Ross sheep producers Georgina and Hamish Wallace have recorded a near perfect score to be crowned grand champions at the Australian Fleece Competition in Bendigo.
The 17th annual event was held in Bendigo over the weekend, where the Northern Tasmania producers scored 97.1 points out of a possible 100 for their entered fleece.
The score is possibly the highest score in the competition’s history. It is the second time in three years the Wallaces have won grand champion fleece.
“We’ve come from a traditional Saxon superfine flock and we decided in 2009 we needed to make some significant changes with where the wool market was at,” Ms Wallace said.
“We embraced the changes and knew we were going to suffer a couple of years of pain with losing traditional Saxon ram buyers.
“I licked my wounds but at the end of the day it proves we have persevered and we are starting to see some results.”
In 2015, Trefusis took out the grand champion title with a productive ewe fleece.
“To win grand champion for two years in the last three proves that if you believe in what you’re doing and work hard, through thick and thin, you will get there,” Ms Wallace said.
“We’re a small fish in a big pond – to win two years ago was exciting, this year I cried again,” she said.
“To win the grand champion fleece out of so many fleeces is phenomenal - I am thrilled.”
Ms Wallace also secured the most successful stud exhibitor award.
Their win was a close call ahead of fellow Tasmanian exhibitor, Roxford Pastoral, who won Reserve Champion award, scoring 97 - a mere .1 behind.
Competition judges, Australian Merino Export Company’s Chris Kelly and Landmark’s Matthew Thomas, praised the impeccable preparation of the fleeces, which they said was reflected by the record high points achieved this year.
The annual competition is run by the Australian Sheep Breeders Association, Australian Wool Testing Authority and Landmark, as part of the Australian Sheep and Wool Show.