Yorke Peninsula Red Poll breeders Alan and Marilyn, Peter and Kristen Wilson have been staunch supporters of the Southern Grassfed Carcase Classic over its 12 year history.
In this time they have regularly been among the placings in the carcase competition, including reserve champion in 2015, but this year was their most successful yet.
From a consignment of 39 head, delivered in mid January to Teys Naracoorte's abattoir, they won two of the three individual animal classes with one of these going on to be reserve champion.
They also had the top ranking team of three and top team of 10 animals.
Making this feat even more impressive is the fact their cattle are some of the furthest travelled in the competition with an eight-hour journey to the works from their Brentwood property.
Alan says it is a big thrill for their 18 to 20 month old steers to perform so well, especially in the teams classes, from 1349 head entered by more than 40 SA and Vic entrants.
"You can get the odd spectacular single carcase but to have a few in the top 10 or 20 animals shows that we have some consistency in our breeding program," he said.
"This year we had a couple of new sires and quite a few of these have done well from looking back at the feedback sheets.
Alan believes their success in carcase competitions comes down to two main ingredients; "breeding and feeding".
Red Polls seem to grow frame, muscle and fat all in balance to 320kg (carcaseweight) and have a quiet temperament.
Breeding Red Polls has been a proud tradition for the Wilson family who run the nation's oldest Red Poll stud, established in 1947, as well as a commercial herd.
They are running between 150 and 200 cows, along with a cropping program.
'We try to keep a balance between the meat content and fat content," he said.
"Red Polls seem to grow frame, muscle and fat all in balance to 320kg (carcaseweight) and have a quiet temperament."
And he says they are fortunate to have 'healthy grazing country" of clover, ryegrass and cape weed pastures.
While Alan says it is a thrill to be among the placings but even more valuable to them is the chance to test the carcase performance of their genetics.
"The person that buys meat in the supermarket or restaurant decides if we have a good market for beef so we have to make sure they have a steak that eats well every time," he said.
The Wilsons reserve champion was a 315kg carcase which scored 89.63 points out of a possible 100 for market specifications, saleable meat yield and eating quality.
It had an eye muscle area of 90 square centimetres and 10mm of rib fat with a MSA marbling score of 350.
The carcase was just edged out for grand champion by a black baldy steer from Stonehut Pastoral, Robe.
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