Muttaburra stock defy drought

Winter rain casts its bloom over Muttaburra's sheep and cattle competitions


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David Fysh and his multi-award winning pen of flock ewes from Acacia Downs.

David Fysh and his multi-award winning pen of flock ewes from Acacia Downs.

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The benefits of last year’s winter rain was evident in the sheep, cattle and wool entries at the annual Landsborough sheep and wool show at Muttaburra on Saturday.

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The benefits of last year’s winter rain were evident in the sheep, cattle and wool entries at the annual Landsborough sheep and wool show at Muttaburra on Saturday.

Judges and spectators alike were impressed with the entries submitted, just months after the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners had visited with hay for one of the state’s most drought-stricken regions.

David and Sarah Fysh at Acacia Downs, between Aramac and Muttaburra, featured in a number of awards, most notably the grand champion pen of the show, the champion pen of lambs, and the champion ewe’s fleece.

Elders regional wool manager, Allycia Bennett, said that in a year like the region had gone through, they had managed an impressive display.

“Plenty of fleeces were six kilograms and upwards,” she said.

Acacia Downs uses Well Gully rams.

Bob Little, Moonbi Downs, Muttaburra was presented with the champion wether's fleece by Landsborough Flock Ewe Society president, Boyd Webb.

Bob Little, Moonbi Downs, Muttaburra was presented with the champion wether's fleece by Landsborough Flock Ewe Society president, Boyd Webb.

Bob and Marg Little are in the heart of some of the driest parts of Queensland, but moving their wethers around to take advantage of opportunistic feed saw them win the champion wether’s fleece prize.

Bob said he had moved his male sheep around a lot but “they still got fairly dusty”.

He uses Mt Ascot bloodlines.

Locals brought in 80 fleeces for judging in time for measurement samples to be taken, and 20 others came in on the day.

Flock ewe judge, Rick Baldwin, sashes the champion production ewe along with Karen McLellan, representing Rabobank sponsors, and Summer Hill's John Hain.

Flock ewe judge, Rick Baldwin, sashes the champion production ewe along with Karen McLellan, representing Rabobank sponsors, and Summer Hill's John Hain.

Back in the flock sheep arena, the Hain family at Summer Hill, Longreach, showed the champion production Merino ewe, acclaimed by all as the complete ewe.

Rick Baldwin, who operates Bundilla Poll Merino stud at Young in New South Wales, judged the competition and said the Hain’s entry was one of the most balanced ewes shown on the day.

“She had fantastic lock structure, she was very breedy, and it was a very good fleece all over.

“As a four-year-old, it was good to see an animal like that maintain its fleece with age.”

The flock is based on Mt Ascot bloodlines.

Kelly Seccombe was delighted with the multiple ribbons won by her pen of Charolais cross heifers in the cattle section.

Kelly Seccombe was delighted with the multiple ribbons won by her pen of Charolais cross heifers in the cattle section.

Cattle section

Kelly Seccombe at Kenya, Muttaburra was probably one of the most excited cattle breeders at the show, collecting ribbons for best overall heifer, best crossbred heifer, and best pen of feeder heifers.

The judge, Wendy Mayne, from Texas Angus, Warialda, NSW said the Charolais cross heifer stood out on a dollar basis.

“She was way out in front for her superior weight and softness,” she said.

Kelly said they had been mustered straight out of a paddock for the show, and there had been very few number six cattle to choose from.

Wendy also praised the champion pen of replacement heifers, shown by Alice Downs at Blackall, whose cattle are based on Forest Park bloodlines.

Wendy said they showed great softness, a wonderful temperament, and were the type of cattle that would breed great progeny.

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