Young guns shoot way to the top

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
JT Shorthorn stud principal Jai Thomas, of Mundijong,  won two awards.
Camera IconJT Shorthorn stud principal Jai Thomas, of Mundijong, won two awards. Credit: Countryman

The young guns are making a name for themselves at the Royal Show.

Among them is 14-year-old Jai Thomas, who is almost a veteran even at his age, having already won three interbreed beef cattle titles after establishing JT Shorthorn stud last year.

He broke through at the 2015 Perth Royal Show, winning the difficult interbreed group of three heifers award against other prominent breeders.

With congratulations from Premier Colin Barnett, Mr Thomas gained a stampede of confidence which shone through at the 2016 IGA Perth Royal Show held last week.

Mr Thomas won both interbreed heifer and interbreed senior bull awards, proving he has a knack of selecting the right genetics.

The four judges were in awe of his show cattle, which began life as embryo transfers.

“I selected a Spry’s stud sire (Spry’s Patents Ace G38) which had no faults when I put my order in for embryos,” Mr Thomas said.

After the embryos were implanted one year and two years ago, the junior heifer and senior bull were looking very show worthy.

“We thought the heifer would be in the top six in the interbreed and the bull would do better. Winning both titles was so amazing,” Mr Thomas said.

“The heifer will certainly go on to be a top cow in the stud and we may consider selling the bull.”

Mr Thomas said Gerald Spry, of Wagga Wagga, called to congratulate him.

With such a successful show this year, Mr Thomas is not resting on his laurels.

“We have some ET-bred calves on the ground from a very tidy dam, which are looking special.”

Mr Thomas said he was planning to attend the show next year with a swag of entries.

“Showing cattle is a great way to compare cattle while enjoying the company of some very friendly and experienced cattle people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the winning ways of the Squiers family are set to continue into the next generation, and it’s the girls leading the way.

The Dongadilling and Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset studs of Quairading are just about perennial winners of the Governor’s Cup at the Show, amassing points galore for their many exhibits.

Adrian and Sascha Squiers, who run the studs with father Chris, have five daughters between them, and already two are becoming familiar faces at the Show.

Adrian’s daughter Stella and Sascha’s daughter Zarah were in their second year of showing last week, participating in the junior handling events, as well as helping their dads lead out the entries for the ram lamb classes.

“It’s something they want to do, and it’s nice to see them following in our footsteps,” Sascha said.

Poll Dorset enthusiasts will be able to watch the progress of the cousins as they grow older and start leading bigger sheep, and potential champions of the future, over the next few years.

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