LEADING Dubbo-based school steer competitors, St Johns College, have claimed all four champion steer titles at the Royal Canberra Show on Thursday.
Under the watchful eye of judge Kerrie Sutherland and associate judge Hamish Maclure, St Johns secured both the champion open and school led steer or heifer hoof judging competitions before taking the grand champion title in that section.
They then went on to win the champion led purebred steer or heifer (non kill) and the led trade exhibit (non kill).
It was a purebred Limousin heifer by American bull, RUNL Xtra Loyal, who secured their first championship in the open led steer or heifer hoof and hook competition after 120 days on feed.
The 510 kilogram heifer was a result of a collaborative breeding program between St Johns and the Coonamble Bovine Appreciation Club where 30 females were artificially inseminated and the progeny split between them.
St Johns only recently purchased the heifer from Coonamble for the purposes of the Canberra carcase competition.
Judge Kerrie Sutherland said the female was good enough to be a retained breeder.
"She is a very very well balanced animal and she has certainly got that length," she said.
"We felt very confident, very safe to go with this animal because the fact is she is right up there on her specs, she is soft, she is easy doing, she has certainly got the fat cover and very even all the way through."
Their champion school steer, who went on to beat their heifer for the grand champion title, was bred by the school's agricultural coordinator Ben Toll at Toll Cattle by Sheraton Jarrot and out of a Charolais Angus female.
Weighing 485 kilograms, the steer had been on feed for 96 days.
Later in the day, they claimed the champion led purebred steer with a Limousin steer bred by former student Lauren Moody while their pair of Charolais AI steers claimed the champion and reserve champion led trade competition.
The school presented nine steers and one heifer at the show and Mr Toll said the carcase results were highly regarded in their operation.
"We are real keen to see how they hang up because that is part of the program with St Johns College," he said.
"We do the AI programs and then we follow it through with carcase information.
"It's just an invaluable educational activity for the kids because they get involved in nutrition, management, health programs, the breeding, the performance data. We look very closely at docility, rib and rump fat and 400-day weight gain for these domestic cattle."
Known for breeding champions on their secret 'rocket fuel' ration which is tested in Victoria, Mr Toll said it had only been changed half a dozen times in the last 10 years.
Most recently it was altered just 18 months ago to improve the animals' uptake of the feed and is already showing to be successful based on their steers' weight gains.
"Protein, energy and digestibility have made good increases to the degree of acceptance of the ration," Mr Toll said.