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UW Wool Judging Team Finishes 2021-22 Season Strong

May 24, 2022
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The 2021-22 UW wool judging team and coaches proudly display this season’s awards. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming wool judging team wrapped up a successful 2021-22 season with a fourth-place finish at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo wool judging competition.

It was the highest UW has placed in a Texas contest since the revitalization of the wool judging program.

“I am so proud of the team members, assistant coaches and industry support that this program has received,” says Whit Stewart, UW wool judging team coach and UW Extension sheep specialist.

In San Antonio, the team finished fourth overall, fourth in oral reasons, fourth in placings and fourth in the grading rail.

“To consistently be in the top three to five in all of our contests this spring really shows the dedication to the program we have built here at UW,” Stewart says.

Members of this year’s wool judging team were Wyatt Crane, from Wheatland; Macy Collins, of Meeker, Colo.; Tessa Maurer, from Arvada, Colo.; Casey Spencer, of Sonoma, Calif.; Jacob Smylie, from Douglas; Kylie Strauch, of Van Tassell; and Payton Timberman, from Moorcroft. The team’s assistant coaches were Dylan Laverell, Amy Newman and Courtney Newman.

The team kicked off the season in December with an impressive first-place finish at the Wildcat-Cowboy-Jackrabbit Invitational in Manhattan, Kan. In addition to earning high team overall, UW also was the first team in reasons, placings and the grading rail.

At the 7220 Wool Judging Invitational Jan. 11 in Laramie, the team placed second overall. It also finished as high team in placings; third high team on the grading rail; and the second high team in value-added.

Two days later, at the National Western Stock Show Wool Judging Contest in Denver, Colo., the UW team took fourth overall. The team also placed second on the grading rail, third in reasons, first and second in value-added, and fourth in the hand-spinning contest.

In the fourth competition of the season, the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, S.D., the UW wool judgers placed second overall. They also were the high team in reasons, placings and value-added.

Incoming lead coach Courtney Newman says the 2021-22 judging season “was the best one yet.”

“All seven team members worked extremely hard, and they were rewarded with a successful season,” she says. “More importantly, each one will use their skills to achieve great things in their studies and personal lives.”

“Starting off as strangers and building an unbreakable bond after four months are the most rewarding aspects of wool judging,” Collins says. “I will forever think of the wool judging team as family.”

Courtney Newman is already excited for next season.

“We’re looking forward to building on the success of last season and using the momentum those seven individuals brought to have an even more successful team next year,” she says.

To learn more about UW’s wool judging program, visit the UW Extension Sheep Program Facebook page. To inquire about joining future teams, email Stewart at whit.stewart@uwyo.edu.

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