Gabrielle Horton has a busy fortnight coming up in Victoria: representing Tasmania as a junior sheep judge at the Royal Melbourne Show and on-the-job training at Brooklyn wool store.
The 18-year-old Beauty Point resident won a spot as a Melbourne wool judge when she took out the junior judge title at the 2016 Campbell Town Show.
Ms Horton will also judge meat sheep at the Melbourne Show after qualifying in the state finals at the Devonport Show.
“I’m nervous. I’ve never judged at a show of that size. I think there will be a large line up of sheep, much larger than I’ve seen before,” Ms Horton said.
While Ms Horton has been showing sheep since she was 14, she honed her judging skills under the mentorship of Georgina Wallace and John Groves at Trefusis Merino stud.
“I already had sheep structure judging down pat, but Georgina helped me with wool judging. John helps manage the stud and has taught me a lot,” Ms Horton said.
“That was a massive opening for me,” she said.
Working in livestock sales support with Elders at Western Junction has also helped Ms Horton pursue her goal of becoming a trainee district wool manager.
“I want to encourage the wool industry in Tasmania. The wool industry is very solid, but needs to be supported in the future,” Ms Horton said.
“I’m very passionate about wool sheep,” she said.
Ms Horton has enrolled in a wool classing course at TasTAFE and will extend her wool knowledge with her Victorian work experience.