Tamworth spring lamb show, sale 2018 has rain, 'really big' lambs, new record

Kim Newling, Robert Carey and Simon Burke.
Kim Newling, Robert Carey and Simon Burke.

“GET them big – really big” was the advice, and the winner of this year’s Jason Goodwin Memorial Shield followed it to a T.

Robert Carey’s “hand-picked” pen of 70-76kg lambs won the export-weight lamb class at the 2018 Annual Spring Lamb Show and Feature Sale, and was named the overall winner.

The January- and July-shorn lambs, finished on barley grain and hay from South Australia, were then knocked down by agent Simon Burke to RJ Fletcher for $300 each.

Mr Carey, of Shannon View, Bective, chose to donate $300 to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

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The show was also remarkable for two other reasons: there was a rare downpour of rain during the event; and a pen of lambs set a new Tamworth record of $312.

A spokesperson for the Tamworth Livestock Selling Agents Association said the event, held on the first Monday of spring each year, was in memory of a great friend and agent.

“We like to think that the late Jason Goodwin is looking down on the outstanding line-up of lambs at our annual spring lamb show and feature sale – and we think he may well have been today as the heavens opened up [as the shield winner was named].”

Short on numbers, not on quality

Mr Burke, the event co-ordinator, said there had been about 300 yarded for the lamb show, all from producers in the Tamworth district and New England, back from about 1500 last year.

“We’re a bit short on numbers this year, which is to be expected,” Mr Burke said.

“It’s purely because of the drought … a lot of the lambs have been unloaded, a lot of sucker lambs; ewes haven’t produced lambs this year, all the breeding ewes themselves have been taken out of the system, so there’s a big shortage of new-season lambs this year.

IN THE YARDS: Sale and show co-ordinator Simon Burke, of Burke & Smyth Stock & Station Agents. Photo: Peter Hardin 030918PHD007

IN THE YARDS: Sale and show co-ordinator Simon Burke, of Burke & Smyth Stock & Station Agents. Photo: Peter Hardin 030918PHD007

“There’s also a shortage of older lambs, and what is here is basically all grain-finished, 90 per cent of it.”

Mr Burke said the quality was “very good”.

“Anyone who can fatten lambs and present them the way they do in this season that we’re experiencing really needs to be commended.”

Two other classes were judged; the trade lamb (45kg-49.5kg) category was won by Wheatacres through DCM, making $278; and the light weight (40kg-44.5kg) category was won by JA Livingston through Pitt and they made $159.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Andrew Jackson of Thomas Foods International congratulated all vendors on the job they’d done in such a dry season, encouraging them to produce lambs “as big as they can” next year.

About Jason Goodwin

“Jason was a mate of mine; he passed away of a heart attack 11 years ago at 36, at a sheep sale up here at the old yards,” Mr Burke said.

“He was a very, very good sheep man – one of the best sheep agents in the North West at the time.

“Very good with lambs and sheep and it was his passion.

“Very well-respected among lamb and sheep producers – everyone in general; he was a nice guy.”