500 students kick off Ekka competitions

500 students kick off Ekka competitions


Beef Cattle
Hundreds of students turned out to the main oval at the RNA Showgrounds on Monday to compete in the young paraders event.

Hundreds of students turned out to the main oval at the RNA Showgrounds on Monday to compete in the young paraders event.

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EKKA week has officially kicked off with more than 500 students competing in the young paraders and led steer events.

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EKKA week has officially kicked off with more than 500 students from across Queensland and northern NSW competing in the young paraders and led steer events early this week.

Monday featured the young paraders and champion of the day was awarded to 13-year-old Kingaroy local Carmen Sowden.

The St Mary's Catholic College student has recently launched a stud with her sister, breeding Limousin cattle and show steers.

"It was amazing - it hasn't really sunk in yet but I'm pretty happy," Carmen said. "I've been preparing for this competition since last year and there's a lot of practice and hard work that goes into it."

Carmen said her love of beef cattle had led her to pursue parading.

"I love the animals and meeting new people and learning new things - I really enjoy preparing the cattle for showing. It's exciting to be here."

Winner of the led steer competition was awarded to Holy Trinity School, Inverell, with their 10-month-old SImmental/Shorthorn-cross steer Derek. Pictured with the winning beast is Kathy Townsend, Holy Trinity School, RNA Beef Cattle Chairman Gary Noller, Dylan Hobday, Holy Trinity School, with Lauren Moody and Bill Cornish from St Johns' College, Dubbo. Click on the image to view a gallery from the event.

Reserve champion Lauren Moody from St John's College, Dubbo, was also excited with her win after her hard work and preparation paid off.

"I've been doing this for five years now after getting involved in it through school," Lauren said.

The 15-year-old has also started her own Limousin stud and hopes to continue growing her herd and exhibiting in the future.

"I've had a lot of support from my parents and the school and really appreciate it."

Young paraders are judged on their ability to show the animal, stand it up and put forward its presence to the judges with Carmen and Lauren knocking the competition out of the park to claim victory. After the young paraders competition were the young judges who took to the main ring on Tuesday, giving school teams the opportunity to master the art of evaluating a steer for carcase quality. Most successful school was awarded to St John's College, Dubbo, who ended with a total score of 67 points.

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