Merino field day

By Country News

Merino studs from across Victoria will compete for an inaugural and exclusive state title at Marnoo, east of Horsham in the state’s west, in August.

The Marnoo Merino Field Day will expand from a regional to a statewide event on August 23, with more than $10000 in prizes expected to be offered for the best March-shorn hogget ram.

The Marnoo Merino Stud Breeders Association is behind the move and expects strong interest in the inaugural Victorian Marnoo Merino Field Day.

Association spokesman Trent Carter said South Australia and NSW had state-based competitions but Victoria did not.

‘‘Victoria doesn’t have a class for the champion March-shorn hogget ram so with Marnoo’s strong foundations, the association decided to broaden the scope to invite all Victoria-exclusive studs to join in the field day,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve already built a successful local event; this will make it even better.’’

The usual September Marnoo Marino Field Day, which has been running for more than 30 years, will be brought forward to fit with national shows and sales.

The event usually attracts 10 local studs but already an additional 15 studs from other parts of Victoria have indicated they will attend.

‘‘We expect there will be more than 30 Victorian Merino studs on the day,’’ Mr Carter said.

He said Merino studs could compete at Hamilton and Bendigo sheep shows but there was nothing exclusive for Victorians.

‘‘This will give anyone looking for proven local Victorian genetics the ability to find everything in the one spot.’’

■The inaugural Victorian Marnoo Merino Field Day will be held from 10am to 4pm at Marnoo Events Centre, Marnoo Cricket Ground, Marnoo.