Melbourne Royal Show Sheep and Fleece competition prize pool expands and new breed debut

Sheep breeders and producers are being invited to celebrate their finest livestock and compete for a coveted blue ribbon, in addition to an impressive $30,000 in cash and prizes, at the iconic Melbourne Royal Show this spring.

Entries are now open for the Melbourne Royal Sheep Competition, which this year marks a number of firsts, with the introduction of the $10,000 Melbourne Royal Exhibitor of Excellence Award, and debut of the distinctive Valais Blacknose sheep breed.

The Melbourne Royal Exhibitor of Excellence Award offers a new drawcard for exhibitors for the triple champion - that is, the winner of Melbourne Royal Champion Interbreed Ram or Ewe, and championship titles at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show and Victorian Sheep Show in the same year.


From Thursday 26 to Friday 27 September, stud breeders of dual purpose, meat breed and wool sheep from across the country will flock to the Showgrounds to exhibit their livestock and compete for Blue Ribbon honours, including Champion Ram and Ewe in all breeds, Interbreed Champion Ram and Interbreed Champion Ewe.

Running alongside the Sheep Competition is the Melbourne Royal Fleece Competition and 2024 National ASA Young Judges and Parades Competition, which uncovers Australia’s best young talent across judging and parading. Standout young entrants will be celebrated as part of the Merino Sheep and Fleece, and Meat Sheep Breeds judging on 1 - 2 October.

A highlight of the annual competition is the feature breed, which this year will see Texel sheep on show, celebrated for their muscular build and distinctive white faces.

Mathew Hill, Melbourne Royal Sheep Committee Chair, says the thrill and excitement of winning a coveted Melbourne Royal Blue Ribbon never gets old, and the expansion of the sheep prize - and breed - pool is testament to the competition’s growth.
“This is a major event for Australia’s sheep and wool industry. The nation’s best sheep and fleece across a variety of breeds including White Suffolk, Lincoln, Poll Dorset, Hampshire Down, Black and Coloured sheep including the distinctive new Valais Blacknose originating in Switzerland, will be on display and competing for blue ribbon honours,” explains Mathew.

“Beyond the competition, the Melbourne Royal Show provides a vibrant event for sheep producers to network with industry peers and engage with consumers, fostering educational opportunities and industry promotions.”

Amongst last year’s major award winners were Barry and Jill Shalders of Willow Drive South Suffolks at Grassmere, who took out the Supreme Heritage Sheep of Show, and Finley High School in New South Wales who won both Interbreed Championships with their Ram and Ewe.

Competition entrants are reminded to tap into the benefits of Melbourne Royal Full Membership, which discounted Sheep and Fleece Competition entry fees, VIP entry for the duration of the show, hospitality and parking benefits.

Key dates
• Melbourne Royal Sheep Competition entries close Tuesday 30 July.
• Melbourne Royal Fleece Competition entries close Friday 9 August.
• Tickets to the Melbourne Royal Show can be purchased from August at