Victorian and NSW ultrafine growers win Zegna awards

Sheep Central, March 20, 2024

Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom and their son Jensen with the Zegna trophy plate.


VICTORIAN ultrafine wool producers Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom have won the prestigious Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy for the first time with a 10.1 Merino wether fleece.

The couple farm at ‘Myndarra’ Orford in south-west Victoria and accepted their award with son Jensen at an exclusive celebration hosted in Sydney by Ermenegildo Zegna Group director Paolo Zegna.

The young Rowbottom’s 0.8 kilogram entry outpointed the 11 micron entry of second placegetters Danny and Megan Picker from, Hillcreston Park, Bigga, New South Wales.

Third placegetter was last year’s winner, the Rowensville flock owned by Aaron’s parents David and Susan Rowbottom, who entered a 10 micron fleece. They hold the world record for the finest fleece (9.4 micron) ever entered in the competition.

Aaron Rowbottom said it was good to win the competition about six years after first entering.

“The finest isn’t guaranteed to win,” he said.

The fleeces are judged mostly on subjective assessment of style, soundness, evenness and ‘excellence’.”

Waters win bale award for fifth time

Angie and David Waters.

The associated 2024 Superfine Wool Trophy for a 130kg bale of 14.9 micron paddock-grown ultrafine wool was won by a very proud David and Angie Waters from Tarrangower in New South Wales, for the fifth time. The bale had a yield of 76.1 percent and a tensile strength of 49 Newtons/kilotex.

Mr Water said the conditions for producing ultrafine wool were very good this season until the tough Winter and almost non-existent Spring.

“I thought the clip was going to be a bit dusty as we led into shearing, but it seemed to be fine, nice and clean.

“Since then we’ve had a pretty tough run, but it looks a picture here now.”

Mr Waters said he and Angie were very proud to win the award five times.

“But you can’t take it for granted, we’re our own critic and we just back up and the best job that we can do every year and it it’s good enough well it is.

“This win is very motivating to keep going and do it again.”

The Waters bale won over the entry from last year’s winners Simon and Ann Louise Cameron, Kingston, Tasmania. The third placegetters were Brett, Sue, Cameron and Ellie Picker, Hillcreston Heights, New South Wales.

Mr Zegna said every day since 1910, the road the group’s founder paved has guided its responsible development, having steadily evolved from a superior wool fabric producer to a global luxury group.

“Our ambition and our responsibility today remain the same: continue to pursue excellence and invest in the best fabrics and raw materials to create beautiful products of the finest quality applying a responsible approach to sourcing.

“We remain committed to upholding our legacy as we continue to align to the evolving cultural codes and needs of the new generations and consumers more broadly, believing in forward-looking creativity, know-how, technology, and sustainable innovation,” he said.


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