The annual Normanton Rodeo and Campdraft once again attracted a sizeable crowd for the three day program of rodeo, campdraft and show action earlier this month.
The event committee added a new event to the already jam-packed schedule this year with the introduction of The Stanbroke Champion Pen of Export Steers competition which drew plenty of interest from vendors and spectators.
Committee vice president Clint Wockner organised the event to showcase the great quality of steers being bred in the in the Gulf region.
“We asked exhibitors to present their best pens of 15 export steers weighing between 280kg to 350kg, and we had a great response with 10 pens entered from multiple vendors totaling 150 head,” Mr Wockner said.
“I believe they are some of the better export steers you’d see go on a boat, We’ve had a pretty good season in the Gulf, we’ve had good grass rain, and most cattle are weighing well which showed during the competition,” he said.
Stanbroke and Elders were the main sponsors of the event with Stanbroke donating $5000 in prize money which was split between the first, second and third place pens and Elders purchased all pens exhibited for $2.95/kg which at the time was 5c above average market value.
The hard job of judging the pens was up to Tom Kennedy, Elders Townsville, Kate Knowles, Elders Mareeba and local grazier Laurie Blacklock from Haddington Station, Julia Creek.
Mr Kennedy said they were looking for high grade Brahman for the Indonesian market, with plenty of stretch in the frame, uniformity in the line, good weight for age and tidiness of presentation of the brands and horns when selecting the winners.
“The competition gives graziers in the area an opportunity to bring their cattle together and proudly present what they’re producing, while having a chance to look over what other vendors are doing with their cattle to see if their is room for improvement within their own herds,” he said.
“At the end of the day we as an industry need to keep moving forward if we are going to maintain our global footprint for producing high quality cattle.”
After the judging was completed, first place was awarded to the Gallagher family, Kelwood, for their pen of no-5 grey Brahman steers which weighed 290kg on average.
Second place went to Stanbroke Glenore, Normanton, for their pen of grey no-4 Brahman-cross steers which weighed 326kg on average, and Morr Morr Pastoral, Delta Downs, Normanton, placed third with a well presented pen of red Brahman steers which weighed 350kg on average.
Mr Wockner said Elders graciously donated back their commission of $3958 from the competition to the Normanton Rodeo and Campdraft committee and also took the pens to the Port of Karumba from where they were shipped to Indonesia through South East Asian Livestock Services.