Campbell Town's George Taylor won the junior sheep judging competition

MAKING PLANS: Campbell Town Show junior sheep judge George Taylor is off to Adelaide for national competition. Picture: Paul Scambler
MAKING PLANS: Campbell Town Show junior sheep judge George Taylor is off to Adelaide for national competition. Picture: Paul Scambler

George Taylor had to overcome some pretty stiff competition from up-and-coming judges – including his sister – to win the title of 2017 junior sheep judge at Campbell Town Show.

George, 16, of St Johnstone at Campbell Town, beat 2016 winner Gabbie Horton and Will Ferguson in the 16-25 years judging category to claim the prize.

This is his first time judging in the older age group category, after previously competing in the 15 years and under category, and George said he intended his winning streak to continue.

“I’m from a sheep farming family. We have mainly merino and prime lamb,” George said.

“As soon as I could I was judging sheep at Campbell Town Show.

“I was an under judge for the polwarth section. It was nice to have the opportunity; this is my first year in the under 25 competition,” he said.

When judging sheep, George knows he has find certain attributes to prove his skill.

“I have to look for whether they can eat, breed and produce wool. I look at their mouth, check to see if they can breed and if their wool is the same across their body,” George said.

“I look at their structure and build to find the best possible [sheep in the] breed,” he said.

There were 10 entrants in the 16-25 years judging competition.

“One was my older sister,” George said.

“I think she knew it was coming,” he said.

George’s prize includes $75, a sash and a trip to judge sheep in at the national junior judging competition in Adelaide next year.

A mainland trip in 2018 fits in well with George’s future plans.

“I see myself doing [judging] more often now,” he said.

Isobel Pengilley won the 2017 up to 15 years junior sheep judging and junior fleece judging competitions and Archie Pengilley placed second in sheep judging.

Matilda Scott won the 16-25 years fleece judging category and Madelaine Taylor came second.

Like George has signalled, Campbell Town Show’s 2016 junior sheep judge used the show as a springboard to achieve future agricultural goals.

Gabbie Horton will be heading to the Royal Melbourne Show in September to judge sheep as part of her 2016 prize for the show’s junior judging competition.

After her success at the 2016 show Miss Horton started a livestock traineeship with Elders, and has been honing her judging skills by working with Georgina Wallace of Trefusis.

Campbell Town Show is Tasmania’s only Sheep Show, with a strong focus on livestock and wool.