Well I am finally back, it has been a busy and exciting three weeks! I have been preparing for the Adelaide Show for the last couple of months. If you have read some of my previous blogs you will know that I have my own cattle stud and am very passionate about my cows. It was such a long build up to the show it felt like it all passed in a blur. There is no time like show time!
I only had one entry of my own (a cow with a calf at foot) but also worked for another breeder. All up I helped look after, prepare and exhibit nine cattle and two calves including my own. We certainly had our work cut out for us. The cattle come in four days before judging day. This gives them time to settle in and get used to their surroundings. Sometimes cattle can get an upset stomach if too much of their routine is changed to quickly. The cattle all settled in well and quite quickly. Then it was all preparation for show day.
Show day dawned quickly and early this year much to my horror. My cow and calf unit came a respectable third in their class. The rest of our cattle picked up a number of placings in their classes. The next evening I entered my calf in the calf classic which is where all the calves compete as individuals. My calf placed second in her class which was exciting.
A few days later after most of the stud cattle had gone home the steers came in. I had a steer prepared by a high school. Every year breeders donate their steers to high schools around South Australia. This provides an educational experience for the students who feed and break in (halter train) these animals. It teaches them about the beef industry and hopefully inspires them to become in the future. The animals are judged on hoof (alive at the show) and then on the hook (after slaughter at an abattoir). The competition provides a very real experience of the industry and food chain. The school I donated my steer to did an excellent job preparing him for the show. He came second on hoof in his class and fifth on the hook. The hook class was very competitive as there were 64 entries in it. So I was pretty happy with the result.
Overall I had a great time and will be out in the paddock looking at potential show calves for next year!!