THIS year's trip to the Sydney Royal Easter Show has been a memorable one for the Thompson family's Venturon Livestock stud, Boyup Brook and one they will never forget.
The Thompsons are no strangers to making the 52 hour drive both ways across the Nullabor to exhibit their cattle and the results they achieved this year were beyond what they could have imagined.
Not only were the Thompsons named the most successful exhibitor in the Charolais breed after taking home a swag of ribbons, they also saw their cattle stand up in the top positions in the interbreed judging.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Thompsons in the lead up to leaving for Sydney as they had issues with their truck and it looked like they may not be able to go.
Venturon Livestock co-principal Harris Thompson said in the week before they were meant to leave, the computer in their truck decided to play up when they were delivering sale bulls.
"It was pretty stressful as we were told the part we wanted was in Belgium and would be six weeks away," Mr Thompson said.
"So we thought we weren't going to get there and we were pretty disappointed as we knew we had the best team we had ever prepared entered in the show.
"But we did get there and as a result we will be forever grateful for the support of our clients and friends Chris and Gemma Lee Steere, Yondalee Farms, Boyup Brook.
"They leant us their semi-trailer and we hired a truck for the trip."
The family first exhibited in the show in 2011 and has only missed two years since then and they have been the past two years due to COVID-19.
Their goal has always been to exhibit a breed grand champion and be among the top results in the interbreed competitions, which was something they certainly achieved this year.
Mr Thompson said he and his parents Andrew and Anne couldn't believe the results they achieved and they were on cloud nine for a number of days after the judging.
"They were amazing results and we couldn't be prouder of our cattle presented," Mr Thompson said.
"They were our best results ever but the highlight had to be our results in the interbreed competitions, to achieve what we did is not easy when you come from WA."
The Thompsons team for Sydney consisted of nine Charolais made up of three junior bulls, one senior bull, three junior heifers and a cow/calf unit as well as two junior Angus heifers.
When it came to their four Charolais bulls they all carried a ribbon out of the ring.
Its senior bull, Venturon Raise The Bar R1 (P) (AI), which was sold at the stud's on-property sale for $36,000 to the Minne-Vale Charolais stud, Narrabri, New South Wales, was a standout.
Not only did it win its class for bulls aged 24 to 30 months, it was also sashed the senior and grand champion Charolais bull.
The 27-month-old bull, sired by WC Milestone 5223 and out of Venturon Hillary P27, weighed in at 964 kilograms at the show and had scans of 148cm2 for EMA and 8mm and 5mm for rump and rib fats.
Judge Scott Myers, Myers Angus stud, The Rock, NSW, commended the bull on how well it moved for the amount of muscle it carried.
Then in the interbreed competitions Raise the Bar R1 finished in the top five placings in the Urquhart Trophy and top three placings in the Hordern Trophy when it combined with the grand champion Charolais female and supreme Charolais exhibit from the Winchester Charolais stud, Orange, NSW.
Venturon's junior bull entries also caught Mr Myers' attention.
Venturon Stamp Duty S42 (P) (AI) (ET), was sashed the reserve junior champion Charolais bull after winning its class for 12 to 14-month-old bulls ahead of stable mate Venturon Super Duty S30 (P) (AI) (ET), which finished second.
Super Duty sold at the stud's on-property sale for $22,000 to South Australian Charolais stud, Boulview.
Stamp Duty S42 and Super Duty S30, which are full ET-bred brothers by Turnballs Duty Free 358D (P) and out of Venturon Naughty But Nice N31 (P), also combined to win the class for a pair of bulls not over 24 months old.
The stud also won the junior bull class for bulls aged nine to 12 months with Venturon Start the Party S97 (P).
Not to be out done by their male travelling companions, the Thompson's Charolais females also made an impression on Mr Myers.
A full ET-bred sister to Stamp Duty S42 and Super Duty S30, Venturon Naughty But Nice S32 (P) (AI) (ET), was sashed the junior champion heifer, having earlier won its class for heifers aged 12-14 months.
The stud also won the class for heifers aged nine to 12 months when Venturon Hillary S91 (P) (R/F) (AI) (ET), stood in the top position in the class.
A third heifer from the stud Venturon Naughty But Nice S28, may not have caught Mr Myers' attention in its class for heifers aged 12-14 months, however it attracted the attention of the Horizon Hill Charolais stud, Victoria, which purchased it privately for $15,000.
The stud's cow and calf unit Venturon Next Best Thing N9 (AI) (R/F), with an August 2021-drop heifer calf at foot, finished third in its class for females over 36 months which was won by the Winchester stud's supreme Charolais exhibit, Winchester Daisy Duke N16E.
Venturon's success wasn't limited to the single entry classes.
It also excelled in the group classes winning sire's progeny group and the dam's progeny group classes and placing second in the breeders' group class.
The stud was also named the winner of the award for the best maintained Charolais team of more than five head.
The Thompson family wasn't the only WA stud breeders to taste success in the cattle ring at the show.
Michael Mamo, Balamara Limousin stud, Brazier, exhibited the senior champion Limousin bull.
The black, homozygous polled bull Balamara Rare Gem Stone, which is by Wulfs Zane, was prepared for the show by Hobbs Livestock, Molong, NSW and it will be now offered by Mr Mamo at the National Limousin show and sale.
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