A YARDING of well-bred local weaner steers and heifers were presented for judging at last week's Elders Great Southern Weaner Show and Sale at the Mt Barker Regional Saleyards, where the competition judge had the tough task of singling out the best pens on Tuesday.
This year's judge was Rodney Galati, Brunswick, who said overall the presentation of cattle for the competition represented a strong effort from the vendors who had experienced a less than ideal season.
"Overall, I thought today's presentation was a massive credit to the vendors down here because they've had a pretty tough season to work with," Mr Galati said.
"In particular the steer calves in the heavier weight category at 350kg plus were exceptional.
"I'd like to congratulate the Elders team on putting together another great show and sale, a lot of work goes into a sale like this and the quality of presentation is a credit to Wayne Mitchell and his team."
Following up an overall win at the show and sale last year Levens Cattle Co, Takalarup, was again awarded the prize for overall champion steer pen with 12 Koojan Hills and Coonamble blood Angus steers weighing 435kg to make it back-to-back wins at the annual event.
Mr Galati said they were the clear winners, standing out among the heavyweight steers which made them deserving of the major prize.
"Back-to-back wins at something like this speaks to the consistency of quality the Levens Cattle Co are able to produce and a credit to their efforts," Mr Galati said.
"In the remainder of the steer line-up, I was impressed by the feeder sections with some outstanding heavier cattle there as well.
"Overall in the steer section, I thought the cattle showed good breeding and presentation which vendors should be proud of."
Moving onto the heifer line-up, Mr Galati said he thought there were some great examples of feeder heifers on show.
"The replacement heifers were probably a bit lighter due to the season but with clear potential to grow out nicely."
The winner of the champion pen of heifers overall was GJ & CJ Hicks, Narrikup, with a pen of 14 Angus and Charolais blood heifers which weighed in at an average of 347.5kg.
The major win was backed up by several minor prizes which reflected the consistency of cattle nominated for the sale by the Hicks family.
Other wins for the Hicks cattle included first and second prizes in the steer category between 300-350kg with pens of 15 and 14 Angus and Charolais blood steers weighing 334kg and 324kg respectively.
The Hicks family also won second place in the feeder heifer category with 12 Angus and Charolais blood heifers tipping the scales at 323kg.
Another winner of multiple prizes on the day was Gatti Bros, Redmond, which made a clean sweep of the 350kg plus steer category, taking out first and second prize with pens of 15 and 20 Coonamble blood Angus steers which weighed an average of 372kg and 357kg respectively.
At the lighter end of the steer section of the show, Yarralena Grazing, Cranbrook, swept the field after being awarded first and second place in the 300kg and under category.
Its pens of 14 and 10 Diamond Tree and Ardcairnie blood Angus steers stood out to the judge with weights of 295kg and 263kg respectively.
In the heifer section, the feeder heifers were bested by Kangarabbi Farms, Narrikup, which won first prize with a pen of 17 sleek Summit blood Black Gelbviehs which weighed in at 337kg.
The replacement heifers which showed most potential according to the judge on the day were offered by GT & JF Couper, Mt Barker, which won the replacement heifer section of the show with 11 Murray Greys weighing in at an average of 316kg.
Coming in at second place in the replacement heifer category was a pen of 10 Tullibardine Murray Grey and Coonamble Angus blood heifers which tipped the scales at 304kg.
At the end of the prize presentation, sale co-ordinator and auctioneer Wayne Mitchell thanked the vendors, judge and sponsors Zoetis, Virbac, CSBP, Gallagher and Warratah for their contributions which helped to make the event a success.