Sheep stock-judging competition winner Robert Gregory, of
Gore, is flanked by runner-up Rosa Lea Cleve (left), of
Victoria, and third placegetter Belinda Bannister, of
Western Australia. Photo supplied.
Robert Gregory might be a relative newcomer to
stock-judging competitions but he has quickly made a name for
Mr Gregory (19), of Gore, was named supreme champion junior
judge of the sheepmeat breeds judging competition run by the
Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand, and the Federal
Council of Agricultural Societies of Australia at the
Manawatu A&P Show in Feilding last month.
One of seven similar competitions between Australian
competitors representing each state, the section included
judging a group of Perendale and Southdown ewe hoggets, with
the young judges then explaining their rankings and reasons
to the overall judge and the crowd.
Other competitions included dairy and dairy handlers, beef
and beef handlers, merino sheep, wool and the Young
Mr Gregory is due to start his second year at Lincoln
University where he is studying towards a bachelor of
commerce (agriculture) degree. A career in rural banking was
a possibility, he said.
He got involved in stock judging during his final year at St
Peter's College in Gore. He also competed in the
Otago-Southland TeenAg regional competitions in 2011 and
2012, both times making it through to the grand final,
placing first in 2011 and second in 2012.
He was selected to represent New Zealand after winning a
similar competition at the Royal Show in Hamilton following
selection at a regional judging day held by the Gore A&P
His mother, Janet, is a member of the Gore A&P show
committee which runs the judging school.
It was a great way for young people to learn about judging
different types of animals, breed traits and what to look for
in animals, as well as gaining confidence in public speaking
and handling the stock, Mrs Gregory said.
They gained points for getting the stock in the right order,
their own presentation, and the reasons they gave for placing
them in that order.
Gore A&P held a regular training day in April which
included dairy cows, beef cattle, horses, and both meat and
wool breeds of sheep.
Mr Gregory said it was great to win for New Zealand, which
took the shield for most points against the Australian
He enjoyed stock judging, saying he learned something new
every time, as each judge was looking for different things.
''You can build a good image from heaps of different people
about what you want to be looking for,'' he said.
It also gave him exposure to breeds with which he was less
While delighted with his success, he believed he could have
done better: ''I wasn't that pleased with my performance;
there's plenty to work on.''
While he could not progress any further with judging sheep
stock, he was keen to get into judging beef cattle.
He had a strong interest in stud stock and he enjoyed his
involvement with Waikaka stud breeder Rob Hall and helping
him with his beef cattle.
During the university holidays, he was enjoying working on a
hill country property near Cheviot in North Canterbury.