Sydney Royal Sheep Show: Merino

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Photographer: Robert Thomas

On Friday 2nd April, farmers waited anxiously as they prepared their Merino’s for judgement in the 2021 Sydney Royal Sheep & Fleece Show. This day was for Sheep Show Inspections as well as Judging the Pair and Group classes

The Merino’s and Poll Merinos are judged separately. The Supreme Exhibit is determined by their visual characteristics, fleece type and weight, and their fat depth and muscle, which is seen by using an ultrasound.  


In this competition, 2 classes, each of 4 animals, are judged by competitors. The Oral class of four animals is nominated by the competition judge or Chief Steward before judging commences. Visual (non-oral) judging takes place first. Competitors are allowed 12 minutes to judge the 4 animals in each class, and to complete the non-oral judging card. During this judging, the sheep in each of the 2 classes, are separately held standing side by side for seven minutes. They are then rolled over and held sitting for three minutes. Finally, they are stood side by side for the remaining 2 minutes. While the competitors are judging the animals, the competition judge will be assessing their judging technique and awarding each a handling score out of a possible 50 points. At the discretion of the Chief Steward, a minimum of the 6 top placed competitors in the non-oral judging participate in the Oral judging. Each competitor in the Oral section is allowed 3 minutes to line up the animals in his or her order of placing and explain the reason for those placings. Competitors in the Oral class are scored on their accuracy of observation, their comparative statements, speaking ability and general presentation and dress. The winner of the competition is arrived at from points scored from a maximum of 200 points. These points are divided by 50 for placing each non-oral class, 50 for handling of animals in one Non-oral class, and 50 for the oral class. 

The information above is from the a video from the RAS themselves. For a deeper look into how The 2021 Sydney Royal Sheep & Fleece Show is judged, take a look at this video from the RAS. You’ll find out more about Sheep than you thought you ever would! 

The Winners for 2021 are listed below: 

CLASS: S318 – SUPREME JUNIOR MERINO – 70 NERSTANE WOOLBROOK NSW 2354 

CLASS: S319 – SUPREME MERINO RAM – 129 HOLLOW MOUNT MERINOS BIGGA 2583 

CLASS: S320 – SUPREME MERINO EWE – 85 MERRYVILLE BOOROWA NSW 2586 

CLASS: S321 – SUPREME MERINO EXHIBIT – 129 HOLLOW MOUNT MERINOS BIGGA 2583 

A congratulations to all exhibitors and winners. A special mention to Hollow Mount Merinos Bigga who took out not only winner of Supreme Merino Ram and Supreme Merino Exhibit, but also CLASS: S321ST – The RAS of NSW Supreme Merino Perpetual Trophy, which is an amazing achievement. 

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