AFTER 11 years running the cattle section at Make Smoking History Woolorama Brad and Sylvia Patterson called it a day and handed the reins to a younger generation.
This year Kurt Wise and Luke Hall will be organising the show and with plenty of previous experience as section stewards, it will be a seamless transition.
Last year a major change to the section was implemented when the committee decided to reduce the breed classes into just four categories with British, Euro breeds, Bos Indicus and specialty breeds competing against their own type and the same will apply this year.
Mr Wise said the change was made to increase competition in the classes, meaning breeds such as the Gelbvieh that traditionally had a solitary stud flying the Gelbvieh banner, would encounter plenty of competition from the time the first animal enters the ring – not just when it comes to championship judging.
The change did not affect the number of entries but there were more animals in each class.
Mr Wise said people love healthy competition and no one minds getting beaten fairly and squarely.
As the studmaster at Southend Murray Grey stud, Katanning, he has been a regular competitor at Wagin and said winning was not easy.
Every year the show attracts about 120 animals and Mr Wise said it was second only to the IGA Perth Royal Show in size.
Two years ago Southend won nearly every class including the trade cattle section but last year it managed just one reserve championship.
Woolorama is traditionally a show for young cattle and for this reason the number of junior age groups has been increased to four classes.
Previously some classes had 15-16 head but the change will mean eight to 10 animals in a class, making it an ideal number for judging.
The extra classes also will ensure a good line-up for the junior and reserve junior championships, giving the judging panel plenty to challenge them.
The judges include Jake Phillips, from Garanngi Murray Grey stud, Naracoorte, South Australia, and Gary Buller, Monterey Murray Grey stud, Karridale, who will judge the trade section.
Mr Wise said they were expecting similar entry numbers to previous years.
He said high cattle prices didn’t influence numbers but seasonal conditions did.
Mr Wise said there was a relatively static core of stud breeders who exhibited cattle and numbers were more likely to be influenced by how many they prepared and how much the season has aided their efforts.
Show preparation is an art that many seed stock producers don’t bother with, but he said it took skill and experience to present cattle well.
Mr Wise would like more stud breeders to have a go at showing to further their cattle knowledge and learn what is involved in this great form of promotion.
The section also promotes the industry to future cattlemen through the Primaries Livestock interschool heifer challenge, Commonwealth Bank junior cattle handler classes and the State junior beef cattle judging competition.
If halter breaking your cattle for the led classes is not an option then the prime yearling beef competition is another test of beef husbandry, skill and knowledge.
DE Engineers is one of several major new sponsors supporting the cattle section this year and will donate $500 in prizes to each of the light, medium and heavy weight trade classes.
The section is open to all stud and commercial cattle producers with the steers and heifers going up for public auction at 3pm on Friday.
S & C Livestock, headed by last year’s trade cattle judge Cam Petricevich, will conduct the auction and has pledged to donate a steer that will be fed and prepared by one of the most successful long-term trade cattle competitors John Barber and Lone Chorley, Manjimup, with the proceeds donated to charity.
Other sponsors in the section include DSY Engineering, Harley Dystra, Rural Conveyancing, Farm Weekly, Elders, Landmark, Zoetis, Lake Preston Lime, Goodearth Hotel, Fins Seafood, BTW Spray Shop, Milne Feeds, Swans Veterinary Hospital, Gallagher, Halanson Farms Pty Ltd, Liquid Elements, Countrywide Insurance, Great Aussie Stock Aids, UTF Australia, Complete Cattle Scanning, Rogue Bull, Produce Link, Clarke & Wordley Fencing Contractors and Mitchell’s Livestock Transport.