After not being able to exhibit at any shows last year, local pig stud owners Richard and Heather Cole have returned from the Sydney Royal Easter Show with a swag of ribbons.
A standout for the Waroo stud was their nine-month-old sow Riverglen Star J21 which claimed the Supreme Champion Sow of the Show.
The Waroo stud entered seven Berkshires in this year's show where they did quite well, returning with eight ribbons in several classes.
The Coles' nine-month-old sow Riverglen Star J21 also picked up three other ribbons including Champion Junior Sow, Junior Champion Berkshire Sow and Champion Berkshire Sow.
I was more than happy because I didn't feel the team was quite as good as I've had other times and the fact that we had a very good showing of Berkshires.Richard Cole
This was the first time the Coles had shown Riverglen Star J21, and they were quite happy with her results, having claimed most of the major ribbons except for the pig of the show which went to a different breeder.
Mr Cole said he may take Riverglen Star J21 down next year to compete for the Pig of the Show title, but only if she's in good enough condition.
"Who knows. She's got to be right next year, I don't mate them especially (for shows), I just try and breed them," Mr Cole said.
Another member of the same sow family - Riverglen Star G274 - also came home with a ribbon, claiming Senior Champion Berkshire Sow.
The Coles' success extended to the boar section, with two boars claiming ribbons at the Show.
Their junior boar Riverglen Brock J19 claimed Champion Junior Boar of the Show and Junior Champion Berkshire Boar. Another of their boars - Riverglen Herman J44 claimed Reserve Junior Champion Berkshire Boar.
Mr Cole said they were very happy with their overall results especially seeing as it was a strong competition, with exhibitors coming from as far away as Western Australia.
"I was more than happy because I didn't feel the team was quite as good as I've had other times and the fact that we had a very good showing of Berkshires.
"It was probably the most exhibitors of any breed in the Berkshire section considering one team came all the way from Western Australia," Mr Cole said.
This year marked the tenth time the Coles have taken animals down to Sydney Royal, and not the first time they have had success, claiming the Best Pig In Show in 2019.
When looking to enter pigs in the Sydney Royal, Mr Cole said they look at what they have and which pigs will match each class and quietening them.
"I try not to take two in any class, because if I can't pick one here, there's not much point carting two down to the show to see which one is the better one."
Mr Cole said a main reason why they keep entering pigs in the Sydney Royal is to see what other exhibitors are doing with their pigs and to look for new genetics.
"You've got to be looking for new genetics all the time and ones you think that can improve your pigs.
"It's hard, it's not just simply going and breeding them. You've got to keep working on it. Improving all the time and try and get out-crosses," Mr Cole said.