Those few stud cattle breeders who exhibited at Tenterfield Show on Saturday were committed to their cause, all of them hand feeding, many carting water and more than a few with uncomfortable stories concerning drought endurance.
The big black Simmental bull Sixpence Park Midnight, by Sixpence Park stud at Tenterfield, was sashed grand champion bull of the show.
Te-Angie poll Hereford stud, Wongwibinda via Armidale, was awarded grand champion female with Te-Angie Statuesque, 17 months, along with champion breeders’ group which included the bull Te-Angie Noah and his calf Prime Mover. The stud was also presented a ribbon for its champion pair of bulls.
Tenterfield High School dominated the Angus breed and the show, with dedicated students exhibiting the best of the school’s stud, which has a Bald Blair cow base and influence from Alumy Creek bull Goliath, which passed on his North American genetics.
Head teacher Phil Jones was recognised at the show for his contribution to agriculture, through the school’s popular program, with an award presented by retiring Member for Lismore Thomas George with Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce, who helped sash the school’s champion bull, THS Nathan,14 months and 642kg.
Champion pair of females went to Stacey Clark’s Staben Brahman stud, Casino with Staben Miss Crystal and Minni Mouse, both 16 months. Staben also won reserve champion bull with Staben Why Not, 18 months.
Mogul Brahman stud, Yorklea via Casino, was awarded reserve champion pair of bulls, Mogul Hendrix and Homeland, 16 and 17 months, with the former awarded champion Brahman bull. The stud also won senior champion Brahman female, with Mogul Miss KG Lindelu, 19 months, sired by Kenrol Gordian Manso, who also sired Mogul Hendrix.
The feature breed of the show was Speckle Park, although entries were limited to one with champion ribbon awarded to Fox Tail Hill Never Alone with her calf Never Forget Me exhibited by Fox Tail Hill Speckle Park stud, McKees Hill, via Lismore.
Champion Red Angus bull went to the poll Kookabookra Shanghai, 16 months with the Glen Innes stud also claiming champion led steer for Kookabookra Rump.
Champion Santa Gertrudis bull went to Little Hawke Warrego, 15 months, by the Little Hawke stud, Tenterfield, sired by Rosevale Noddy.
There were some breeders with more of a sorry drought tale to tell than others – like Dexter champions Jaylyn stud, Barraba, who experienced bush fire and 100 per cent pasture loss 12 months ago and used their dam water to fight it.
Sixpence Park stud principal Linda Martin said her cattle were getting by through careful cell grazing and she counted her blessings that they had put a dam in what used to be a boggy part of the paddock.
Richard Ogilvie, stud principal of Te-Angie poll Hereford at Wongwibinda said his 300 stud cows delivered from their old home in South Australia to the Northern New England five years ago had acclimatised well, although Richard still shakes his head. Oddly enough this season produced his first crop of summer millet in all that time.
Chief steward, John Claydon, Mingoola, has no feed and a dry creek but managed to win the commercial cattle competition on Friday, in conjunction with his partner Annette Miller, exhibiting a Black Simmental/ Angus cow and her Brahman calf, judged among 50 head by James Jarrett and Belinda Dockrill.