Merino breeders produce top ewe hoggets
The Paterson family from the Armidale Merino Stud at Gimmerburn has added to its impressive record in sheep breeding this season with its success as the overall winner of the New Zealand Ewe Hogget competition.
Simon and Allan Paterson won both the fine wool and crossbred sections for the best ewe hoggets in their respective classes and won the Alliance Cup and the Royal Agricultural Society Medal as overall winners of the national contest.
Armidale has won both the national Golden Fleece contest and Central Otago Merino Breeders' Clip of the Year several times in the last decade. It has also regularly won championship ribbons for fine wool merino stock shown at the Canterbury and Upper Clutha A&P Shows in recent years.
Last month the Paterson family took further honours after winning the Massey University Innovation Award for industry leadership in stud merino breeding and the Waterforce Integrated Management Award for efficient irrigation use in the Otago Ballance Farm Management Awards.
This year 10 of the 11 finalists in the ewe hogget awards were from the South Island, eight of those were from Otago and seven of those were from Central Otago, a reflection of a strong season for sheep farmers in this region, said national convenor Stephen Rabbidge, from Wyndham.
This year the national panel of judges travelled about 4000 kilometres throughout the North and South Islands over seven days and inspected 150,000 ewe hoggets in flocks ranging in size from 200 to 6500.
Rabbidge said the judges viewed between 25 and 28 flocks and usually the top three or four flocks really stood out. This year eight or nine entries could easily have been worthy national winners, he said.
Winners of the New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition were:
Romney: Richard and Mez Power (Hawarden) 1, Andy and Campbell Denham (Palmerston) 2.
Composite: John and Sally Andrews (Ranfurly) 1, Mike and Buff Power (Millers Flat) 2.
Crossbred: Simon and Allan Paterson (Ranfurly) 1, Raywell Farm (Withell Family, Leeston) 2.
Perendale: Mike McElrea (Edievale) 1.
Fine wool: Simon and Allan Paterson (Ranfurly) 1, Jeremy and Julie Cameron (Hyde) 2.
Coopworth: Tom and Richard Whitford (Tuakau) 1, Evans Partnership (Poolburn) 2.
Overall winner (Alliance Cup and Royal Agricultural Society Medal); Simon and Allan Paterson (Ranfurly).
- © Fairfax NZ News