Wool presented by growers from Bigga has been named among the finest in the world in the 2020 Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards, which were judged in Goulburn and announced on March 24.
Danny and Megan Picker's 11.3-micron fleece wool from Hillcreston Park, Bigga came second place in the 2020 Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy, which recognises growers who have produced the finest of the finest merino fleecein the world.
David and Katherine Picker's 12.3-micron fleece from Clearhill, Bigga came fourth place.
The winning fleece was presented by David and Susan Rowbottom of Rowensville, St. Helens, VIC. In third place was Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom of Myndarra, Koroit, VIC while Heather, Stephen and William Reid of Kooringa Farming, Kooringa, SA were in fifth place.
First, second and third place were awarded $12,500, $7500 and $5000 respectively and a silver plate. They also received a personalised trophy and three cut lengths of fabric produced by Zegna with the name of their property written in the woven selvedge.
The others took home $2500 and a silver plate.
Meanwhile, Brett and Susan Picker's 15.1-micron wool bale from Hillcreston Heights, Bigga came eighth place in the 2020 Ermenegildo Zegna Superfine Wool Trophy, one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the world of wool.
They previously came second in 1992 and third in 1989 and 2001 in the Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy with fleece wool.
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Brett said it was very pleasing to get back into the top awards after taking a break from entering and that the awards provided encouragement for growers to continue producing superfine wool.
In first place were Allan and Carolyn Phillips of Glen Stuart, Deddington, TAS, followed by:
- 2nd - Simon and Ann Louise Cameron - Kingston, Conara, TAS;
- 3rd - Ed Hundy - Windradeen Mudgee, Pyramul, NSW;
- 4th - David and Angie Waters - Tarrangower Merinos, Hillgrove, NSW;
- 5th - David and Betty Cameron - Gowrie, Guyra, NSW;
- 6th - Clive and Margaret Smith - Mulgowan, Amiens, QLD;
- 7th - Rodney and Carol Westmore - Patterdale, Deddington, TAS;
- 9th - Robert Freeman - Rose Villa, Ross, TAS;
- 10th - J Fletcher and Son - Kentucky Station, Kentucky, NSW.
The winner received a price in gold while second and third place were given a silver plate. All winners got a personalised Zegna blouson.
Instead of a presentation dinner due to the coronavirus this year, Zegna also provided a 50 per cent subsidy to several growers to drought-proof their properties.
Brett and Sue Picker said they were very lucky to receive the subsidy to drill a bore at their Bigga property.
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The luxury menswear brand from Italy runs the awards in collaboration with the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association to encourage growers to improve the quality of superfine merino wool.
Danny Picker, who is also the association's president, said pursuing superfine wool was a passion and the awards were the highlight of the year for growers.
All of the wool entered is from the 2018 shearing season and will be bought by Zegna, with the best used in its clothing.
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