Conducted in the Cox Pavilion during the 2021 Royal Sydney Show, the RAS/ASC Merino sheep young judges competition state final saw 13 competitors assess the paraded sheep under the watchful eye of over judge Matthew Coddington, Roseville Park Merino stud, Dubbo.
The Hugh Lydiard Memorial Trophy is awarded in honour of the late Hugh Lydiard, manager of the Egelabra stud at Warren for many years and a renowned mentor of jackaroos.
After the entrants had completed their oral interpretation of their placings, Mr Coddington recalled his time with Mr Lydiard.
"I was taught the principles and etiquette of sheep judging by Hugh," Mr Coddington said.
"All I am doing here is trying to pass on Hugh's legacy."
When addressing the entrants, Mr Coddington pointed out it is important to show you have the confidence to express your thoughts and back your opinion.
"It was not necessary to have the sheep placed exactly, but it was very important to have confidence in your decision," he said.
- Fifth - Austin Grace, representing Stud Merino Breeders Association, Dubbo.
- Fourth - Madeline McPherson, representing Group 12, Castlereagh, Mudgee
- Third - Michelle Fairall - representing Stud Merino Breeders Association, Canberra
- Reserve champion - Hain van Eyck - representing Stud Merino Breeders Association, Armidale
- Champion - Campbell Rubie - representing Group 10, Central Western, Koorawatha.
Mr Rubie has grown up on the family farm Lachlan Merinos at Warroo, near Forbes and seeing the enthusiasm for Merino sheep of his father Glen and older brother Mitch encouraged him to also take a keen interest.
The year 11 student at Redbend Catholic College, Forbes credits his passion mostly to his older brother Mitch.
"He has mentored me with lots of advice and encouragement," Mr Rubie said.
"I would like to do more judging and eventually return home after i have done a trade, gone jackarooing or both."
Mr Rubie qualified for Sydney Royal by competing at Group 10 at the Koorawatha show.
Mr Coddington complimented the professionalism of each of the 13 entrants and praised their commitment.
"I didn't know the final scores until the handling, dress, sheep placing and ability to express themselves was added up," he said.
"There was a really good cross-section of entrants and all were very competent."
Mr Rubie will go on to compete in the national finals at The Ekka in Brisbane in August.
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