Good judge of sheep: Rubie claims runner up in national junior judging title

2021 CHAMPIONS: Winner Ben Hartwich (VIC), Runner-up Campbell Rubie (NSW), Third place Sym Hood (TAS), Fourth place Will Hacker (QLD). Picture: SUPPLIED
2021 CHAMPIONS: Winner Ben Hartwich (VIC), Runner-up Campbell Rubie (NSW), Third place Sym Hood (TAS), Fourth place Will Hacker (QLD). Picture: SUPPLIED

Forbes' Campbell Rubie has been named runner up in the national junior judging competition for Merino sheep at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

The national judges and paraders competition brings together the best young judges and paraders aged from 15 to 25 in each state to compete at the national finals.

Campbell earned his place in the 2021 national finals, which were unable to be held at the EKKA last year due to COVID0-19 constraints.

So it was good to finally be able to travel to Sydney with his family to compete in the long-awaited competition this month.

"It was a good opportunity to meet new contacts, and grow my knowledge of the industry," Campbell said.

He's spent a lifetime learning to discern quality in the Rubie family stud at Warroo, so having about 12 minutes to inspect the groups of ewes and rams for judging in competition felt almost luxurious.

"When you are judging too, you can usually pick your order before you even go up to the sheep - you make a quick judgement," he acknowledged.

"Firstly scale - you're always going to pick a bigger ram over a smaller one - and then just his presence and how he's put together: if he's a balanced ram, his structure. They're the main ones, and that he's productive.

"Once you go into the wool too - you're looking for a productive wool, having plenty of staple length and thickness, as well as quality, sharply-defined wool."

Some of the young judges are called upon to speak on their decisions and Campbell had two minutes to talk through his placings and justify them.

It was an excellent opportunity to grow in confidence speaking before the Sydney Royal crowd, he said.

Campbell - as we indicated - is from the family's Lachlan Merinos stud at Warroo, and he thanked his family - particularly dad Glenn and brother Mitchell - for their insight and support leading up to the competition.

"They've been a great help - we've been doing plenty of practice runs on the rams at home, that was handy leading up to the show," he said.