IT has been a whirlwind of a week for seven WA stud breeders and their 27 head of beef cattle which made the journey across to New South Wales to compete with the best in the ring at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show.
A 48-hour drive, covering 4000 kilometres, isn't for the faint hearted but efficient management, trucking and selecting the right type of cattle aided in all stock arriving safely and saw many perform to the best of their ability and take home some broad ribbons.
Proudly representing the State and their breeds were Little Meadows Angus, Dardanup, Monterey Angus, Karridale, Venturon Livestock, Boyup Brook, Quicksliver Charolais and Droughtmasters, Newdegate, Morrisvale Limousin, Narrikup, Yongerellen Red Polls, Quairading and Willawa Murray Greys, Newdegate.
Described by many breeders as the pinnacle of cattle showing in Australia, this year's Sydney Royal Beef Cattle Show was no exception.
Angus were the feature breed and in celebrating 100 years of Angus in Australia the quality and competition was certainly something to behold.
In the ring, where more than 300 head were exhibited, was a single entry from the Golding family, Little Meadows Pavlich P2 (AI).
In a class of five head, for bulls aged over 13 months and not over 14 months, the 680 kilogram calf which scanned 105cm2 EMA was awarded fourth place.
International judge William McLaren, Netherton Angus, Perth, Scotland, said the young calf had plenty of length and depth of body.
"He is a very soft-coated youngster that is structurally correct and very mobile," Mr McLaren said.
Pavlich was sired by Kansas Aberdeen F84 (AI) and out of Little Meadows Edwina D4 (AI)(ET), which was previously shown at the 2012 Sydney Royal Show and it was sashed reserve senior champion Angus female.
Along with their young bull, the Golding family, also exhibited K5X Whitney L63, which was purchased at the 2017 Sydney Royal Show in partnership with the Collins family, Merridale Angus, Tennyson, Victoria.
Whitney, with its bull calf at foot placed third in a highly contested class of 16 head, for females over 36 months and not over 48 months.
Whitney, which was sired by Raff Danny Boy D207 (AI) (ET) was described as a powerful, lengthy female that paraded well and was structurally very correct.
Monterey Angus genetics went east when Steve Hayward and Kellie Smith, K5K Angus, Allora, Queensland, purchased Monterey True North N187 for $12,000 at the Buller family's Monterey on-property sale at Karridale in February.
The 18-month-old bull which made the long haul not only to be delivered but to be shown, weighed 898kg, expressed a 129cm2 EMA and placed fourth in its class of five.
N187, which was sired by Monterey Far Out F117, was described by Mr McLaren as a bull that had extra frame and length and was strong boned.
Since 2011 the Thompson family, Venturon Livestock, have been trucking cattle to the east coast and this year they trucked across six quality Charolais, including a calf, to the show themselves.
Venturon Naughty But Nice N31E caught the eye of judge David Smith, Palgrove Charolais stud, Ben Lomond, NSW.
Although being the only entry in the class for females over 24 months and not over 30 months, it went on to be sashed reserve senior champion female behind Moongool Fantail 8 (R/F) L104E, which outclassed all in the interbreed and was named supreme beef breed exhibit of the show.
Mr Smith said he couldn't ask for too much more in the young, productive Venturon two-year-old.
"She has a lot of capacity, a good udder, a great calf at foot and is structurally sound and fertile," he said.
Naughty But Nice was sired by Kooyong Kiran and out of Venturon Gayle.
A 13 month-old heifer, Venturon Hilary P27E (AI)(P) stood out in its class of four and took home a blue ribbon.
By Sparrows Kingston 139Y (P), Mr Smith said Hilary was the youngest in the class and it had plenty of frame and thickness and was a very worthy winner.
Winner of a class of two head for females over 19 and not over 20 months was Venturon Natural Beauty N68E (P).
Mr Smith praised the roomy heifer, which was sired by Venturon Keystone (AI) (P) for its extreme growth and structural correctness.
Venturon Profit Maker P43 (AI)(ET) and Venturon Phenomenal P42E (AI)(ET) placed second and third in their respective class for bulls nine months and not over 12 months.
Mr Smith said Profit Maker, a 626kg calf with a 103cm2 EMA had plenty of growth for its age, was stylish, powerful and structurally correct.
Standing one place down was Phenomenal which weighed 580kg, scanned 105cm2 EMA and was described as a strong boned calf with a good muscle pattern.
Doug and Dani Giles, Quicksilver Charolais, were highly competitive with their three entries, taking away third, fourth and fifth place ribbons.
Quicksilver Mandy P25 (AI) (ET), which was sired by Eatons Royal Dynasty 6164, was third in the class to Venturon Hillary, while Quicksilver Fashion L3 (P) lined up fifth in a larger class of seven females, over 36 months.
Described by Mr Smith as a productive female with plenty of depth and easy doing ability, Fashion L3 was sired by Quicksilver Buckles (P).
Awarded fourth place in a class for bulls over 20 and not over 24 months was the well-structured, beautifully boned, Quicksilver Nigel N88E.
The powerful red factor bull, weighing 1018kg and with 134cm2 EMA, was sired by Quicksilver Gun Smoke (AI) (ET) and out of Quicksilver Voodoo Lady H86.
The Giles not only paraded their Charolais alongside some of the best cattle in the country but also exhibited two quality Droughtmasters against the Belted Galloways in the Other Recognised Breeds category.
Taking his judging to the next level and judging the Other Recognised Breeds at the Sydney Royal for the very first time was Harris Thompson, Venturon Livestock, Boyup Brook.
Mr Thompson knew quality when he saw it and commended 10 month-old heifer, Quicksilver 8/804 (P) (AI), which despite being the only female entry, demanded attention with its great carcase attributes, femininity and movement.
Quicksilver 8/804 went on to be sashed grand and junior champion female.
It was sired by Medway Under Ones Nose D5 (D) and out of Glenlands D5 2615 (P).
Quicksilver Nice Rig D5 (S) came up against the junior champion Belted Galloway bull for grand champion bull exhibit.
Sired by Wajatryn Jimbeam D5 2228 (S) and out of Glenlands D5 13458 (P), it was Nice Rig's lower thigh and strength of top line that got it the prestigious ribbon.
Weighing 774kg and scanning 138cm2 EMA, Mr Thompson said he had a great spread of numbers, softness and plenty of muscle.
Nice Rig D5 went on to be awarded best Other Recognised Breeds exhibit of the show against its show counterpart 8/804.
There were 93 head of Limousin cattle at this year's Sydney Royal and two entries from James and Casey Morris, Morrisvale Limousin, Narrikup, walked away with second and fourth place ribbons.
A daughter of Morrisvale Kept Secret, which was the grand champion Limousin feature bull at the 2017 Sydney Show, was pulled out second in a line-up of eight head, for females over 16 months and not over 18 months.
Morrisvale Northern Flame N53 was described by judge Gerald Spry, Wagga Wagga, NSW, as a very well put together, long, deep-sided heifer.
"She is thick throughout while being very commercially orientated and will turn into a good matron and breed great bulls," he said.
Morrisvale Nightcap N28, also by Morrisvale Kept Secret, was awarded fourth in a class of eight entries for bulls over 20 months and not over 24 months.
Mr Spry said the 930kg youngster with 128cm2 EMA was the most structurally sound in the class and had the best performance but just lacked the overall finish of the other bulls.
Nightcap recently sold for $7500 to a local Narrikup producer.
Morrisvale Kept Secret's progeny from Morrisvale and Flemington Limousin stud, Adelong, NSW, didn't place any lower then fourth in many highly contested classes throughout the day.
Mr Morris said it was exciting to see their genetics breeding on after selling out of Kept Secret's semen in Australia.
"He has 60 progeny on the ground and is a trait leader for all three growth traits (top 1pc of the breed) which is rare," he said.
A productive 3yo Red Poll cow with a 7mo bull calf exhibited by Murray Williams, Yongerellen Red Polls, was a strong favourite of judge Neil Watson, Watasanta Santa Gertrud's stud, Tamworth, NSW.
In a class of three females, over 30 months, Yongerellen Esma Penny M3, placed second and described by Mr Watson as a honest female.
"She is broody, balanced and has a lovely bull calf on the ground," he said.
Esma Penny, sired by Yongerellen Fimiston Kimber went on to be sashed the reserve senior champion Red Poll female.
Just over 20 Murray Greys paraded before judge Peter Falls, Malton Shorthorns, Riverina, NSW and despite the small entries the quality certainly didn't disappoint.
Coming away with a third place ribbon was an entry from Viv Giles, Willawa Murray Grey stud, Willawa Greys Pamela P3 in a class of four for females over 12 months and not over 16 months.
Sired by Errowanbang Kadar K22, Mr Falls said Pamela P3 was smooth through the shoulders and was a later maturing female that would grow out to be a good cow.
The stylish 2yo, Willawa Greys Noelle N13 with 5mo heifer calf at foot was the single entry in a female class over 24 month and not over 30 months.
Mr Falls said Noelle N13 might have been the only entry but she was a good one.
"There is a lot of femininity in this cow and for a first calver she's bred a wonderful calf," he said.
Noel N13 was sired by Ayr Park Fonzie F75.
Monterey genetics were in the limelight again when the Bullers' privately sold heifer, Monterey Joyce N285, now owned by the Burnett family, Maefair Murray Grey stud, Dubbo, NSW, was sashed junior champion female of the breed.
The 17mo heifer was sired by Wundam Park Silversmith K8.
Kevin and Robin Yost, Liberty Shorthorn stud, Toodyay, made the trip east to watch their young heifer, Trojon Phyllis N52, in which they purchased a half share at the 2018 Shorthorn National, from Trojon Shorthorn stud, Lyndhurst, Victoria, get critique by judge Alistair Brook, Melbourne, Victoria.
In a hugely competitive class of 17 head, for females over 18 months and not over 20 months, it placed sixth and was described by Mr Brook as a female with great dimension, shape, performance and style.
Phyllis N52 was sired by Narralda Jester J035 and out of Southern Cross Trojan Phyllis K106.