A purebred black Limousin steer called Edward, weighing 532 kilograms and prepared by Calrossy Anglican School, Tamworth, has been judged the grand champion led animal at the Waverley Station Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza.
Edward was later nominated as the supreme steer of the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza. Calrossy Anglican School received the Stan Watson Memorial Trophy, which pays tribute to the former markets reporter from the Upper Hunter who died in a car accident in 2014. As a market reporter with Meat and Livestock Australia, Mr Watson had reported on the Scone, Singleton and Coonabarabran livestock markets for almost 20 years.
Judged by Nicole Nicholls, Kyogle, the steer was among about 340 led animals from a wide range of schools from the Hunter Valley, mid-north coast, the New England and North West and the Central West.
Ms Nicholls said she had to "fly through" the classes to get the job done, but in her remarks before announcing the grand champion, she was selecting a type of animal.
"They had to be soft and easy to finish but still had the required muscle pattern. The grand champion was finished, had a complete coverage (of fat) and had thickness and muscle."
Ms Nicholls said once the hook results were announced later in a week, the exhibitors would see a clearer insight into their weeks and months of preparation.
She said, "It's a lucky dip. I've been involved with the beef industry and showing steers for a long time. All you can do is try your best, and hopefully, the carcase results come up similar to what we saw in the ring.
"So many steers could win on the hook that didn't even get up in the top five. The quality here was amazing.
Parading the grand champion steer of the Scone Beef Bonanza was Calrossy Anglican School's Madison Bailey. She said Calrossy Edward was a purebred Limousin steer bred by Col McGilchrist, Wallabadah. The reserve grand champion was prepared and shown by Keajura Park Limousins, with Brentvale Silver, the winner of one of the heavyweight classes, weighing 560kg.
St John's College, Dubbo, showed the heavyweight champion steer, a 598kg Limousin, while the reserve heavyweight champion was Brentvale Silver.
The reserve champion middleweight was a Limousin entry, shown by the Camden Haven High School. The lightweight champion was a Limousin/Angus cross steer weighing 413kg and shown by Jordan Snape, Armidale, while the reserve champion lightweight was a 380kg Speckle Park steer shown by Walcha Central School.
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