Gympie cattle excel at Beef Week
COMPETITION was "phenomenal," quality "fabulous" and the judging "very hard" in yesterday's prime cattle ring at the Gympie Show.
Despite competition from two other regional shows and Beef Australia (the international celebration of all things beef) in Rockhampton only last week, the quality of prime cattle entries in Gympie yesterday was "unbelievable".
Murgon-based judge Steve Dunn found the superlatives just rolled off his tongue as he sang the praises of the beef entries he had to compare.
"Look at that," he said, pointing to a bullock he had just assessed.
"He's 750kg and he's still a milk toothed bullock.
"The weight for age of these cattle is just phenomenal.
"But," he said, pointing at one heifer that stood out even among such high class company, "she's the one I've chosen".
Kenilworth owner John Ferriday was proud to accept the ribbon for Grand Champion of the show's prime cattle judging.
He willingly gave a fair share of credit to the Saxby Feedlot at Kilkivan.
He said his heifer, a limousin that had done her 100 days at the feedlot, was 20 months old.
The 556kg heifer sold for $3.40 a kg, under the auctioneer's hammer, wielded by well known Gympie region auctioneer Dan Sullivan.
"That makes her worth $2000-odd," Terry Nolan of Gympie export meatworks, Nolan Meats, explained to an important group of Indonesian media and diplomatic visitors.
It was a pretty good instant guestimate, only $110 above the actual price paid by Highchester Meats at Beaudesert.
Mr Dunn said the quality of entries was so high, he felt almost guilty not being able to give almost all of them a ribbon.
"You walk down there," he said, pointing to the catwalk above the showground cattle pens, "and you try to pick a winner".
"Among place getters here today, the quality of the prime cattle is fabulous.
"There were cattle that were not even ribbon winners and they would have been champions anywhere else.
"The standard was excellent; unbelievable," he said.
It was all part of a brilliant start for the Gympie Show on a cold, clear and crisp late autumn day.
And it was a very busy day from the start for the Show's first female chief prime cattle steward, Terri-Jayne Ramsey.
A big field of entrants kept her flat out yesterday.