FOR the Humphreys family, attending this year's Sydney Royal was far from a certainty due to torrential rain and floods across the state's Northern Rivers region, which impacted their Mummulgum operation.
However, such was the family's dedication and resilience, they pushed ahead and took this year's Santa Gertrudis competition by storm.
Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd claimed senior and grand champion female and best exhibit with Welbatch Ultra 839, senior and grand champion bull with Welbatch Wisconsin M062, reserve senior female champion with Welbatch Wattle 870 and junior champion bull with Welbatch MO72.
Judge Richard Murphy, R and R Agencies, Mackay, Qld, said the 32 exhibits entered in this year's competition were of the highest quality, but Welbatch Ultra 839 was a standout.
"The best exhibit is always the toughest class to judge especially at a Royal show and especially with cattle of this calibre," Mr Murphy said.
"It came down to how complete each animal was in relation to what they need to do to play their part in the production cycle of a herd.
"I think this cow ticks a heap of boxes in that she is very feminine through the front end, has tremendous capacity through her hindquarters and pelvis area, which allows her to really show that fertility.
"She might not have the thickest or widest carcase down through her hindquarters but you can see those maternal characteristics carry through and produce into the calf she's got beside her making her a worthy winner overall."
As for the grand champion bull, Mr Murphy said Welbatch Wisconsin M062, which was also named the senior champion bull, was "an excellent example of the Santa breed".
"He is very mobile, structurally correct, gets around the ring well, and he's also not too heavy or forceful in the front end," he said.
"I think he is also carrying a lot of thickness and power through his topline, he's also very soft but carries that 820 kilograms of him around the ring really well and is a worthy winner of the grand champion."
Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd owner Scott Humphreys said he was delighted with the result, given it was only the second time the outfit has shown in Sydney and the first time they have done it themselves.
"It was a fantastic result for us," Mr Humphreys said. "You can put it down to the kids being keen and they have been just great in getting the cattle ready to show.
"We're thrilled with the result and I think the structural correctness, do-ability, fertility helped set the cow with her calf apart and they are two good examples of the breed I believe."
Mr Humphreys said preparing cattle for this year's Royal had been a challenge but proved to be worthwhile.
"We're based in the Northern Rivers where the flooding has been very severe and to be honest, it has been a real challenge because we have never seen it as wet at home as it has been this year," he said.
"The cattle have done it tough and bringing them down knocked them around a little bit, but they still presented really well and got pleasing results in the end.
"It's been trying times due to the weather and COVID but the show has done an amazing job in putting this on and it has just been so good to see country people come back, present their animals to the public and showcase the best of the industry."
Judge: Richard Murphy, R and R Agencies, Mackay, Queensland.
No. of exhibits: 32
Junior champion bull: Welbatch MO72, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
Reserve junior champion bull: Munnabah Pablo P2817, exhibited by Munnabah Santa Gertrudis, Coolah.
Junior champion female: Denngal Rainbow R14, exhibited by D and D Moxey, Denngal Santa Gertrudis, Forbes.
Reserve junior champion female: Nangaringa, Reagan R175, exhibited by Nangaringa Santa Gertrudis, Loxton, South Australia.
Senior champion bull: Welbatch Wisconsin M062, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
Senior champion female: Welbatch Ultra 839, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
Reserve senior champion female: Welbatch Wattle 870, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
Grand champion bull: Welbatch Wisconsin M062, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
Grand champion female: Welbatch Ultra 839, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
Best exhibit: Welbatch Ultra 839, exhibited by Welbatch Pastoral Pty Ltd, Mummulgum.
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