Mackenzie Waitaki merino two-tooth ewe competition chairman Mark Ivey says he was delighted with the number of Mackenzie entries in this year's event.

The competition was held over two days last week and judges travelled around various high country stations to assess the stock.

''In my memory it's the biggest turnout we've had in the Mackenzie,'' Ivey, who farms at Catherine Fields, near Lake Pukaki, said.

Competition chairman Mark Ivey (left) with judges Bevan McKnight of Poolburn, and John Simpson, of Mt Hay, Tekapo. Photo / Chris Tobin
Competition chairman Mark Ivey (left) with judges Bevan McKnight of Poolburn, and John Simpson, of Mt Hay, Tekapo. Photo / Chris Tobin

A total of 10 Mackenzie properties were entered, whereas in recent times the number had ranged from six to eight.

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''Everyone gets busy to get this organised. It's good to still do these things,'' Ivey said.

One of the judges, Bevan McKnight of Poolburn, said it was the first time he had judged at the event although he had previous experience from other two-tooth competitions.

''The standard of entries has been outstanding, they're well grown two-tooths ready for the ram, which should give a reasonable lambing.''

Photo / Chris Tobin
Photo / Chris Tobin

Dave Allan, of Twizel, has been attending the competition since the 1970s and said the wool industry ran with the market ''and the market dictates''.

''In the last three years the wool industry has turned right around.

''In the high country to achieve the end result you have to capitalise on the good years.

''At the end of the day you're dictated to by the climate, the weather patterns and possibly rabbits.

''It took a lot of getting on top of the rabbits.

Grampians station manager Guy King gives the rundown on the station. Photo / Chris Tobin
Grampians station manager Guy King gives the rundown on the station. Photo / Chris Tobin

''Once that was achieved through calici, one could have a few spare dollars to go into irrigation. Land tenure has been another aspect of progress for some but not all.

''Great inroads have been made in the fibre industry by getting alongside producers but every farm is different.''

The competition began last Wednesday, when visits were made to Haldon, Grays Hills, Streamlands, Grampians, Sawdon, Glenmore, Balmoral, The Wolds, Maryburn and Simons Hill stations.

On Thursday, judges and others travelled to Waitaki stations Lake Ohau, Benmore, Buscot, Ahiriri Downs, Quailburn, BenDhu, Otematata, and Glenbrook.