Dexter genes in showcase

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Billabong Dexter stud co-principle Trish Cabassi with Billabong Quinlan.
Camera IconBillabong Dexter stud co-principle Trish Cabassi with Billabong Quinlan. Credit: Countryman

The Perth Royal Show’s specialty cattle breeds display will feature the first showing of genetics going back to renowned UK Dexter sire Breoch Sultan.

The sire was sashed supreme breed exhibit of the 2005 Great Yorkshire Show, one of the biggest agricultural events on the English calendar.

Showing good length of body and capacity, the sire caught the attention of two WA Dexter studs: Billabong, at Oldbury, and Glenwarlock, at Upper Swan.

Unfortunately, Breoch Sultan’s genetics were not able to be imported to Australia because of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, but semen from the sire’s son, SMD Ferl Certus, was available from the US.

Billabong stud principals Mick and Trish Cabassi and Glenwarlock principal Chris Cleghorn and his family formed a partnership to secure exclusive semen rights in Australia to Ferl Certus and as a result, both parties will be exhibiting registered progeny for the first time.

The Cabassi family will show a senior cow and two heifers, sired by Ferl Certus, and the Cleghorns will show three bulls and three heifers.

Mrs Cabassi said her 28-month-old senior cow, Billabong Quinlan, with a heifer calf at foot, was showing some of the great female attributes passed on by the Ferl Certus bloodline.

“We believe this bloodline will contribute some really good characteristics to Australian Dexter herds,” she said. “We are pleased the Perth Royal Show will be able to offer the opportunity for people to walk down the cattle lanes and learn about the beef cattle industry.

Mrs Cabassi and her family were awarded most points in the cattle section in 2019 and have been showing cattle at the Perth Royal Show since 1991, a couple of years after the stud was established in 1989.

“Dexter cattle originated from Ireland and were bred for their milk and meat dual purpose qualities — due to these traits and their half-size to traditional cattle, they were exported to Australia on the first ships,” she said.

“In the 1980s, they were considered a rare breed and their popularity surged as they are ideally suited to small landholders and hobby farmers.”

The Perth Royal Show Dexter cattle breed judging will take place on Wednesday, September 29 at 1pm, followed by the specialty breeds interbreed competition.

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