The sound of success from Big Ben
Big Ben Station's two-tooth ewe flock came out on top of a 12-flock field at a Canterbury Merino Association competition.
Runner-up to the Big Ben flock owned by Philip Wareing and managed by Brian and Mary May was the two tooth-flock of Hurunui Plains' Robin and Phillipa Jamison and third-placed was Bruce Miles' Lake Coleridge Station.
Brian May was the sheep classer for Big Ben and Stu Hogerson for Hurunui Plains with the sheep classing for Lake Coleridge, managed by Brian and Judy Kirk, provided by Gordie McMaster and Chris Bowman.
Big Ben also won the Harcourts Rural Lifestyle Wool Cup presented by Bill Dowle.
The Gordie McMaster Trophy for most improved award went to Terry and Maria Bamford's Hurunui Hills.
Farmers outlined their farming systems at each stop and talks over the two days extended to the merits of the returns of finishing merino hoggets against dairy grazing, as well as the profitability of merino flocks against crossbred sheep.
The tour began in the Amuri Basin and covered six flocks in North Canterbury, including a first trip to Lake Taylor Station near Lake Sumner Forest Park.
Over the second day of the competition six flocks were viewed from the Rakaia and Ashburton gorges.
Fourth place in the competition was the Glenaan flock owned by Paul and Prue Ensor, with Alastair Campbell the sheep classer and fifth was Hurunui Hills with Peter McCusker the sheep classer.