A royal sheep treat: video, pictures

Source: Bendigo Advertiser

Jim Murray

FRED might just be the world's most polite sheep.

On command, the merino ram bows to whoever is standing in front of him.

The routine charmed Princess Kate at this year's Royal Sydney Show, and now Fred can't wait to meet Bendigo locals at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show opening on Thursday.

Owner and shearing industry development co-ordinator Jim Murray said Fred had the right temperament to be the show's 2014 ambassador.

It took me a fortnight to teach him how to bow. - Jim Murray

"It took me a fortnight to teach him how to bow - it just depends on the action you want the sheep to do and if they have the right temperament," he said.

"Fred's always had a lot of character."

Along with his larger companion Truffle, the champion strong wool merino ram from the Royal Sydney Show, the pair will take to Hargreaves Mall in a hand-drawn cart at midday on Thursday to officially launch the Australian Sheep and Wool Show.

Mr Murray brought the pair down from his property between Dubbo and Orange for the occasion.

"It's all about promoting sheep and wool and the great opportunities that exist in the industry," he said.

Sheep from Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia begun to arrive at the Prince of Wales Showground on Wednesday and will soon be joined by more than 2500 others.

Sheep breeders Talisa and Jared McArdle, of Kangaroo Island, said they always looked forward to the annual trip to Bendigo.

"It's fantastic for us, it gives us the opportunity to compete with other Polwarth breeders," Mrs McArdle said.

"The ferry was a bit choppy from Kangaroo Island to the mainland though."

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