Graham and Roy Robertson, “Lynlea”, Bookham, with their winning draft of Merino ewes.Roy Robertson and his father Graham, “Lynlea”, Bookham, have entered the Bookham-Berremangra Merino ewe competition conducted under the auspices of the Bookham Agricultural Bureausince its inception to track the steady improvement of their flock.
This year they were rewarded for their commitment to the Merino industry, being awarded first place overall, sponsored by Elders,Yass, and first in the Selected Best Ten Percent class sponsored by Gordon Litchfield Wool, Yass.
Co-judge Mick Corkhill, Grassy Creek Merinos, Reids Flat, complimented the Robertson’s on the style of their sheep.
Richard Hyles, “Westbourne”, Berremangra, with his Merino ewes, placed first in the shortwool section.
“They have really magnificent wool, can handle the water beautifully and have incredible handle, softness and style with beautiful nourishment,’ Mr Corkhill said.
“I can see what you want to do with them, and I totally agree …get a bit more leg, a bit more length of body …but the fundamentals are there.”
Co-judge, Ben Lane, manager Windridge Farms, Young, and formerly of the Uardry Merino stud, Hay, concurred with Mr Corkhill’s comments.
“The top ten percent are where you want to be and obviously if you put a bit more size on them that would be great,” he said.
“A bigger ram with a bit more micron is not going to hurt because you have good skin.”
Mr Lane further said the ewes were in perfect condition with depth and good carcase shape.
Second overall, behind the Robertson flock was Caroline Spittle and Rosie Mitchell, Kingslea Partnership, Berramangra, presenting their March-shorn Grogansworth-blood ewes,with Richard Hyles, taking third place displaying his November-shorn Yarrawonga-blood flock.
In the Selected Best Ten Percent, the Robertson flock were judged ahead of Richard Hyles,”Westbourne”, Berremangra, and in third place Caroline Spittle and Rosie Mitchell, Kingslea Partnership, Berremangra.
Competition entrant Sandy Shannon, Bookham Station, Bookham, with his Merino ewes on the point of being shorn.
Mr Hyles was awarded the Grogansworth stud, Yass prize for first place in the shortwool section, while Bill, Marg and Brett Mackay, “Brookfield”, Bowning, were awarded the Encouragement prize sponsored by Bogo Merino stud, Yass.
Mr Mackay has introduced Yarrawonga genetics to lift the production of his traditional finewool flock based on Merryville-blood.
Soft Merino skins the answer at BookhamCommitted to their craft,woolgrowersGraham and Roy Robertson,“Lynlea”, Bookham, have a simple but defined vision when purchasing replacement rams.
Addressingthe gathered woolgrowers during the Bookham Merino ewe competition,Roy Robertsonsaidtheir rams have been selected for the past 20 years for their long staple length and deep crimp.
“We started with a superfine base, and we’ve managed to keep the [fine] micron,” he said.
“It is actually getting finer without really trying as we haven’t fleece micron tested for five years.”
Mr Robertson explained their aim is to breed a good size ewe, growing a long-stapled nice white and deep crimping fleece on a relatively thick skin.
Currently their maiden ewes, based on Tallawong, Merrignee and Yarrawonga genetics are cutting 5.5kg as 10 month lambs and measuring 16.9m.
Recent introductions of rams from the Yass-based studsBogo and Billa Burra Burra have been selected for their type based upon the Robertson philosophy.
Mr Robertson admitted their genetic base is becoming wider, but they continue to have the same determination when purchasing their replacement rams.
“Our ram selection has been focusing on size for the past couple of years and not necessarily on micron at the moment,” Mr Robertson admitted.
“We are not too worried about putting a 20 micronram over these sheep as it doesn’t seem to affect the micron [average] of the flock.”
Co-judge Mick Corkhill agreed with their ambition.
“You talk about putting a 20 micron wool over them …the skin quality of your sheep is spot on,” he said.
“Good skins are going to test …that is the bottom line!”
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