IT was the day for siblings in the led steers on-hoof judging, with two sets winning both champion and reserve champion ribbons.
Zanna Spence, eleven, of Keith, won grand champion with a Limousin from Damian Gommer’s Mandayen stud at Keith, Mandayen Spence’s Fireball.
The same steer was also named champion heavy domestic steer.
It weighed 500 kilograms and had 9-millimetre rump fat, 9mm rib fat and a 101-square centimetre eye muscle area.
Zanna’s brother Thomas Spence won grand champion in last year’s on-hoof judging with another Mandayen steer.
This year Thomas won reserve champion heavy domestic steer with Mandayen Spence’s Clive.
It weighed 467kg and had 10mm rump fat, 7mm rib fat and 99EMA.
Judge Ben Davies, who is Thomas Foods International’s assistant livestock manager, said it was very hard splitting the two Mandayen steers, describing them as “peas in a pod”.
“They’re very well-finished calves that are a great representation of the breed,” he said.
“They’re as similar as two steers can get. They’re very even in their fat distribution and fat cover.”
Zanna and Thomas’ father and Spence Dix & Co director Jono Spence said they picked the steers out back in February as five-month-old calves.
Mr Spence said they stood out as having a “great combination of carcase and softness”.
Sisters Jacqui and Rachel Palk, of Springton, led both champion lightweight domestic steer and reserve.
Jacqui’s Marne Valley stud took out the champion ribbon, while the reserve was from the girl’s parents Simon and Kyla Palk’s stud Willows Rest and was led by Rachel.
The champion, Marne Valley Valiant, weighed 448kg and had 7mm rump fat, 6mm rib fat and 81EMA.
Reserve, Willows Rest Wampa, weighed 426kg and had 11mm rump fat, 8mm rib fat and 77EMA.
Mr Davies said when he was buying stock he was looking for consistency of type, and the Square Meaters had that trait, along with high yield.
“These steers are showing ample fat coverage and are nice and full in the twist,” he said. “They’re a good example of a trade body.”
For Jacqui, who only started her own stud three years ago, the champion ribbon was the first major prize she had won with her own animals, after leading her parent’s Square Meaters for many years. She only bought two animals to the show, a steer and a heifer, which came second in its class in the breed judging.
When judging the export championship, Mr Davies said the winners exhibited outstanding traits.
“It shows where the industry is going, with this calibre of cattle being shown,” he said.
“They’re all high yielding, high growth cattle with outstanding fat cover.”
Champion export steer was a Hereford bred by the Tondara stud, Urana, NSW, exhibited by Loxton High School and led by Eleni Fogden, 16, Loxton. It weighed 590kg and had 14mm rump fat, 10mm rib fat and 109EMA.
Mr Davies said the champion export steer was very, very thick, with a great top-line.
“It’s also showing fantastic finish,” he said.
Reserve champion export steer – Glental Eclipse – was bred by Aruma Limousins, Two Wells, exhibited by Glental Partnership, Mallalla, and led by Lewis Bruggemann, Wilmington. It weighed 626kg and had 13mm rump fat, 12mm rib fat and 103EMA.
Mr Davies said Eclipse was a very high yielding animal.