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ASWGA recognises industry excellence by facilitating and supporting wool competitions both regionally and nationally.

Current entry forms will be available when competitions are announced.

Ermenegildo Zegna Fleece Competitions

The Ermenegildo Zegna Group is one of Italy’s best-known and most dynamic family businesses. Young entrepreneur, Ermenegildo founded the family’s first wool mill in Italy in 1910 to create woollen fabrics that had to be “the most beautiful in the world”. Even then, Ermenegildo had an international vision, ahead of his time, to source the best quality natural fibres, directly from their country of origin. Zegna has long been a supporter of Australian wool. Today, Zegna are one of the biggest global producers of fine fabrics from noble fibres. To celebrate the importance of wool and to incentivise wool producers to evolve the fineness and excellence of this fibre Ermenegildo Zegna holds competitions to encourage Australian wool growers.

The Ermenegildo Zegna Awards, now recognised worldwide as the most important competition in the wool industry, commenced in Tasmania in 1963 when the first Ermenegildo Zegna Perpetual Trophy was presented.

In 1980, ASWGA and Zegna launched a national competition, the Superfine Wool Trophy, to recognise the dedication to excellence shown by all Australian fine wool growers. In 2002 a second competition, called Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy was introduced. The competitions have grown in popularity and are now a highlight of the wool industry calendar.

Information on how to enter the 2020 competition can be found here:

Enter the 2020 Zegna Superfine Wool Trophy and the Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum here:

Competition results

The 56th Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Competition Results 2018-19

The 2019 Superfine Wool Trophy was won by David and Angie Waters (Tarrangower Merinos - Hillgrove, NSW), with Allan and Carolyn Phillips (Glen Stuart – Deddington, Tasmania) and  Ed Hundy (Windradeen Mudgee -Pyramul, NSW) taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

The winners, David and Angie Waters took first place for the third year in a row while the Phillips and Hundy families have been among the winners for the last 7 editions.

Rose Villa (Ross-TAS), Snowhill (Avoca-TAS), Macquarie Hills (Longford–TAS) were for the 1st time in the final ranking.

The winners of the Vellus Aureum Trophy were David and Susan Rowbottom from “Rowensville”-St. Helens, VIC.  Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom from “Myndarra” –  Orford - VIC  and Robert McClenaghan from “Rockvale North”- Armidale, NSW were respectively 2nd and 3rd in the competition for the first time.

These woolgrowers were awarded by Paolo Zegna during the celebration dinner held at Luminaire, Melbourne on Tuesday 16th April, in the presence of representatives of the major institutions associated with the world of wool.

“We’ve been honouring the best quality wool for over 50 years now and especially this year, the results of the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool trophies are excellent, not only in terms of number of farms participating the competitions, but also in terms of the high quality achieved. Despite having very difficult weather conditions with persistent and tough draught, which harmed some areas of Australia.” said Paolo Zegna, President of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. “For this reason, on behalf of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, I would like to congratulate not only the winners but all the farms involved in the competition. A deep personal thanks goes also to the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association for its great commitment to support the participation of its members to our competitions.”

ASWGA Fleece Competition

ASWGA holds an annual national Fleece Competition. The first place prize winner receives the Cleckheaton Grand Champion Fleece Trophy sponsored by the Australian Yarn Company. These awards are divided into four categories to better represent traditional fine crimping wools. Based on the Bradford score the categories are 90s and finer, 80s, 74s and 70s. Scores are given for the fleece attributes of weight, quality, yield, trueness, uniformity evenness and excellence.

Winners are announced from each ASWGA region Albury-Wodonga, Ararat-Barunah, Goulburn-Yass, Hamilton, Mudgee, New England, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Competition results

Congratulations to Irene & Daryl Croake of “Oak Hills” in Mudgee for their win in three categories of the ASWGA Fleece competition, the class 90’s along with first place in the Mudgee region and the big one, the “Cleckheaton Grand Champion” Trophy for the best overall fleece.

Irene Croake, Wayne McMahon of Australian Yarn Co. and Daryl Croake – photo courtesy of The Land.

Irene Croake, Wayne McMahon of Australian Yarn Co. and Daryl Croake – photo courtesy of The Land.

There were exactly 80 fleeces entered in this years competition and the results were very close.

Presentations were made at the recent ASWGA Presentation Dinner held in Armidale on the 18 May 2019.

“We are delighted to win the ASWGA Fleece Competition and to bring home a beautiful trophy, plaque and certificates sponsored by Bendigo Woollen Mill and The Australian Yarn Company..

We have been supporting the Competition with fleeces since the outset in 2013. We appreciate the work done by ASWGA in offering the fleece competition and the generosity of Bendigo Woollen Mill and The Australian Yarn Company in sponsoring the many awards.

It was a great weekend in Armidale with a full lecture day at "Kirby" woolshed, a lovely dinner, an informative visit to Mark and Lesleann Waters farm at "Edington" and a wonderful chance to catch up with friends from all over.”  Daryl & Irene Croake

The complete list of winners:

Mark & Lesleann Waters of “Riverton”Armidale NSW, first in the Class 74’s and Class 70’s.

Janet & Tony Gall of “Wilsons Creek, Uralla NSW, first in the Class 80’s and first in the New England Region

Penny & Russell Hartwich of “Kelseldale”, Ballyrogan, Victoria, tied with Heather & Geoff Phillips of “Currawong”, Tatyoon for first place in the Ararat/Barunah Region.

Andrew & Stuart Drinnan of “FibreFine Merinos”, Malmsbury Vic, first place in the Albury/Wodinga region.

Trevor & Kathy Mibus of “Glenara Merinos” Dunkeld, Victoria, first in the Hamilton Region.

Robyn & John Ive of “Talaheni”, Yass Valley, NSW, first in the Goulburn/Yass Region.

Irene & Daryl Croake of “Oak Hills”, Mudgee, NSW, first in the Class 90’s, and first in the Mudgee Region.

Carolyn & Allan Phillips of “Glen Stuart” Deddington, Tasmania, first in the Tasmanian Region.

James & Faye Pepper of “Mumballview”, Mumballup, Western Australia, first in the West Australian Region.

A huge thank you to our sponsor Bendigo Woollen Mill and The Australian Yarn Company for the grand trophy and to AWTA for arranging the testing and transport of fleeces for judging.  We would also like to thank Roberts Ltd, Australian Wool Network, Schute Bell Badgery Lumby and Landmark/Jackson of Geelong for facilitating the judging, collection and transportation of the members fleeces.  It was a huge effort and greatly appreciated by the Association.

A special thanks to the Fleece Competition Committee who has, as always, done an excellent job.

Finally, thank you to judges David Hart of Landmark and Scott Carmody, Trade Consultant for AWI, for their expertise.

Funds raised from the sale of the wool entered in the competition will go back to the Association.

ASWGA Annual Photographic Competition 2019

Thanks to everyone that has submitted entries and have supported the competition in the past. We hope to increase the number of entries each year making the competition bigger and better! We encourage all ASWGA members, their immediate family and employees to participate. 

The competition aims to visualise the provenance and promote the excellence and dedication of ASWGA Members in the production and processing of their superfine Merino wool, achieving the highest quality standards enhancing this through the ASWGA Rams head™.  All entries must be received at the office by 30 June 2019 to be eligible. 

More information and the 2019 entry form are available here:  

The 2018 winners' photo, below. Titled “Counting Sheep” was taken by Carol Phillips “Glen Stuart”, Tasmania.

Words from the winner:

For some time I have been taking pictures of everyday life on the farm. Through photos I am trying to capture how we manage our sheep, and showcase our property.

In a dry year like we have had, we find ourselves moving sheep regularly, to keep a fresh pick in front of the sheep, and allow the paddocks and runs to refresh and regrow. 

Glen Stuart has many bush runs, and the sheep are often in small mobs scattered throughout the trees, hills and gullies. It is essential to count sheep into and out of paddocks/ runs to ensure none are left behind.

This photo, taken with my mobile phone, shows how routine this has become for the sheep and us.

Carol Phillips, Glen Stuart Tasmania

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