Rural Notebook | Meet the winning maiden merino ewe crew

IN THE SHADE: Under the lovely English trees at “Dulcis Vale” are judge Katrina Blomfield, winner Jerome Carberry, judge Chris Stapleton, Bathurst Merino Association committee member Col McPhee and Nigel Kerin.
IN THE SHADE: Under the lovely English trees at “Dulcis Vale” are judge Katrina Blomfield, winner Jerome Carberry, judge Chris Stapleton, Bathurst Merino Association committee member Col McPhee and Nigel Kerin.

LAST Friday’s Bathurst Merino Association (BMA) Annual Maiden Merino Ewe Competition, held on eight properties to the north of Bathurst city, was a real success, even though there were many reasons why it faced problems.

First place and the Jack Seaman Memorial Trophy was won by Jerome Carberry of “Dulcis Vale", Limekilns. 

His team of Darriwell blood ewes were big-framed, heavy boned sheep and Jerome gave much of the credit to his brother-in-law Tony Toole and said “he’s my sheep man”.

Second place and the Bob Bryden Trophy went to Gordon Nash of “Ulabri”, Wattle Flat with Demondrille blood ewes that were described as being “sweet in the wool”.

Third place and the Landmark Trophy was won by Geoff and Robyn Rayner of “Pomanara”, Sallys Flat and their team will keep growing traditional ultra fine fibre for the specialty Italian market.

Fourth place and the Elders Award went to the Healey family of “Box Hill”, Turondale with Merryville/Yarrawonga blood ewes. One judge stated that some of the best ewes that he saw in the event were in this team.

LOOKS GOOD: The winning team of Darriwell blood ewes in the race at “Dulcis Vale”, Limekilns.

LOOKS GOOD: The winning team of Darriwell blood ewes in the race at “Dulcis Vale”, Limekilns.

Some brief highlights of the day included:

  • One competition judge was unable to participate with very few hours to be replaced, but respected local studmaster Chris Stapleton, of Capree Merino Stud, Newbridge, stepped up to the plate and did his usual quiet, capable job.
  • About 60 spectators attended each property and enjoyed the event and the opportunity to network with peers, agents and friends from across our district.
  • The competition’s first lady judge Katrina Blomfield, “Karori” Merino Stud, Walcha, impressed with her very obvious knowledge of our industry and her friendly approach to our association and its members.
  • I thought the presentation dinner and its venue at Bathurst RSL Club was excellent and a fitting end to one of rural Bathurst’s best events.

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All involved know that I stay at arm's length from the organisation of BMA events as younger people use fresh ideas.

This year's event was exactly what many in the farming community needed - a chance for a good yarn and a lift in spirits. Please take a bow, BMA, for a job well done.

Two wise remarks from the ewe competition trail:

  • LLS waived its rates for 2019 and this is the first year we’re getting the same value as for what we paid.
  • Would you rather receive 70 millimetres of steady rain on March 11-15 or a Michael Daley Labor government a few days later?

Happy couple

HAPPY 90th birthday to Ted Rheinberger in Bathurst. Ted and Betty have been one of our district’s much-loved couples all of their lives and the party photos in the Western Advocate were a real who’s who of our community.

Save the date

EVEN the more favoured sections of our tablelands have dried off rapidly and the summer grasses that have looked so good are just about ready to blow up against fence lines.

Underneath some of these grasses is still some stock feed, but every farmer in NSW will be hoping that a prediction of “drought breaking rains starting on March 11/12” is true.

No danger

EVERY merino breeder in Australia knows that the New Zealand Labour Government has banned the mules operation in sheep and that it is a criminal offence to carry out the practice in each Island.

It is reassuring to know that any suggestion of such a ban in Australia is “pure fiction” as many of the heavier wool cutting sheep in our country would probably not be bred if this practice were banned.

Wool report

THE eight-week run of gains couldn’t be sustained this week as the Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 2063c/kg - down 11c/kg.

All merino types lost ground. The fine wools lost around 10c/kg and the medium and broad lost around 25c/kg.

The only wools to have a positive week were the fine crossbreds, which were up around 20c/kg.

Even though we have seen some big offerings in the last couple of weeks, bales sold for the season are approximately 200,000 down on last season at this stage.

The millionth bale for the season was sold last week, around two months later than last year, which gives an indication of the lagging supply.

Next week will see 46,128 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

HERBIE was 40 and lived at home with his mum and dad on a hard little farm.

A country zookeeper told him that a fully grown gorilla female was being impossible to settle down. 

“If a big, strong bloke like you would get into her cage and hug and soothe her for two hours every day for two weeks, she might settle," he said. "I promise your family will never know, you won’t get hurt, and the deed will be worth $5000.”

Herbie came back after three hours. “I’ll do the job," he said. "Don’t tell Mum and Dad. I won’t get hurt, but it might take me a couple of days to rake up the $5000."​