Dress code holds key in judging

Cally DupeCountryman
Wagin Woolarama junior handling co-ordinators Colin Batt and Ray Batt.
Camera IconWagin Woolarama junior handling co-ordinators Colin Batt and Ray Batt. Credit: Cally Dupe

Skate shoes and scruffy hair will be a big ‘no’ and neatly-pressed shirts will be a big ‘yes’ for judges at this year’s junior handling competition.

Up for grabs at this year’s Wagin Woolorama competition is a Honda quad bike donated by Phil Patterson from Gnowangerup.

The Joe Batt Memorial Junior Handler Competition was named in honour of a Wagin farmer and is open to anyone under the age of 18.

Mr Batt run a stud at Jenderwarra, near Wagin, for a number of years and sold bulls around Australia and New Zealand.

It is the third time the event has been included in the Woolorama program with previous entrants from Cunderdin, Esperance, Harvey, Quairading and Narrogin.

Junior handling coordinator Colin Batt said judges would be on the look out for a well-dressed youngster keen to prove he or she could hold their own when it came to handling sheep.

He said the “silent judge” would also look at control, posture and calmness of the sheep.

“It’s going to be big this year, we are trying to get young people into it, and to see more young people start to breed animals,” Mr Batt said.

“The young ones are eager but sometimes they don’t present well ... don’t come out with sneakers.”

Mr Batt said junior handlers should look the part on the day.

“You have to be across the board, well-presented in neat pants, neat collar and normal stock shoes,” he said.

“There are points for dress code, if you win the dress code you are half way there, then you have handler ability.”

It’s the third time the competition has been included in the Woolorama program.

Last year’s competition attracted 58 competitors with James Battersby taking out top prize.

Mr Batt said organisers were considering adding an adults division in 2018.

“We might have under-10s and then and 18 to 25 category,” he said.

The Woolorama junior handling competition will kick off at Friday at 8am with winners announced by 3pm.

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