The 1958 Sydney Sheep Show was held from May 18th to May 31st. Fifteen hundred?
The 1958 Sydney Sheep Show was held from May 18th to May 31st. Fifteen hundred sheep were gathered together at the Sydney Showground, many of them worth several thousand pounds each. They came from many parts of five Australian states. Strathdarr Stud at Longreach in Western Queensland sent two prize-winning rams seven hundred miles by air to the show ... the longest airlift of sheep to show on record. The biggest single draft of sheep ... sixty-nine ... came from the famous Merryvale stud at Yass in southern New South Wales. The stud, owned by Sir Walter Merriman, carried off all the main honours at the show. Its sheep won the grand championship awards for both merino rams and ewes. Sir Walter also won the blue riband event of the show ... The Stonehaven Cup for the best exhibit of foe merinos. Another Merryvale ram won the ribbon for the Reserve Grand Champion. Judges said that the stud's Grand Champion, for fleece and size, was the best they had ever seen. It was the seventh consecutive year Sir Walter had won the Grand Championship. This year's champion Brilliant Example, Probably carried about forty pounds of fine wool. The stud has won the Grand Championship for ewes at the Sydney Sheep Show eighteen times. Its rams sometimes bring nearly four thousand guineas. Merryvale is recognized as probably the greatest merino sheep stud in the world.
At the show this year were the first Poll Dorset Sheep ever exhibited. It took almost twenty judging rings to accommodate the merinos and twelve other British and Australian breeds of sheep at the show. The fifteen hundred fine sheep were valued showgrounds for the sales that followed the show. The award for the Champion Southdown ram went to a woman stud sheep breeder, Mrs. Anthony Hordern, the wife of a well known Orange in western N.S.Wales. Two months ago Mrs. Hicks was put in hospital for six weeks with a spine injury after the ram, King Gordon, butted her. After King Gordon won the Championship he caused a minor flurry at the showgrounds when he broke away from his attendant and charged through the crowd back to his pen. Mrs. Hick's sheep won seven first prizes, three seconds and two thirds.
The Saint Michael's Agricultural College, run by the Christian Brothers order near Goulburn in Southern N.S. Wales, won a prize with its first entry in the show... Ryelands. The Deputy Principal of the College, Brother Maranta, supervised students who paraded the sheep before the judges.
Lawns surrounding the Show's judging rings were packed with displays of agricultural machinery and equipment and all the mechanical and scientific aids for the sheep industry.
Allied features of the wool industry were displayed. There were exhibitions of wool classing, shearing and spinning and weaving. One of those demonstrating weaving was a retired Public servant, Mr. Lance Crane, of Sydney, who began weaving twelve years ago after his wife bought a length of houndstooth tweed. He read several books on weaving and then decided to build his own loom from a picture he saw on a pamphlet.
Another side of this display of Australia's woollen wealth was the sheep dog trials. More than eighty dogs took part. The dogs have to pen a small mob of sheep within a set time limit after driving them through two narrow obstacles. The handlers stand in a fixed position and control the dogs by voice, whistles and hand signals.