The future of stud cattle judging in Queensland is bright if the latest crop of emerging talent on display at this year's Ekka is anything to go by.
On Friday afternoon the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies and the Royal National Agricultural Association of Queensland held the finals for their young judges stud cattle competitions.
A packed field of young judges were asked to mark Brahman bulls, Fleckvieh bulls and Santa Gertrudis heifers before finalists were chosen to speak on the cattle.
Lucy Prentice was the junior winner of the RNA competition, followed by Alex Olive in second place and Adam Pearson in third.
The senior winner of the RNA competition was Mackenzie Leeson, with Heidi Davison in second and Angus Haynes in third.
Over judge for the junior section Wayne York, who earlier judged the 85-strong Charolais showing in the stud cattle section, said he was blown away by the calibre of entrants.
"It's always a tough gig for these young judges to stand up in front of people and get on the microphone," he said.
"But I thought overall they spoke really well. It puts a lot of pressure on them, and there were still a few nerves around, but they did speak very well."
The young judges were given eight minutes to mark each pen of cattle, with eight judges then chosen to speak for the junior competition, and six judges chosen to speak for the senior competition.
Mr York, who came up through young judges competitions himself, said the event was a great way to get a glimpse of the beef industry's emerging talent.
"The whole thing is about giving them some exposure and some experience of doing this," he said.
"Everyone needs more judges for the shows and these young judges will be our judges at the Royal Show in 15 or 20 years' time.
"I used to do this when I was their age and I've been able to get through to working at the RNA as a judge.
"I hope I can offer them some feedback they can use for themselves."