Charolais the cream of the crop

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Charolais cattle were the cream of the crop in the interbreed beef competition at this year's Perth Royal Show, ahead of the feature breed Simmental.

The French breed stood out in the junior champion bull and female events, taking home top honours in both.

Of the 12 breeds entered in the junior champion bull class, Angus, Charolais, Murray Grey, Red Angus and Simmental bulls were selected to come forward.

Judge Grame Hopf, of New South Wales, said the Charolais struck the perfect balance between muscle and fat.

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"He has large muscle content but still provides an acceptable fat content," he said.

In the junior female class, Toodyay's Liberty Charolais won supreme champion female, standing out among the Limousin, Murray Grey and Poll Hereford.

Judge Chris Knox, of Borah station in NSW, said the heifer had good growth capacity and would make for good calving.

The eastern states judges were divided in the senior champion bull and cow classes, with neither decision unanimous.

Top honours in the supreme bull class went to Bandeeka Simmentals of Elgin.

Judge Glen Perrett described the Simmental bull as "outstanding".

"He is very strong and powerful, clean through the shoulders and has tremendous width," he said.

Fairbrass Park's Charolais cow was awarded senior champion female, after the judges brought forward the Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Shorthorn and Simmental females.

Judge Krystelle Ridley said the 15-month-old cow showed "beautiful length and depth".

"The Charolais is a very wedgy, feminine cow and is doing a great job with her calf," she said.

Bandeeka Simmentals also won in the group of three bulls interbreed class, as the only entrant in the event.

Judge Glen Perrett said despite the lack of competition, Bandeeka's bulls showed exceptional uniformity.

"The Simmental group has great uniformity and scale and will go out to do a great job in the Australian beef industry," he said.

Collie's Venturon Charolais won the interbreed group of three heifers.

Stud co-principal Anne Thompson said it was the first time the stud had won in that category.

"We won the interbreed heifer last year and in 2008," Ms Thompson said.

"Last year we came second in the group of three.

"One of the heifers that won the interbreed group this year is the granddaughter of the heifer that won in 2008."

Bandeeka Blacks had success in the interbreed calf competition, winning grand champion calf.

Nineteen breeds were represented in this year's beef section at the Royal Show, with cattle from 51 studs.

Cattle judging co-ordinator Kathy Lovelock said numbers were below previous years, but the calibre of the animals was high.

"The numbers were slightly down and we put that down to seasonal conditions," she said.

"We had a wet spring and an early summer, which ruined all the feed."

Mrs Lovelock said with the high costs involved in preparing cattle for the show - at about $1800 a head - some breeders had decided against showing their cattle this year.

"Overall presentation of the animals was extremely good. We had very good judges and it all went smoothly," she said.

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