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Normally held in conjunction with the New Zealand Agricultural Show, the popular competition will be announced at the association’s elite ram and ewe fair on Friday, November 27.
Canterbury A&P Association committee member Graham Sidey said the format had changed this year, a new "ram breeders’ class" having been added and participants able to give a lamb or money to go into a prize draw.
Lambs are entered in three weight classes (14.6kg to 19.9kg, 20kg to 24.9kg and the ram breeders’ class of 14.6kg to 24.9kg) and judged over three stages: on the hook and the carcass yield, and tests for tenderness and taste.
The 12 finalist lambs will be cooked by a leading New Zealand chef at a Christchurch restaurant for the taste test on Thursday evening, before the results are announced at the Sheep Breeders’ Club at Canterbury Agricultural Park at 5pm on Friday.