Lincoln Red win a rise from the ashes

Royal Canberra Show 2020: Lincoln Red bull win for bushfire victims

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Shannon Lawlor of International Animal Health, judge Sam Hunter, the grand champion Lincoln Red exhibit, owner Guy Bennett and ribbon presenter Shane Smeathers. Photo: Emily H Photography

Shannon Lawlor of International Animal Health, judge Sam Hunter, the grand champion Lincoln Red exhibit, owner Guy Bennett and ribbon presenter Shane Smeathers. Photo: Emily H Photography

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Bega Valley exhibitors represented the breed at Canberra.

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There may have only been one exhibit in the Lincoln Red ring but it was a mammoth journey to get him to the Royal Canberra Show.

Earlier this year exhibitors Guy and Jenny Bennett of Ferndale stud, Bega Valley, were evacuated three times and lost everything except their home and cattle when bushfire tore through their 400 acre property.

But their resilience in a time of adversity was rewarded on Friday when their 16-month-old bull, Ferndale Patten, was awarded junior and grand champion Lincoln Red bull.

The young sire was by Western Australia bull, Tone J7, and out of Ferndale Lola who was from former Sydney Royal Show supreme Lincoln Red exhibit, Ferndale Florence.

Judge Sam Hunter said while he hadn't seen a lot of Lincoln Red cattle, Patten was a fantastic exhibit for the breed.

"I don't think you could find a bull that moves as freely as that bull here, where that front foot leaves he leaves that track and that back foot lands in there," he said.

"He has got as much structural integrity as any animal you would see here today.

"A really thick and complete bull, you get in behind this bull and he has got a lot of muscle that he carries along that spine and down under those hips and right down to the ground. He is clean underneath big bodied and just a really fantastic beef bull."

The young sire is an important feature of the Bennett's rebuild having reduced their numbers due to drought to just 35 heifers and some young bulls.

"We didn't lose any stock in the fire because my son-in-law I told not to go there, went and moved them," Mr Bennett said.

"We normally run 80 to 90 breeders but I'm back down because the last couple of years it was so dry that I sold cows off last year.

"Unfortunately we had a cow and calf we wanted to bring but when it got real dry at Christmas time the water holes dried up and we got an influx of ducks and we had scours, we lost a few calves so the cow and calf I had picked to come, I couldn't bring."

Thankfully the couple received significant rainfall following the fires and their property has responded well.

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