Three months feeding, grooming and caring for their lambs and calf, paid off at the Waitohu School 51st Lamb and Calf Day championships.
The children had spent several months caring for their lambs and getting to know them, ready for the judging ring where they had to demonstrate to the judge, Mark Rolston, that their lamb was well cared for and could be led on a leash and would follow them and come when called.
“The champion lamb just loved its owner and she loved it,” Mr Rolston said. “You can tell.”
This close bond between six year old Jordan Blakeley and Snowflake was rewarded when they received the Leonie Hillas cup and the champion ribbon while sister Aleisha aged 10 and her lamb Hop received the Watson Cup and Reserve Champion ribbon for reserve champion.
In the early stages of judging Jordan won the Novice Best Pet Lamb trophy and the Novice Care and Rearing trophy, Aleisha won the Senior Care and Rearing trophy and was second in the Best Pet Lamb. Katie Williamson won the trophy for Senior Best Pet Lamb and the trophy for best first attempt at raising a pet lamb.
“The kids did a very good job, there are very good lambs here,” Mr Rolston said. “The standard across the whole competition is up on previous years.”
Waitohu organiser, Alison Moore was pleased with the day’s results.” I think it’s been just wonderful. The weather, lambs, calf – everything.” She said. “The lambs all performed extremely well.”
There was one calf for judging this year, Puzzle and Lauren Blakeley. Lauren is now in year eight at Otaki College, but to show a calf at the regional competition, it had to have been to a school competition first, show college students are able to attend the Waitohu Lamb and Calf Day.
“Brilliant, a credit to child who reared it. It’s very nicely presented.” judge Kyle Blenkhorn said of Puzzle and Aleisha. “I enjoyed my time with showing calves, so I am now giving back my time – somebody else spent time judging when I was young and showing.”
All the lambs and the calf were eligible to attend the regional championships in Levin. The Horowhenua region covers schools from Te Horo to Opiki.