A dry Dorrigo, with access from the coast cut by bush fire, didn't stop a revamped local show from proving the Plateau can deliver in terms of agricultural pride. Gate numbers and enthusiasm were well up on last year.
Dorrigo Plateau is renowned for its imitation of the Emerald Isle, with green pasture over basalt soil and an average annual soaking rivaling Far North Queensland.
Not so at last weekend’s show with an Outback feel to the main arena as competitors in the ute muster spun red dirt high in the air.
Beef played a big part in promoting the show, despite the climate. Murray Burley, who placed second in the grass fed category, explained the lead-up as ‘the season early was quite good but there has been a sharp decline in the last six weeks."
Never-the-less producer turned up with Saturday’s show cattle judgement attracting 130 head, up on last year, and attracting stud breeders from beyond the plateau, and Guy Fawkes, thanks to a $1000 carrot which went to the supreme all breeds champion, which in Dorrigo’s case was a cow and calf from Mundoo Angus, Glen Innes.
Sunday’s innaugural commercial cattle competition was declared a resounding success with 117 head in 39 pens of three including ribbons for best future breeder, best grass fed and best grain assisted steers and heifers. Considering the lack of grass it was impressive to see that class represented at all.
In the end a pen of pure Simmental heifers in calf by five months, belonging to Darrin Beaumont ‘Low Beau’, were awarded future breeders’ blue ribbon according to judge Neville Farrawell, Tamworth.
Best grain assisted ribbon along with the rest went to a pen of Charolais/ Hereford heifers bred by Scott Beaumont.
The greatest on grass went to a pen of Simmental cross by Darren Beaumont; top feeder steers to Hereford, by Greg Tyler, Tyringham. Best feeder heifers went to a pen of Angus belonging to Rob Perkins.
Murray Burley of Dorrigo, with Angus, placed second in the grass finished category followed by Nevill deVeer, ‘Beaumist’.
In other events the horse cutting was well contested with the winner of its open class going to Ellen Light, Armidale. Shanlee Duckett, Dorrigo, won the u/17 division and Digby Foster, Ebor, took out the Brumby division.
Call it coincidence but the close of the show brought the season’s first real storm to Dorrigo and substantial storms across the plateau the very next day helped insulate ahead of this weekend’s forecast scorcher.