IMPORTED genetics from America have led the way and taken out the Riverine Classic Beef Champion pen of the 2019 NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial.
Tom, Sophie and Thomas Holt from Tondara Herefords, Coonong Station, Urana, claimed the top-title with their pen of five purebred Hereford steers that all met the eligibility and specifications for the Teys Riverine Classic Beef brand.
The five steers entered the trial at the end of August weighing between 396 kilograms and 494 kilograms. They had an average daily weight gain of 2.43 kilograms per head per day over the 112 days on feed, to finally tip the scales at between 652 and 760 kilograms.
With an average dressing percentage of 53.5 per cent, an average lean meat yield of 57.7pc, and all steers having an Aus-Meat marble score of one, the pen recorded an average MSA Index of 54.79 and were branded the champions.
The Holts’ champion pen were all sired by American AI sire Chac Mason 2214 from registered or previously registered Tondara stud Hereford cows.
Chac Mason 2214 was the 2015 Hereford Champion of the World, not to mention his big win of supreme champion Hereford and national grand champion Polled Hereford bull at the 2015 National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, US.
Following Mason’s big win, the Holts secured the Australian semen rights in the bull and straws arrived in 2016.
Sophie Holt said they were really impressed with how clean and sound he was through the feet and legs for such a big bull.
“We saw him at GKB Cattle (Texas) and really admired him for his carcase, softness and muscle,” Ms Holt said.
“He has been fed, and has had a show career but we got to see him out working. When he came across the paddock we were very impressed. We came away thinking we would have to get semen out of this bull.”
Mason progeny has also stood out in the junior show rings with the first daughter shown at the Hereford Youth Nationals in Wodonga last year taking out supreme exhibit before going on to be junior champion Hereford female at Melbourne Royal Show.
“Another Mason heifer at the Cootamundra Hereford Heifer Show was the grand champion, at her first show,” Ms Holt said.
“And another at the South Australia Junior Heifer Expo in Adelaide won reserve junior champion female.”
Ms Holt said they always planned to use the bull to influence their female herd to then use these females to breed good steers and bullocks.
This champion win was the pinnacle of results for the Holt family and their team at Coonong, who have been taken part in the feedback trial for the past five to six years.
Entering three teams this year, manager Joe Gahan said each team was slightly different.
“One team was made up of US imported embryo calves, and another by homebred bulls,” Mr Gahan said.
“This is the first crop of Masons to be put into the trial.”
Across their approximately 29,542 hectares, they run about 35,000 head of sheep along with 800 head of cattle comprising of 600 breeders plus replacement heifers and steers.
“The Herefords intermingle with the sheep in a mixed grazing operation,” Mr Gahan said.
“Steers are usually grown out to two-year-old bullocks that are sold through the local saleyards.
“We take part in the competition to allow us to identify where we can make improvements and tweak parts of our breeding, management and so on.”