Spence's Show Steers was a force to be reckoned in this year's RA&HS' steer carcase competition, winning a swathe of ribbons and also taking out the grand champion carcase award.
Mandayen Spence's Compliant Q190 secured the grand champion accolade, with the Limousin also winning champion heavy domestic carcase and best heavy domestic eating quality carcase.
With a carcase weight of 291 kilograms, it had a 101-square centimetre eye muscle area, 9-millimetre rump fat, 7mm rib fat, and an MSA Index of 67.12, leading to an overall score of 97.12 points out of a possible 100.
Spence's Show Steers' Jono Spence first enetered the on-hook competition in 1988, and has been entering steers from Damian Gommers, Mandayen, Murray Bridge and Keith, since 2017 - a year when he exhibited the grand champion both on-hoof and on-hook, with Mandayen Spence's Fred.
"Mandayen have a wonderful herd of Limousins and we've been lucky, for the last few years, to be a part of that, it's been a pleasure to prepare and show his cattle," Mr Spence said.
Mr Spence said he knew he had a few steers which were going to be "pretty competitive" in the competition, but the champion win came as a pleasant surprise.
"I don't think anyone ever enters expecting a score of 97, it's almost unheard of," he said.
Modern day Limousins that are starting to come through are being extremely competitive and giving the other breeds something to chase.
Spence's Show Steers also took out the reserve champion heavy domestic carcase, with Mandayen Spence's True Blue Q147 scoring 94.83 to be named runner-up.
Teys Australia Naracoorte handled the processing of the animals, and Teys livestock strategic supply chain manager Jake Phillips said the quality of entries this year was particularly impressive.
"Since Teys have been involved, the carcases this year were certainly most compliant to fat specifications and also to MSA specifications, with only one dark cutter out of the whole competition and only two carcases that didn't pass fat spec," he said.
"That's outstanding, and really a testament to the preparation that the 36 schools and farms put in when preparing their cattle."
He complimented the grand champion carcase on its impressive figures.
"It scored full points for market specifications, full marks for lean meat yield, and it also scored very well for eating quality," he said.
"Those traits are often antagonistic, if you have high eating quality, more often than not you'll have low yield, but this animal was able to have high scores right across the board."
The Limousin breed excelled in the competition, with the three highest overall scores going to carcases of that breed, and Mr Phillips expected the domination to continue.
"Limousins have the natural breed character of high yielding and good muscle, but most importantly, they have the ability to fatten and have some eating quality, and I think the modern day Limousins that are starting to come through are being extremely competitive and giving the other breeds something to chase," he said.
With the on-hoof competition unable to go ahead this year due to the cancellation of the Royal Adelaide Show, Mr Phillips said he was pleased the on-hook competition was still run, with 108 entries received.
It's a great honour and a big reward for effort.
"Teys is really passionate about providing opportunities for young people, and we acknowledge the number of schools involved in this competition, we wanted to stay involved and make sure this year's school leavers still had the opportunity to prepare cattle and enter them in the competition.
The champion light domestic carcase was won by Dexter, a Poll Hereford exhibited by Keith Area School and bred by Mark and Anita Wilson, Kerlson Pines, Keith. Dexter had a 233kgcwt, and received a total score of 88.32, with a 79sqcm EMA, 6mm rib fat and 8mm rump fat.
Faith Lutheran School, Tanunda, also had an impressive day out, winning champion eating quality carcase overall and reserve champion export carcase, for Carrical Charlie, an Angus bred by John and Caroline Hassing, Carrical Angus, Flaxman Valley, which received a total score of 87.83.
QUITTERS NEVER WIN CONTINUES CHAMPION RUN
The grand champion steer in Stock Journal's Steer Showdown, Quitters Never Win, has continued to impress, with the steer being named as champion export carcase in the RA&HS's 2020 on-hook carcase competition.
Bred by the Galpin family, Warrawindi Limousins, Penola, and prepared and entered by Naracoorte High School, Quitters Never Win had a 102-square centimetre eye muscle area, 11-millimetre rump fat and 7mm rib fat, with a carcase weight of 351 kilograms.
It had a total score of 88.69 - the fifth-highest of all the entries across all classes.
Naracoorte High School agriculture teacher Emma Phillips said the second win was "very exciting".
"It's a great honour and a big reward for effort," she said.
"Many of these students have been in the program for over four years, and we have had such great success this year, it's great for our year twelves to finish the year on a high."
Teys livestock strategic supply chain manager Jake Phillips said it was a credit to the school to receive the accolade.
"For a school to be able to win a champion award, given the constraints that often surround trying to do these things in schools, is something the school should be really proud of," he said.
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