent of the fleeces on show have been donated by the exhibitors, to be sold by auction at the completion of the competition. All proceeds from the sale will then be donated to this year’s nominated charity, Epilepsy Australia.


To determine Australia’s top fleece in the competition, all are weighed and sampled for objective measurement (including length and strength), under standard procedures of the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA).


This year’s judges were; Peter Carey, General Manager of Williams Wool, and Ted Wilson, Fine Wool Specialist for Landmark / Jackson of Geelong, who between them represent the processor/exporter and woolbroker/grower sectors.


“The market / processing based scoring system is unique to this competition, as it generates important feedback for wool growers”, Mr Wilson said. “The concept combines traditional fleece judging with commercial wool trade requirements” he said.


The judges highlighted the style, character and soundness of the entries across all sections.
The Grand Champion Fleece was entered by Michael & Jane Corkhill, from Grassy Creek Merino Stud, with an 18.5 micron Superfine Merino fleece, scoring 94.43 out of a possible 100.  This is a great achievement, as Michael is only 35 years old, and is already making his mark in the Stud Merino industry. “We are very excited with the award. It is an honour to win the largest fleece competition in the country, and a rewarding result for our effort” Mr Corkhill said.


CD & NM Pearson from Glenbrook Merino Stud, in the New England region of Northern NSW, won Reserve Champion Fleece, with a 14.8 micron Extra Ultrafine Merino fleece, scoring 94.20 points. A fleece entered in memory of the late Jeffrey Bignell, Kananga, North East Tasmania, won the Champion Commercial Fleece. The 17.7 micron Superfine Merino fleece, with a greasy fleece weight of 7.0 kilograms, scored 91.30 points.


The Australian Fleece Competition is jointly run by Landmark, AWTA and the Australian Sheep Breeders’ Association, involving the support of 30 sponsors and over 200 exhibitors. It offers a total of $13,000 in prizes, with the award for Grand Champion fleece being a $1,500 travel voucher sponsored by Landmark and WFI Insurance.


Competition convenor, Athol Frederick from Landmark, stated that it was always difficult to pick the winning entries, which were competing for the 45 prizes on offer. “Our competition continues to generate great interest, and this is the 12th year of highlighting Australian wool to the world” Mr Frederick said.  “We have also raised over $70,000 for national charities in the past 11 years, and this year’s donation to Epilepsy Australia will continue to grow that amount” he said.

Further for comment please contact any of the below:
Ted Wilson 0409 368 376
Tim Steere 0407 116 416
Athol Frederick 0428 510 518


Fleece Competition Results 2012 (PDF 44 KB)

Fleece Competition Judging Schedule 2012 (PDF 127 KB)

Fleece Competition Catalogue 2012 (PDF 570 KB)


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