White River claims top hogget honours | PHOTOS

A “bold staple fella” from White River Merinos, Poochera, was sashed the Elders Hogget of the Year at the Eyre Peninsula Pre-Sale Expo, held at Wudinna showground.

Despite most of South Australia being in desperate need of rain to boost livestock producers’ hopes for the season, 17 Poll Merino and Merino studs from across the state – coming from as far as the south east – showcased lines of top rams at the the pre-sale expo. 

Australian Wool Innovation director Jock Laurie opened the event and said although livestock producers nationwide were struggling, it was still a great time to promote the state's top genetics because of the industry's buoyant market. 

As well as showcasing the best of the region’s Merino genetics, the day also included the judging of the Elders hogget of the year.

Judge Justin Boughen of Karoonda said the White River ram had wool cover to its points. 

“The ram was a very big and bold staple fella that was very long in the body and correct on its feet,” he said. 

The ram’s fleece measured 21.5 microns, with a standard deviation of 3.5, 16.3 coefficient of variation and a 99.2 per cent comfort factor.

Sired by Moorundie NE8, the May 2017-drop ram was an upstanding ram, stud principal Wes Daniell said.

“It will be retained in the stud as a reserve and be put to work in November with a select group of ewes,” he said. 

“Even in a tough season it has performed well and remained in good condition. 

“It also kept a good (wool) tip and that has been the toughest part in past seven to eight months.”  

Mr Boughen also said the winning ram was “pure”, true to type and had the potential to have great impact as a sire. 

“It had top wool coverage and the quality,” he said.