Five years after he first started exhibiting merinos at the Gore A&P Show, James Mitchell has won the award he has had his eye on.
On Saturday his 4-year old ram won the Alliance Perpetual Trophy for the best woolbreed sheep. The ram also won champion merino ram.
Winning the trophy had been one of his goals, James, 17, said. He bought the ram this year from Armidale Merino Stud breeders Simon and Sarah Paterson of Ranfurly. The ram had a big frame for a merino and a micron count of 18.
‘‘He’s got good bones and a good carcass. ‘‘His wool is pretty fine.’’
He ran 50 ewes and the ram on his parents’ Andrew and Ruth Mitchell’s Ferndale farm.
The couple had a Romney stud which Mr Mitchell’s grandfather Johnny started 85 years ago. James preferred merinos for their ability to produce meat and wool.
‘‘It’s just different really.’’
The squally weather did not keep the crowd away from the 141st running of the show.
Throughout the morning and early afternoon bursts of driving rain sent people scurrying for shelter.
By 2pm, in time for the grand parade, most of the rain clouds had passed through and the showgrounds were bathed in sunlight.
Rob and Lynne Hall’s cow Lilliesleaf Violet 1407 and calf Lilliesleaf Hika 303 at foot won the best in show award.
Violet, a rising 8-year-old Angus, was the top beef animal which qualified her to vie for the best in show along with other animals including the best sheep, pony and goat.
It was ‘‘great’’ to win best in show, Mr Hall said.
‘‘She’s a good cow . . .she’s raised a calf every year since she was a 2-year-old.’’
The cow had good conformation, he said.
‘‘She’s got a good clean shoulder and moves very well on the ground.’’
Gore A&P Show Association member Alan Steel was presented with a Royal Agricultural Society Centennial Medal by Gore association president Martin Powley.
Mr Powley said Mr Steel was a worthy recipient of the award after more than 50 years of being part of A&P associations in Balclutha and Gore.
‘‘I know how much work he has done for the A&P.’’
Mr Steel said it was ‘‘bit of a shock’’ to receive the award. When he was farming he enjoyed getting off the farm and being part of the show committee.
‘‘I like the camaraderie and working away around the grounds.
‘‘Being a farmer, I like animals and seeing the improvement in animals.’’
Show secretary Karla King said entries were slightly down on last year’s Royal Show event.
‘‘We’ve had really strong entries in the sheep and goat.’’
An alpaca fleece competition was held for the first time and was very successful.
‘‘We had an outstanding response of 102 entries, so we’re really happy about that.’’
Despite the weather there was still a good turnout, Ms King said.
‘‘It was great to see the community supporting us, even when it’s raining.’’