Braford king of Casino Beef Week

Braford sashed supreme exhibit of Casino Beef Week

Braford bull Little Valley Magician with stud principal Doug Bennett, Stratheden; judge Leonie Ball, Singleton and members of the enthusiastic Beef Week committee.

Braford bull Little Valley Magician with stud principal Doug Bennett, Stratheden; judge Leonie Ball, Singleton and members of the enthusiastic Beef Week committee.


Steers and stud cattle in the streets of Casino reminded the Richmond Valley district that beef is batting well at the moment.


Fresh from a breed win with a different bull at Rockhampton's Beef 2021, the Bennett family's Stratheden Braford stud, Little Valley, were celebrating again on Saturday at Casino Beef Week's 39th open air event.

At two years old and 888 kilograms, Little Valley Magician, by Varykino Jimmy 114641, claimed supreme exhibit with judge and Charolais breeder Leonie Ball, Grenell at Singleton, praising the bull's sire appeal against a small but quality line-up of local stud cattle.

This bull last wore the supreme broad ribbon at Glen Innes show earlier this year.

Little Valley stud also won junior bull with 31 month old Little Valley Mitchell by Nieman Eli 407 and claimed champion senior female with Little Valley Miss Majestic by Little Valley Larry 2973, with her first calf at foot.

Judge Ms Ball said the tremendous matron "oozed pizzazz and style".

Champion heifer, a Murray Grey, was awarded to Hideaway Park Felicity by Ayr Park Lewis, bred and exhibited by Wendy McDonald, Grafton, who had originally prepared the breeder for Brisbane Royal before its cancellation.

In the highly competitive led steer competition judge Mrs Ball took her time to make decisions, explaining to the crowd her reasoning. In the end the Nicholls family, Rukenvale, were awarded grand champion for the fourth year in a row, this time with a Limousin bred by Josh and Kirsty Sawtell, Lindsay View Limousins at Sawpit Creek and bought at Casino saleyards by Nicole Nicholls with an eye for phenotype.

The 584kg steer sold afterwards at the celebrity auction made top bid at 1420c/kg carcase weight.

A Charolais/Shorthorn steer, 427kg, artificially sired by Neil Hellyar, McKees Hill using semen from a Canadian bull from a cow also sired by a Canadian and prepared with his handler Bailey Gardiner, won reserve champion. Judge Ms Ball described him as "oozing meat" with good softness on the hip which should influence fat scores at P8 and rib.

"I select on constitution and type not numbers," said Mr Hellyar, describing his choice of frozen genetics.

A 491kg Limousin/Angus bought out of the Inverell saleyards by consortium of commission buyers and agents from Glen Innes and Inverell won the competitive 431-500kg division, selling for 1360c/kg.

Ironpot Pastoral came away with two reserve ribbons in their classes with station bred Simmental over Angus and Hereford that drew praise from the judge for their even fat cover and preparation.

In the school steer section, judged by Yorklea Angus breeder Bruce Lyle, Bonalbo Central School was awarded champion steer, with Hereford over Simmental/Hereford bred by Ron Dean, Mallanganee, and managed by his daughter Donna Clements who is the school's agricultural teacher.

Reserve ribbon went to St Mary's High School, Casino, with a Charolais/Hereford.

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