Numbers may be slightly down in the led steer competition at this year’s Royal Queensland Show, but it won’t jeopardize the quality of entries.
This year 372 head have been nominated, down on last year’s 383 steers.
That figure also includes 102 entries in the Led Steer and Junior Led Heifer competition.
Entrants in this year’s event will be judged by six experienced industry leaders; Ben Davies (open class light and middleweight steers), Craig Price (open class heavyweight steers), James Dockrill (led steer school’s judging competition), Mick Senni (led steer carcass competition) and Margaret Wilson (led steer junior herdsperson competition).
RNA beef cattle committee chairman Gary Noller said numbers across the beef sections of stud, prime, led steer, carcase comps and Paddock to Palate were at record levels.
He said the led steer competition was just a few head from beating its record but regardless had created its own stigma, with steer sales now dedicated to offering potential exhibits.
“People might think that the the led steer competition might be removed from the commercial reality but it’s the the elite of the elite,” he said.
“You hear market reports in Toowoomba and Dalby and the report is sitting down around three or four or 500 per cent increase on the rate people pay for a show steer prospect and they are even calling it an Ekka steer prospect.
“There are a lot of people who strive to get a hold of the right genetics to compete.”
Led steer entries will travel to the event from as far as Victoria with Queensland entries making up two thirds of the competition.
For the second year running the led steer sale will be livestreamed on Elite Livestock Auctions at the conclusion of the open led steer competition on Wednesday August 9.
The champion and reserve champion Junior Led Heifer and/or first ribbon winners will lead the sale.
Ribbon winners in classes one to six will then be auctioned with winners of classes seven to nine given the option to go under the hammer or be sold to Nolan Meats, Gympie, on a grid price.
Mr Noller said the online platform was utilised by interested buyers and also supporters of exhibitors last year, particularly fellow school students who couldn’t attend.
Some of the best school aged paraders will also be on show with up to 400 entrants expected to nominate for the event on August 7.
Mr Noller said the RNA was proud of their youth competitions which had been providing a great cattle education for years.
“It’s one of the biggest platforms in terms of a platform for educating in a paraders steer competition in the country,” he said.
“And they have all been brought together with the commonality of having a led steer.
“It’s about educating not only the young people that are involved but the teachers and the community around schools themselves.
“After that many years we have got schools competing in the open and being very competitive against those that have been doing it for a long time.”
Catch the led steer competition action at the Ekka on August 8 and 9.