Vale Johnny Wagstaff

Vale Johnny Wagstaff


Brendan Wade updates news from around the saleyards.

Tambo identity Johnny Wagstaff has passed away.

Tambo identity Johnny Wagstaff has passed away.

Sad news was the passing of popular Western Queensland and Tambo identity Johnny Wagstaff.

Johnny was one of those people who was community proud and always involved in the town activities.

Show committee, race club –  John was always there lending his support.

Not the front-runner, just getting in and doing the hard yards behind the scenes that most of us try to avoid.

Johnny also was president of both The Barcoo Amateur and Tambo Racing Clubs.

More importantly, he was a wonderful family man. John and Penny recently retired to Indooroopilly in Brisbane.

John spent his entire working life with the Clark & Tait Pastoral Group working up from jackeroo to overseer and not surprisingly promoted to managing Mt Enniskillen.

To Penny and the girls, Rebecca, Katie and Millie and families, your husband and dad was a great bloke who will be missed by many.

Livestock processing numbers are trending up as is customary in a drought, and females are leading the way.

The national adult processing numbers up by 10 per cent but the big take out of this is that females have increased 21pc up to the end of June.

The national herd now will start to contract whereby some 12 months ago our national herd was growing, ever so slightly.

Once the national female processing percentage rises above 47pc that determines a contraction. Currently the female processing rate sits at about 54pc and rising.

While the EYCI has dropped to its lowest level in three years, prices for the finished cattle has shown strong price pressure resistance when you take into account the international competition in our traditional markets.

Exports have improved in most markets, particularly Japan and China.

A worry for our lotfeeders is the price of grain and a summer rain is necessary to provide enough grains for 2019 and have some guarantee of supply.

The surge in the prices of barley, wheat and sorghum has seen a rapid rise in the past six months. You have to go back to 2008/9 to see a similar pattern in price surge.

The sheep market has continued with sustained growth over the past few years and with good reason.

When you look at annual ewe income, in 2000-01, wool income was $23 and lamb income was $41 (total $64.)

Fast forward to 2017-18, wool income is $52 and lamb income is $158 (total $210).

Will Eagle Farm racecourse ever see Winx race again?

In fact, will “the farm” ever see top line thoroughbreds like Winx, Black Caviar, and Rough Habit to name a few great champions of the past?

Winx in a fortnight will attempt to secure 29 consecutive racing triumphs and Brisbane racing’s only claim to fame is that 28 starts ago her remarkable success started in Brisbane.

We are now approaching five years since we have had racing at Eagle Farm, the spiritual home of Queensland racing.

Rural Queenslanders love the farm. To them, it is a pivotal meeting place for country folks to catch up during Ekka week.

Last weekend Sydney staged the $13 million Everest to an uncompromising success. Bear in mind this Sydney glamour race day was promoted on the very same day that the Victorian Racing Club dished up four Group One events.

The racing rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne will most likely escalate and at whose expense – the Brisbane Winter racing carnival.

My fear is that Queensland during the winter will not attract the stars of the turf wedged between expanding Sydney and Melbourne carnivals and their perceived “turf” war and we could virtually become the winter spelling paddock for the champions of tomorrow.

When they eventually get the grass to grow it may be in the best interest of all involved to ring one Peter V’landys, NSW racing boss and the brains behind The Everest concept, to come up with an “Everest idea” to get Queensland racing going again.


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