Best steer pulls its weight
A 604kg Charolais-Angus cross steer owned by AS and M Campbell and Son was chosen as this year's IGA Perth Royal Show grand champion led steer or heifer, judged out of 99 entries.
Judging the competition was Helen Goddard-Borger, of Swansea Meats, and Corey Ireland, of Irelands Angus Stud in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, with associate judge Murdoch University student Henry Vaughan.
Mrs Goddard-Borger said singling out the extra heavyweight steer as grand champion was a unanimous decision.
"He is very soft looking and well covered with meat. He looks like he will yield very well," she said.
Mr Ireland also believed the grand champion would yield extremely well.
"He has extremely good fat cover and all the characteristics we are looking for in a carcase," he said.
Owner of the steer, Bruce Campbell, is a long-time supporter of both the Led Steer or Heifer and Prime Steer or Heifer competitions at the show.
The steer was out of the same paddock as three pens of cattle Mr Campbell entered in the National Carcase Competition at Beef 2015 earlier this year.
In this competition, Mr Campbell won ribbons for reserve champion carcase and reserve champion pen, as well as the Highest Pen Award for the highest scoring pen of three and the Best Pen of Three Medium Trade Chiller Steers or Heifers (crop or pasture fed between 180kg and 260kg).
Mr Campbell's Beef 2015 entries competed against 194 pens of cattle from across Australia.
"The steer we chose to enter in the royal show led steer or heifer competition stood out to me right from the start," he said.
Mr Campbell halter trained the steer when it was brought in from the paddock to begin feeding it in preparation for the show.
All the family's entries into the competition spent 90 days on feed using Milne pellets.
Mr Campbell said his success in the event and others was a result of spending many years using an artificial insemination program involving top stud sires from around the world.
He said he was very strict on what he selected for in both females and bulls.
"I think it comes down to the quality of cows and bulls I am using. This is from years of selecting for quality and using top genetics from all over the world," he said.
The steer was later judged the overall supreme champion steer or heifer on Monday before the led and prime steers and heifers auction.
Both Mrs Goddard-Borger and Mr Ireland also paid tribute to the reserve grand champion and champion heavyweight steer entered by Kelmscott Senior High School, a 472kg Square Meater bred by Meta Park Square Meaters in Bridgetown that had spent 120 days on feed.
"We like the thickness and good cover of the reserve grand champion," Mr Ireland said.
Earlier in the heavyweight class judging, Mr Ireland said he believed the champion would have a really high yield with not too much fat.
All judges were looking at each animal using their visual assessments and the weight displayed on each animal's card, paying particular attention to the amount of "saleable meat" each demonstrated.
Jai Thomas won the lightweight class with a Murray Grey entry, bred by Gary and Julie Buller, of Monterey stud in Karridale.
The 368kg steer was on feed for 100 days.
Murdoch University won the medium weight led steer or heifer sash for a 420kg Angus steer, which had spent 70 days on feed.
The steer was also bred by the Bullers.
Mr Ireland said he loved the carcase of the medium weight champion, because the steer showed great width, topline and muscling.
·Grand champion and champion extra heavyweight: *Charolais-Angus cross, AS and M Campbell and Son *
·Reserve champion extra heavyweight: *Saler-Murray Grey cross, AR and SM Penfold *
·Reserve grand champion and champion heavyweight: *Square Meater, Kelmscott Senior High School *
·Reserve champion heavyweight: *Simmental cross, WA College of Agriculture Denmark *
·Champion medium weight: *Angus, Murdoch University *
·Reserve champion medium weight: *Shorthorn-Limousin cross, Murdoch University *
·Champion light weight: *Murray Grey, Jai Thomas *
·Reserve champion light weight: *Murray Grey, Murdoch University *
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