Palmerston couple win New Zealand competition

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Simon and Kirstin Engelbrecht of Palmerston are the overall winners of the 2014 New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition.

The Engelbrechts won the Crossbred section of the different breed categories and then defeated four other couples for the title of overall competition winner.

They were presented with $11,000 worth of prizes at an awards dinner in Queenstown at the weekend.

Competition convenor Stephen Rabbidge said the Engelbrechts had an outstanding flock and it was their production, under reasonably hard conditions, that in the end placed them in front of other entries.

Total points in the competition were out of 100, with the most emphasis being placed on production (50), wool (15), breeding and selection (15) and phenotype (20).

Mr Rabbidge said they pregnancy scanned 175 per cent to 180 per cent in the mixed-age ewes and lambed 155 per cent.

“This showed there was very little wastage and is testament to how hard they work over lambing.

“They have good lamb weights also.”

A flexible system means ewe hoggets are not put in lamb every year but the most recent result was 125 per cent lambs tailed. Mr Engelbrecht said they didn’t lamb hoggets this year as there was a better margin in store lambs.

He said it was a nice surprise to be reasonably good at what you do.

“It’s nice to find that out from other people who are independent too,” he said.

“I thought it was a really worthwhile event and we’re very fortunate to do what we do for a living.”

The Coopdale hogget weights were slightly down this year, averaging 43kg at the time of judging.

By LINDA MCCARTHY