Last winter’s relief rain, a cooperative spirit between the show societies of western Queensland, and youthful enthusiasm gave this year’s Blackall show a real boost.
After two years of not being able to run sheep or cattle competitions, thanks to ongoing drought, organisers were able to muster 21 pens in the flock ewe competition and 26 separate entries in the cattle section.
Tambo’s Andrew and Heather Turnbull showed their mastery of both sheep and cattle breeding and the benefits of rain, collecting championship prizes in both sections.
They showed the champion single ewe as well as the champion cow and calf, an Angus Shorthorn cross with a Hereford cross calf at foot.
Fellow Tambo properties Westbourne and Lansdowne also took part in the flock ewe show, along with Oma from Isisford, Bimerah from Longreach, and Springleigh at Blackall.
The Banks family at Springleigh received the ribbon for champion locally bred pen while Will and Marcelle Chandler’s Oma property showed the grand champion pen, and Clark & Tait at Bimerah collected the aggregate trophy.
Judge Alison Krieg said the presentation of most of the sheep in short wool had been a challenge but it was good to see the numbers coming in.
Taking home a share of $4000 and the grand champion ribbon in the cattle section were Tony and Di Hauff, CA Hauff and Sons, The Springs, Blackall with their Hereford entry in the heifer class.
The Curley family’s grey Brahmans were second in the heifer competition.
A Shorthorn cow and calf from Jack and Rhonda Banks at Springleigh were runner-up to the Narada entry in that section.
Darracourt, Forest Park, Strathmore and Lambert took part in the stud section and it was the Walker family’s Santa Gertrudis entry at Strathmore that took home the bulls under 20 months championship.
A Hereford bull from the Bredhauer family at Lambert was reserve champion.
Judge Bill Burton congratulated the organisers, saying he knew how hard it was to get something started again after it had folded.
He had an exceptionally hard job in the heifer class, saying there was very little between the top pens on structure and temperament but the Herefords were a fractionally more even in weight.
Pat and Kerry Bredhauer were among the winners in the rejuvenated wool section as well, collecting the grand champion fleeces of the show prize.
Alison Krieg at Benalla showed the best pair of fleeces, while Doug and Lauren Tindall at Janet Downs, Isisford, received the Norman and Marion White aggregate trophy.
The classer’s trophy went to Lucy Hammond, Charleville.
A healthy 157 fleeces from west of Winton to south of Tambo filled out the wool pavilion, thanks to an agreement between central west show societies to support each other and boost their displays.
Schute Bell representative Paul Grams collected up fleeces from around the region, which will now be part of the western show circuit.
Blackall steward, Ian Macdonald, said they were of excellent quality and the weights from country with an early summer break were exceptional.
The show-going public was treated to a working dog display from South Australian Peter Barr, who is travelling Australia undertaking training schools.
Together with supporter Frank Wright, who is working at Drummondslopes, Alpha, they demonstrated good ways to train dogs to work with stock.
Peter has been working with them for 16 years and said he was showing people how to start a young pup and for it to be calm and reliable.
“It’s like breaking in a horse,” Frank said. “You start easy and step it up.”
They were using sheep from the Macdonald family property at Bloomfield, which hadn’t been specially handled.
Peter said he would be keen to operate a school in the area if he received enough interest.