This article originally appeared on TheLand.com.au
It may have been her first time judging livestock virtually but 15-year-old Kempsey local Freya Weismantel did not let that stop her from being awarded the overall high point scoring individual title of a recent new competition.
A first for Australia, Target Livestock and Marketing’s Virtual Junior Judging competition drew in more than 180 participants and a number of schools from across Australia.
It used supplied video footage and was assessed by overjudges Tayla Miller and Travis Worth, Jasmine Green, Glenn Trout, Ted and Jack Laurie, and James McWilliam.
On a total of 187 points from a possible 200, Ms Weismantel was named the champion sub-intermediate judge but it was her high-point scoring oral presentation that allowed her to edge out intermediate competitor Caity Porter, Merriwa, also on 187 for the major win.
With just two points separating the girls in their presentations, Ms Weismantel reigned supreme on 43/50 ahead of Ms Porter on 41/50.
An avid young judge, Ms Weismantel had a number of previous successes, often at local and some regional shows.
“I found the virtual judging experience difficult but very fun,” she said.
“The classes were challenging to judge, because all the animals were great and it was hard to point out negative attributes to split my placings. It was a great way for all competitors to still feel some show spirit after most of the shows have been cancelled for the year.”
Overall high point scoring school went to West Moreton Anglican College, Qld, with Kempsey High runners up.
The competition was facilitated by Monique Estrada of Target Livestock and Marketing, who was the 2019 Angus Youth National Judging Competition and recipient of the University of Illinois Scholarship.
Ms Estrada travelled to America and the university in January before her trip was cut short due to COVID-19.
Pee wee champion went to Darcy Smith, with Cheyenne Lane in reserve.
Junior champion was Charli White, with reserve to Georgia Mulcahy.
Reserve sub-intermediate was Emma-Leigh Green of Denman, while reserve intermediate was Holly Speers of Lismore.
Senior champion went to Mackenzie Leeson of Moura, Qld, with Sarah Sutton of Ballarat, Vic, in reserve.