IT may have been a tough, dry season but, in a stoic reflection of their commitment to the wool industry, growers entered more than 130 fleeces in this year's Stanthorpe Show.
While steward Stan Reid described anything above 120 entries was "impressive", he said it was the quality and calibre of fleeces that set this year apart.
Stanthorpe wool grower Peter Reimers dominated the trophy tally, taking home the best ultrafine/superfine fleece, with a 15.9 micron ewe fleece, which also won Fox and Lillie Trophy for the champion restricted class and MD Ferrier trophy for the champion district entry.
The 4.2kg fleece also stole the honours among the Traprock group entries for the highest-scoring fleece to be sold under the Traprock Wool brand.
Wool steward Andrew Ferrier said the fleece, which boasted a 76% yield, scored highly with the judges on the colour and softness traits.
"It has been a dry year across many parts of our region, particularly to the west where the Reimers family is, so this is a very good effort," he said.
"Wool growers have been struggling with no rain, wild dog problems and a fluctuating market so, yes, they have had their share of challenges.
"So it's great to see people like Peter Reimers rewarded for what he is doing to stay in the industry.
"He's using top-end genetics to produce top-quality wool and lots of it.
"His fleeces are weighing in at 4-5kg and that's what the market wants.
"Big, gutsy, high-weight wool, that's the future and that is what markets like China, which are dominant at the moment, are looking for."
"SO IT'S really encouraging when you see local blokes like Peter getting pro-active about producing it."
While the Reimers entry dominated the local classes, it was Armidale stud Alfoxton, run by principal Chris Clonan, that claimed the coveted broad ribbon for grand champion fleece with a 5.5kg fine wool entry.
The New England stud took home blue ribbons in the ultrafine and fine classes, before claiming the Keith Cobon and family grand champion trophy.
Mr Clonan's superfine entry won the Elders trophy for the reserve grand champion fleece of the show.