Young judge finds success

Merino fleece judging champion Will Gibson, of Middlemarch (centre), flanked by third place-getter Ashley Ayles (left) and runner-up Josh Taylor, both of Australia, at the Royal Perth Show. Photo supplied.
Merino fleece judging champion Will Gibson, of Middlemarch (centre), flanked by third place-getter Ashley Ayles (left) and runner-up Josh Taylor, both of Australia, at the Royal Perth Show. Photo supplied.
Young Otago stock judge Will Gibson took on the Australians - and won.

Will (19), who is in his first year at Lincoln University, recently competed in a junior judging competition, for those under 25, at the Royal Perth Show in Australia.

He was "stoked" to win the merino fleece judging and be placed fourth in the meat and wool breed judging.

Will, who has enjoyed considerable success in stock judging competitions in recent years, was competing in Australia for the second year, although for the first time in those two events.

He represented New Zealand at the Royal Adelaide Show last year, in the junior merino judging competition.

When he headed over there, he was keen for at least a placing and to improve on his previous performance.

He was the first New Zealander to win the fleece judging competition and he was impressed with the fleeces on display.

In the sheep judging, he was faced with Border Leicesters and Poll Dorsets to judge and he particularly enjoyed judging the four Border Leicester rams, as it was a breed he had not had much to do with.

Will, who has always had a strong interest in sheep and beef, is studying towards a bachelor of commerce degree in agriculture.

He was enjoying tertiary study and learning a lot of different skills.

He tried to get home to the family farm at Middlemarch as often as possible and he was disappointed to have missed lambing.

He has his own flock of coloured merino sheep and a Hereford cattle stud, and will be taking a contingent of both cattle and sheep to the Canterbury A and P Show in Christchurch next month.

He has qualified in the beef judging for the national final of the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand's junior judging competition, which is being held at the Royal A and P Show, hosted by the Waikato A and P Association, in Hamilton later this month.

Although he was keen to compete on the event, it would depend on university commitments, he said.