Shane Baker with the Boolooa stud's supreme White Suffolk exhibit at the 2016 Elite. Photo: Laura Griffin

Exhibitors energised for Elite Show and Sale

The event at the Prince of Wales Showground kicks off with the White Suffolk judging on Friday, September 15. The Suffolk judging will be held on the Saturday, with the supreme to be announced on the Sunday, followed by the sale starting at noon.

Another key activity of the sixth annual Elite event is the sponsored barbecue for Saturday’s lunch.

Mr Jamieson said everyone in the shed was welcome to join the exhibitors, and it was a great opportunity for potential buyers to inspect rams and speak with the breeders.

“We have a very large selection of high quality rams and ewes in the sale catalogue, as well as in the show” he said.

Nearly 40 studs will exhibit sheep between the Suffolks and the White Suffolks, with 325 entries in total.

Mr Jamieson said some of the rams and ewes in the Elite show had already won ribbons at major shows, for example those that won breed supremes and champions at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show, Bendigo, and Sheepvention, Hamilton.

He said top studs from across Victoria, NSW, Tasmania, and South Australia were bringing animals.

Mr Jamieson said despite  the event was a great chance for stud breeders to get together and have fun showing sheep.

He commended the committee on getting sponsors for all of the White Suffolk and Suffolk classes, with most getting cash prizes.

Experienced and respected judge Andrew Donnan, Anden stud, Woolalong, will judge the Elite show for the first time.

In the sale, the White Suffolks have 43 rams and 15 ewes and the Suffolks have 14 rams and 12 ewes.

Mr Jamieson said some studs would make their Elite debut and the numbers are up on last year. Despite having studs from SA and other states not participating because their on-property ram sales were earlier this year.

For the first time this year, the Bendigo Elite White Suffolk & Suffolk Show & Sale Facebook page has videos of the sale lots ahead of the event, to give potential buyers more information about the animals.

Elders and Landmark will conduct the sale.

“I think the way lamb prices are and the pressure on seed stock producers, I expect the sale to go well,” Mr Jamieson said.

The sale has improved each year, and Mr Jamieson said last year the average price for the White Suffolk rams was more than $4000 and it had never been that high before.

“And all the ewes in the catalogue sold.”

He offers rams and also buys a number of rams at the sale each year “...because the quality is so high”.

He said it was a great opportunity to buy new bloodlines for the family’s Wattle Park stud, based at Finley, NSW. To date, they’ve had good results with the rams purchased at the Elite.

He was also excited to see who would be bidding at the sale, since the number of White Suffolk studs had been growing.

“I think people like the White Suffolks’ ease of lambing; good, short downs type wool that keep sucker lambs sappy; bare legs and face; and high yielding carcases.”

He pointed to the Dubbo Show Prime Lamb Hoof and Hook Competition’s results, when a White Suffolk pen shown by Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Tamworth, NSW, won champion on hook. The school also won the highest eye muscle area.

“White Suffolks also have good temperaments and are exceptional mothers, and all of these traits go into producing great sucker lambs as well as very good heavy weight lambs,” Mr Jamieson said.

“White Suffolks are coming into their own – the demand’s so strong that 13 new White Suffolk studs have been registered in WA this year, so that about a 30 per cent lift in active, registered studs in that state.”