WA Merino studs have flown the flag for the State’s sheep industry and returned home with a swag of ribbons after competing at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo. In all, 33 Merino and Poll Merinos from 12 WA studs took part in the three-day event (July 14 to 16) that is touted as the world’s largest and attracts more than 30,000 visitors to the Prince of Wales Showgrounds.. This year, three WA Merino exhibitors stood out including the King family, of Rangeview stud in Darkan, who displayed one of the best teams to have ever been brought across the Nullarbor. They displayed their medium wool ram, named Lawry, that was supreme exhibit at Wagin Woolorama and The Williams Expo, but it was their champion superfine ram from the two WA shows that won the judge’s nods at Bendigo. This Poll Merino ram, tagged Rangeview A60026, was awarded reserve grand champion fine wool ram of the show with the judges awarding the grand champion fine wool sash to Langdene A25705 — this NSW’s bred Merino ram was later judged supreme exhibit of the show. Judge Kip Gray said the Rangeview ram carried a good carcase with a lot of quality fine wool. The King family did find some success with their ram Lawry when it was matched up with a two special Rangeview ewes, the team claiming the best exhibit of three Merino or Poll Merino August shorn sheep. Rangeview Lawry and the King family’s reserve champion strong wool ewe were also awarded runners-up in the national pairs competition at Bendigo. Rangeview stud co-principal Jeremy King said he was very excited to have six very competitive sheep at Bendigo. “This is our 10th time at the national show and our best showing ever with plenty of depth in fine to strong wools,” he said. “We topped the sale with Lawry selling for $24,000 and our fine wool ram sold for $10,000 plus a fine-medium wool ram sold for another $10,000 with a third ram for $5000.” Rangeview’s top-priced ram sold to NSW-based Thalabah stud co-principal Anthony Frost. The King family started their dream show circuit run in March when they won their first supreme title at Wagin Woolorama. They also qualified for the national pairs competition at Woolorama from their first win in the Countryman Cup pair’s compeition. They took 10 sheep to Woolorama and every single one won its class, with the Rangeview stud owners also winning champion fine and medium wool fleece awards and securing the most points across the sheep and wool competitions. The King familly were the most successful exhibitor in the Merino shed, and finally awarded WA Exhibitor of the Year. Their Woolorama supreme champion, Rangeview Lawry, was then shown at the Williams Gateway Expo in April where the judges also awarded the medium wool ram the supreme sash. At Bendigo, Mr King said he was surprised by the support given from many Eastern States participants who expressed their concern for WA’s live sheep export industry. “They were very well informed and sided with our interest in maintaining a viable live trade industry,” he said. Mr King said WA stud Merino breeders were very concerned about how the talk of banning live export would effect the upcoming ram selling season. Also in the running at Bendigo was a ram bred by the Jackson family of Westerdale stud in McAlinden. This four-tooth Poll Merino ram, Westerdale A60270, was awarded grand champion fine-medium wool ram of the show. The third highly ranked ram from WA was bred by the Ledwith family, of Kolindale stud in Kondinin. Their March shorn ram was awarded reserve grand champion strong wool ram of the show. In the champion classes, a Wililoo Merino ram was awarded champion August shorn ram and an Eastville Park Merino ram was awarded reserve champion March shorn strong wool ram. To find out more, visit the Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA Facebook site.