2014 Australian Sheep & Wool Show, Bendigo
For 2014 the Association and participating breeders took a larger site/marquee and included fleece/products along with the promotion of the finnsheep breed.
This combination seemed to work well with many of the general public commenting on how great it was to see the finished products alongside the animals.
With the slightly bigger space for sheep this year we were able to feature composites as well as the purebred finnsheep. In the 8 pens on display were purebreds, finn-merino, and finn/merino/suffolk crosses. This encouraged great conversation between the finn-breeders and other breeders as well as the public this year.
The commercial advantage of short tail (no docking) and clean breech (no mulesing), low body fat scores, and outstanding mothering/multiple births continues to drive interest in the breed, especially with these traits passing on strongly to the first-crosses as well.
The special feature this year was the presence of several of the sextuplets (six lambs) bred from one ewe at Penesh Finns, and now 12 months old.
The accompanying trade stalls featured a great cross-section of pure finn and finn-cross fleeces, which gave other sheep-breed exhibitors and the public a much greater appreciation of the qualities of finn fleece.
Sheep on display this year were supplied by Ebbenglade, Kamolou Park, and Penesh Finnsheep Studs.
The two trade stalls were undertaken by Fairfied Finns and Ebbenglade Finns. These featured finn & finn-cross fleeces (white & coloured) as well as natural & dyed slivers/tops, skeins, hanks & balls of yarn.
The featured yarn this year was a finnsheep/suri alpaca mix combining the softness, shine and slippery feel of both fibres to create a stunning and highly desired yarn.
The fleeces proved so popular that the pure finn fleeces on hand sold out over the weekend, as well as nearly all the finn-cross fleeces !
This year members showed four (4) white finn fleeces in the commercial ewe or wether (non-merino) section. The judge’s comments showed the great qualities of the finn fleeces on display with great marks achieved across the critieria judged.
Ten fleeces were shown in the section with all the other fleeces being Border Leicester/Merino crosses. Alas, the greater fleece weights of the merino/BL cross fleeces in the class proved impossible to beat this year. Shown in the 29.5 micron or less section the winning Merino/BL fleece achieved high weights and high micron at 29.5u.
Worth noting though is that this Show section winning 29.5u merino/BL fleece was valued at only 638 cents/kg clean achieving $29.35 for the whole show fleece; with the four finn fleeces also achieving a good commercial fleece value.
|Entry||Micron||c/kg clean weight||Total fleece $|
Being new to Showing Sheep Fleeces, and after checking out the other show fleeces, I think that all four finn fleeces were skirted too heavily and would have done slightly better if less fleece had been skirted off the edges. We live and learn!
AGM Saturday night 19 August 2014
This year was the Finn Association’s fifteenth (15th) year attending the Australian Sheep & Wool Show at Bendigo, where we also hold the AGM on the Saturday.
- Peter Blenkiron was elected President again for the 6th consecutive year.
- Josh Robinson takes on Vice President for the first time, from John Edwards.
- John Edwards replaces Lucy Edwards as Secretary this year.
- Neil Blenkiron continues on as Treasurer.