Pugh clan victors in feedlot challenge

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Celebrating their Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge victory was Clare King and her son Henry, 8, Alexandra Pugh Riggall, with her children Olivian, 11, Jack, 6, and Hugo, 9, founders of Summit Gelbvieh stud Kim and John Pugh, of Narrikup, and Harriot Page, with her daughter Audrey, 2.
Camera IconCelebrating their Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge victory was Clare King and her son Henry, 8, Alexandra Pugh Riggall, with her children Olivian, 11, Jack, 6, and Hugo, 9, founders of Summit Gelbvieh stud Kim and John Pugh, of Narrikup, and Harriot Page, with her daughter Audrey, 2. Credit: Countryman

Narrikup cattleman John Pugh’s decision to replace the farm’s Hereford and Simmental cattle with Gelbvieh in 1970s has led to a win in WA’s largest feedlot competition.

“Gelbvieh cattle are up there in feedlot performance and we had a stand-out heifer in our team this year,” he said.

The Pugh family, of Summit Gelbvieh stud, were announced the overall winners in the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge at the events’ awards function in Albany last Friday.

Summit Gelbvieh stud founders Kim and John Pugh, of Narrikup, whose family won the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge overall award.
Camera IconSummit Gelbvieh stud founders Kim and John Pugh, of Narrikup, whose family won the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge overall award. Credit: Countryman

For Mr Pugh and wife Kim, who run the stud with their four daughters — Alexandra Pugh Riggall, Clare King, Harriet Page and Georgia Pugh — the win in this prestigious feedlot competition was their first after participating in all seven Challenges since 2015.

It was a proud moment for Mr Pugh and his family in accepting the Challenge trophy for their pure Gelbvieh team of one heifer and two steers.

“Our Gelbvieh team was sired by one of my favourite bulls (Summit Goldfinger),” Mr Pugh said.

During a time when beef cattle prices were at all-time highs, he said it was exciting times for the beef industry.

“Our cattle are well suited for feedlot profitability and it was exceptional that our team was best in processor performance and also placed runner-up in the feedlot performance category,” Mr Pugh said.

“Since our stud was established in 1995, we have been selecting Gelbvieh cattle from North America bloodlines to perform in the Australian environment with the ability to put down fat.

Summit Gelbvieh stud heifers get a look at the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate trophy at the Pugh family's Narrikup property.
Camera IconSummit Gelbvieh stud heifers get a look at the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate trophy at the Pugh family's Narrikup property. Credit: Countryman

“We believe Gelbvieh cattle are ideal for any cross-breeding program.”

Mrs King said the win was one of the highest accolades for her family’s work with Gelbvieh cattle.

“We have a strong belief in the breed, particularly for their multi-purpose qualities,” she said.

“Particularly exciting was the heifer component of this year’s winning team — she came first overall across everything, including the steers.

“This aligns with our catchcry — Gelbvieh cattle can be breeders or feeders.”

The heifer component of their winning team ranked first overall on 75.206 points — the highest of all steers and heifers in the competition.

Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge president Jarrod Carroll, farm manager Fanie Gordon, Summt Gelbvieh stud co-principals Clare King, John Pugh and Alexandra Pugh Riggall, Harvey Beef livestock buyer Campbell Nettleton, and MC Erica Henderson.
Camera IconHarvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge president Jarrod Carroll, farm manager Fanie Gordon, Summt Gelbvieh stud co-principals Clare King, John Pugh and Alexandra Pugh Riggall, Harvey Beef livestock buyer Campbell Nettleton, and MC Erica Henderson. Credit: Countryman

Following the awards evening, fog was replaced with a full morning sunrise at the Pugh family’s idyllic farm as the family gathered on a plush grassy paddock, with trophy in hand.

Taking in one of the farm’s best starts to the season, a mob of curious heifers cantered towards the group as if they could sense the excitement — a memorable photo in the making.

In a coffee conversation, Mrs Pugh, who grew up on her family’s Cranbrook farm, said all four of her daughters had taken an active role in the Gelbvieh cattle.

She viewed beef as a very nourishing and wholesome food.

“We are proud beef producers as we continue to improve the efficiencies of our trade,” Mrs Pugh said.

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