Roxburgh fleece scores perfect score at A&P Show

Greg Paterson with his award winning fleece
Greg Paterson with his award winning fleece

A complete rarity was achieved at the 75th Mt Benger A&P Show in Roxburgh, and the man responsible could not have been more humble.

Greg Paterson, of Roxburgh, received a perfect score in the fleece wool category — 100 out of a possible 100 points.

Show officials thought it was the only fleece to score 100 in the history of the A&P show.

Mr Paterson, and his team Purple Earth, won the Mt Benger A&P Society Champion Corriedale Half Breed Fleece and Supreme Champion Fleece classes on Saturday.

"It's a pretty tough competition. [Winning] is great but I feel a little bit embarrassed as I don't have as much fleece [in the competition] as some of the others," Mr Paterson said.

Renowned Corriedale breeder Bill Bain, of Roxburgh, said receiving such a score was "unusual and exceptional".

Mr Bain said the technique to creating a good fleece was simple. "You've got to breed good sheep and got to keep them well fed during the year."

Mr Paterson sheared the sheep in August.

Between August and February, he stored the fleece away and took it out a week ago to make sure it "looked nice".

A fleece is judged on its weight, colour, soundness, length, crimp, formation, brightness and freedom from fault.

Mr Paterson and his team will now decide whether to compete in June's national Golden Fleece competition in Wanaka.

Central Otago farmer Andrew Paterson, who has entered in similar competitions before, said a perfect 100 out of 100 score was rare in New Zealand, although it had been achieved before — he scored 100 about six years ago.

"It's not very common but [Greg Paterson's] must have been an exceptional fleece to be that good."

The Mt Benger A&P Show was held at the Roxburgh Racecourse last Friday and Saturday.
This was the third year at the racecourse.

The A&P show had picked up from low numbers a few years ago, president Dick Michelle said.

"A mix of diverse people on the committee moved away from the traditional A&P format, including events in conjunction with the show."

Last year the show featured the Otago-Southland regional final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year and in 2016 hosted the Goldfields Cavalcade.

This year, committee member and show MC Mark Reid said they did not need another event of such prominence.

"Because we've grown so much we don't need a third act."

- Otago Daily Times

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