Couple show cattle the ropes

Kate MatthewsCountryman
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Entries were up in this year's beef trade and dairy cattle competition at the Perth Royal Show.

Five judges had their work cut out during a busy week of competition which saw Herefords and Poll Herefords celebrated as the feature breed.

Also competing in the ring were Bos Taurus breeds, including Angus, Murray Grey, Red Poll, Blonde d'Aquitaine and Shorthorn.

Dairy breeds included Brown Swiss, Holstein, Illawarra and Jersey.

Councillor-in-charge of the cattle committee, Bill Trend, said the standard of cattle was exceptional given the past few seasons.

He said numbers were up by 30 in the led steer and heifer competition and prime auction, thanks to the addition of the extra heavy weight class.

Among those at this year's competition were James and Casey Morris, of Morrisvale Livestock Services.

The couple prepared, handled and trained 45 cattle on behalf of clients, including Blonde d'Aquitaine, Murray Grey, Dexter, Red Poll steers and their own Limousin stud cattle.

Four months before the Show the Morrises start breaking in cattle so they can be paraded ringside. The cattle are taught how to walk, stand and accept brushing.

They also take into account diet to showcase muscling for bulls and femininity for females.

And just like catwalk models, it's all about the hair.

Cattle are given hair cuts three months before the Show and the hair is trained to show off the best traits.

On competition day, cattle are given a final shampoo, blow dry and spray to keep the dirt out of their coats before going into the ring.

It's a satisfying job for James and Casey.

"When you first get them they are so green you can't touch them," Casey said.

"By the time you get them into the ring, the transformation is just amazing. They are completely different animals."

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