A SOLE entry in the Salers ring has created interest in the beef section after being described by judge Sam Hunter of Agstock as "as good of a beef female you could see".
Nicolstoke Nicola was the two-year-old black Salers cow/calf pair exhibited by Susan and Stephen Nicholas, Nicolstoke Salers stud, Nowra.
The Nicholas' said they were proud to be flying the flag for the Salers breed, as one of the only Saler breeders in NSW. They currently run about 10 head.
Described as a powerful female, Mr Hunter said "you have to admire her thickness and gutts".
"She's a powerhouse," he said. "She has a big square hip, she is sound on the move and has thickness right through to her backend."
Targetting a more moderate, black coated animal, the Nicholas family said they decided to bring down the size of their Salers cattle, targetting a moderate beast while maintaining the standard and characteristics that the breed is known for.
"They have been bringing down the size of the Salers in Europe also, moving from 1500 to 1600 kilogram bulls to 1100 to 1200kg bulls, and improving the feed efficiency and costs associated," Stephen Nicholas said.
The female showed with a three-month-old heifer calf-at-foot Nicolstoke Quinta, sired by an older, now deceased sire Beartooth Parkes, imported from actor Mel Gibson's stud, Beartooth Salers, in the US.
"As a heifer Nicola was the junior interbreed female at Cootamundra Show against strong competition, and she has had a number of successes at other local shows," Mr Nicholas said.
She is sired by past Melbourne Royal interbreed winner Murrabah Vivid Black, and from the Nicolstoke Futura cow.
The Salers breed is known for their quality of milk and the magnificent cheese they produce, Mr Nicholas said.
"They are a fairly unknown breed, but we breed them for their ease of calving," he said.
"We aim to breed good, sound quality cattle that live up to the Salers traditions."
Judge: Sam Hunter of Agstock, Yass
No. of entries: 1
Senior champion female: Nicolstoke Nicola, Susan and Stephen Nicholas, Nowra
Grand champion female: Nicolstoke Nicola, Susan and Stephen Nicholas, Nowra
Supreme exhibit: Nicolstoke Nicola, Susan and Stephen Nicholas, Nowra