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Colourful fleeces a feature at Stanthorpe Show

MAKING MATES: Mackyla Mitchell, 3, from Turners Creek, Stanthorpe, with Spotty, a four-year-old grey spotted ewe.
MAKING MATES: Mackyla Mitchell, 3, from Turners Creek, Stanthorpe, with Spotty, a four-year-old grey spotted ewe. Toni Somes

MACKYLA Mitchell might be just three, but is no stranger to coloured sheep.

In fact, the pint size handler is "pretty sure" she likes grey spotted ones the best.

Her careful deliberation and willingness to pose with a four-legged entry in the Stanthorpe Show coloured wool classes is something that makes her grandmother, Del Mitchell, proud.

Mrs Mitchell is an experienced wool grower and one of the major competitors in the specialist section at the annual competition.

She's been one of the largest coloured wool producers on the Granite Belt for years and the Turners Creek operation she runs with her husband Jim has a reputation for quality coloured fibre.

But Mrs Mitchell said competition from fellow producers always raised the stakes in the coloured wool sector.

"There are some really good producers out there and it's encouraging to see them entering the show," she said.

"In recent years, growers like Debbie Craven, from Shadowbox Farms at Amiens, have been producing some quality coloured wool.

"I think a lot of people enjoy seeing the coloured fleeces as there is always interest in the shorn coloured sheep."

She would dearly love to see a return to the days when the number of coloured sheep - and merino and prime lamb entries - meant the wool shed at Stanthorpe Showgrounds was "stuffed full".

"We used to have to have a meeting the night before the show to draw pens there were so many entries," she said.

"But these days wild dogs and wool prices mean we have empty pen after empty pen.

"It's not ideal, but I can't see it changing any time soon."

Champion colours

  •  Ewe: D & J Mitchell
  •  Wether: D & J Mitchell
  •  Ram: D & J Mitchell
  •  Shorn sheep: D Craven.
  •  Grand champion: D & J Mitchell

Topics:  agricultural shows livestock rural shows sheep