The annual 2023 Gingin Heifer Competition, was won this month by the Edwards family, Plain Grazing, Beermullah, for the first time, taking out the keenly contested top prize to mark the event's 41st year running.
Brett, Lisa and Chase Edwards took top honours for their pen of four commercial heifers that were picked out as the competition winners by Richard Hall, Golden Arm Genetics.
Throughout the ambitious commercial competition, a total of 16 pens of the region's best commercial heifers were assessed across nine Gingin farming properties.
The Edwards family entered a pen of four Angus commercial heifers aged 11 months which scored 87 points out of a possible 100, which judges, and the crowd of 45 onlookers were very impressed by.
The heifers were judged on their suitability as future breeders and points were awarded for temperament, structural soundness, femininity, carcase quality and evenness of the pen.
Second place in the commercial class went to Angela, Shahni and Jarod Clifton, with a pen of Angus heifers.Ed and Paul Grant, with a pen of Red Angus heifers and Old Bambun Grazing with a pen of Angus heifers both finished up in equal third place.
Mr Hall said he was very fortunate to be invited to judge the long running Gingin heifer competition this year.
"The quality of all the cattle presented before me was outstanding which made my job extremely difficult," Mr Hall said.
"Just as impressive as the quality of the cattle was the enthusiastic nature of all the exhibitors towards the day and their cattle."
Mr Hall said it was obvious that all the competitors had a passion for cattle and that they had put a lot of thought into the selection of the bulls they purchased and the direction of their breeding programs.
"Common themes of discussion whilst judging was longevity, which was reflected in the outstanding structural soundness of all the cattle presented before me," he said.
"Temperament was another factor, once again it was reflected in the quiet nature of all the heifers and the cattle's ability to thrive in the unique environment of the Gingin shire."
Mr Hall said the competition is a credit to all involved.
"I would recommend anyone who has a passion for commercial cattle to pencil this day in their calendar and enjoy not only the quality of cattle on display, but also the tremendous welcoming spirit and hospitality and passion for the beef cattle industry of all involved."
Competition co-ordinator David Roe of Benalong Grazing said the Gingin heifer competition continued to be a great day for local cattle breeders.
"Breeders continue to take on board the judge's comments to aid their selection criteria for their future breeders and this can only be good for their cow herds," Mr Roe said.
"Mr Hall's lifetime work in beef genetics and his knowledge of the animals structure, particularly the pelvic and reproductive set-up on the heifers was particularly enlightening."
Another highlight of the day was the lunch prepared by Beermullah local, Selga Beckwith, for the 24th consecutive year in a row.
It was sponsored by Bendigo Bank and the travelling crowd inspected the sale venue and the upcoming sale bulls while they ate.
There were a couple of other awards presented on the day, which included the prestigious Closest to the Judges award, which was won by Sean Greenwell, while Lewis Roe was the winner of the Guess the Weight award.
Competition winners were announced at the wind-up event sponsored by Zoetis and hosted by Phil and Sally Barret-Lennard in their wonderfully restored old shearing shed.
Mr Roe also extended his thanks to all competition entrants, and the generosity of sponsors who make the day possible, W & J Greenwell, Gingin Districts Community Financial Services Ltd - Bendigo Bank, Gingin Fuel and Tyres, Elders, Zoetis and Boehringer Animal Health.
He is also very appreciative of the great work Annette Howard did photographing all the exhibitors and cattle.
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