Landsborough's winning livestock have to go

Hillalong and Evanston take ewe, heifer prizes at Muttaburra


Wool
Flock Ewe Show judge Justin Campbell and Amanda Button, with help from Albert Button, sash the champion production Merino ewe, shown by Julann, Bill and Annabell Chandler, Hillalong, Barcaldine.

Flock Ewe Show judge Justin Campbell and Amanda Button, with help from Albert Button, sash the champion production Merino ewe, shown by Julann, Bill and Annabell Chandler, Hillalong, Barcaldine.

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What wool and beef producers are capable of, given a decent season, was highlighted at the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show at Muttaburra on the weekend.

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What wool and beef producers are capable of, given a decent season, was highlighted at the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show at Muttaburra on the weekend.

Both the champion ewe and best heifer breeders have either sold or are about to sell their stock thanks to poor seasonal conditions.

Two Chandler families traded flock ewe championships on the day but it was the senior of the pair that showed the champion production Merino ewe.

The three-year-old short wool ewe from Hillalong, bred by Bill, Julann and Annabell Chandler received the nod from judge Justin Campbell over any of the younger long wool ewes exhibited by son and brother, Will Chandler, Oma, Isisford.

Mr Campbell, the general manager at Boonoke stud, NSW, said that nine times out of 10 he would choose the ewe with more fleece.

"However, the winner really stood out to me," he said. "It's my type of wool - beautiful, crimpy and soft."

Sheep judging underway at the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show.

Sheep judging underway at the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show.

The champion ewe came from a pen that had earlier been selected as the best local pen, while the Oma ewes had been judged the grand champion pen.

Both Hillalong and Oma flocks are based on Egelabra bloodlines and Bill Chandler said their wool averaged 19 microns.

"I try to breed bale fillers with an emphasis on soft wool," he said.

Related: Wool's true believer reaping reward

Due to poor summer rainfall, all 3000 bale fillers will soon be sold.

Hillalong received only 62.5mm from ex-Cyclone Trevor and grew no useful feed from that.

Ironically the Chandlers christened their new shearing shed the previous September with the same sheep.

Muttaburra breeder Stuart Bowden, Penlan Downs, showed the reserve champion pen of flock ewes and the champion pen bred on Queensland bloodlines, going on to claim both the aggregate sheep trophy and the aggregate sheep and wool trophy.

Stuart Bowden, Penlan Downs, Muttaburra with Sarah Fysh, Acacia Downs, Muttaburra and the reserve champion pen of flock ewes.

Stuart Bowden, Penlan Downs, Muttaburra with Sarah Fysh, Acacia Downs, Muttaburra and the reserve champion pen of flock ewes.

The Webb family at Weewondilla collected the aggregate wool prize. while champion wether fleece ribbon went to Rob Fawckner, Bonnie Downs, Winton and the champion ewe fleece to Russell and Louise Poole, Lillianfels, Muttaburra.

The wether fleece, which weighed 7.6kg and had a micron of 21.4 and a commercial value of $102.63, went on to be the grand champion fleece of the show.

Wool judge Bob Tully, Landmark, said the 70 fleeces were impressive in both quantity and quality considering the seasonal conditions.

"Some you might not normally put in but people wanted to support their local show," he said. "Big cities could learn a thing or two from efforts like this."

Cattle section steward Ralph Rae with John MacMillan, Evanston, Ilfracombe and the best pen of replacement heifers.

Cattle section steward Ralph Rae with John MacMillan, Evanston, Ilfracombe and the best pen of replacement heifers.

Three number 8 heifers picked out of the 11 left behind when John and Maree MacMillan destocked their Ilfracombe property Evanston last December, won a swag of ribbons in the show's cattle section.

The milk tooth Santa Gertrudis cross pen was judged the best pen of replacement heifers and included the best overall heifer and reserve.

Evanston also won the ribbon for best pen of feeder heifers as judged by Doug Burnett, Bendemere, Clermont, while Brad and Jackie Schultz, Tower Hill, Muttaburra, showed the reserve champion feeder heifers as well as the best pen of feeder steers.

Mr MacMillan said he liked the hybrid vigour of the Santa cross, adding that they did well on a weight for age basis when it did rain.

With only 11 cattle left on the property, he said he might run a trading operation for a while.

Read more: Muttaburra stock defy drought

The story Landsborough's winning livestock have to go first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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