Age has proved no barrier for 11-year-old Dylan Bibby, who has won the champion black and coloured sheep prize at this year's Central Hawke's Bay A& P Show.
The Ongaonga farm boy showed his first sheep at seven and has been breeding his own flock since.
He takes about 10 sheep to a show and most of them usually come home with a ribbon. He won the latest champion's ribbon at Waipukurau with an own-bred four-tooth ram. "It's quite fun," he says, although he is not sure if it is the competitive side or the rewards he likes the best.
The CHB show was a good show for Dylan. He was also riding at the show, winning the 90cm pony class and took home a few ribbons in other events.
His father Hamish says he and his mum Kelly let Dylan do the breeding himself so he can learn first-hand.
All the sheep on the 500ha Bibby farm under the Ruahine Range at Ongaonga are Kelso stud sheep. They have 2000 stud ewes and 800 stud hoggets, including a small Southdown stud.
Hamish says Dylan "does it with advice and help, but he makes the final call on what he likes and what to keep and show".
Dylan now has 25 ewes, 12 ewe hoggets and five rams - "more than he needs but he did sell a ram after the royal show last year," says Hamish
The first sheep Dylan showed was a pet he had been given. The Black and Coloured Sheep Society members, particularly breeder Geoff Lunt, took him under his wing and showed him what he could do, even re-introducing a junior membership just for him.
Several members sold him some ewes, he bought a two-tooth ram from a local breeder and he started breeding his own flock.