Potential Sydney Royal Show steers have been given a final lifeline with Colin Say and Co Pty Ltd organising an alternative carcase competition for exhibitors.
The announcement came after the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) ended speculation of an alternative event.
"It is with great disappointment that we confirm the cancellation of all competitions including the 2020 steer show, carcase competition and auction to be held at this year's Sydney Royal," a RAS statement said.
"In addition to this the RAS will not be facilitating any competitions or judging, including carcase judging and the Victor Chang Charity Auction."
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With exhibitors outlaying a lot of money feeding steers for upwards of 120 to 200 days, Colin Say and Co based at Glen Innes came to the rescue offering an end point for middle and heavyweight steers.
Colin Say and Co agent Shad Bailey said the carcase competition was independent to Sydney and would not include a live judging.
"Steers will be judged on the Sydney specifications with the same point system, purely because they have been fed to meet these specs," Mr Bailey said.
"Trade weight cattle (400 kilogram to 530kg liveweight) will be procured at Tamworth with Woolworths. Within this the Sydney trade or crossbreds and purebreds will run separately.
"Heavy steers over 530kg will be sent to Wingham Beef Exports."
Once entries close this Friday (February 27), steers will be collected from Dubbo and Tamworth saleyards on April 5. Cattle will be paid on grid prices, yet to be confirmed by the processors.
Mr Bailey said classes will be determined purely on carcase weight.
"Classes have been broken down into carcase weight categories with a 35kg increment," he said.
"Minimum for Woolworths is 215kg carcase weight, so for example class one 215kg to 250kg, class two 250.1kg to 285kg, and so on.
"Trades will have one class, 215kg to 310kg."
Reputable livestock accessor Jason Siddell will judge the carcases at Woolworths while Wingham Beef Exports will be using their own in-house graders due to coronavirus restrictions. Woolworths will be supporting the event but are yet to confirm the amount.
"We are also chasing breed societies that usually sponsor Sydney," Mr Bailey said. "It would be great to rattle up some more sponsors."
Entry fees for the competition will be kept to a minimum according to Mr Bailey, who said exact costs will be confirmed once entries are finalised.
"The biggest thing is this is not a money exercise. We purely want to give schools and people an outlet, and show that we are invested in this area," he said.
Mr Bailey said the team at Colin Say and Co knew the time, effort and costs involved in preparing show steers and were honoured to be asked to organise an event.
"We are heavily involved with show steers, running the Glen Innes Potential Show Steer and Heifer sale in February, being involved with the Ekka and running our own Beef Extravaganza steer show in September, so we have a lot of contacts and support from people in the industry," he said.
"The carcase data is instrumental information for the kids and their school programs, as well as breeding programs that are producing these steers. A lot of decisions can be made from it."
With no certainty other steer shows like the Ekka will go ahead, Mr Bailey said they already had a lot of enquiry from people that had bought from Glen Innes or have steers destined for later shows.
"We are telling people to keep going forward as planned," he said. "If Brisbane doesn't go ahead, we have our other hoof and hook competition in September."
- Entries for the carcase competition close on Friday March 27.