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The award for top fleece goes to . . .

The award for top fleece goes to . . .
Black and Coloured Sheepbreeders’ Association Manawatu branch president Lynley Coffey with Rakaia-based supreme champion fleece winner James Stewart.

Rakaia sheep farmer James (Jim) Stewart has taken home the supreme champion award in the national fleece competition.
The 81-year-old also won the strong wool fleece and handcrafted fleece categories in the recent Black and Coloured Sheepbreeders’ Association national conference in Palmerston North.
Stewart said his wife won the supreme award in 1992.
However, since her death a little over six years ago Stewart had taken on the wool side as well.
He said it was pleasing to win and be selected as the supreme champion from about 57 fleece entries – and joked that he was a slow learner.
Stewart attributed his success to careful breeding.
The winning fleece was from a mixed breed of corriedale and merino known as a cormo.
After a lifetime of farming Stewart has now downsized to about 200 coloured sheep on what he describes as a lifestyle block, leaving his son to run the farm.
But he hopes to enter a fleece or two at next year’s competition in Blenheim.
The winning fleece is purchased by the breeders’ association and goes to Creative Fibre.
“Some lucky person will get that fleece to do what they want with it,” Stewart said.

  • By Sharon Davis