Yarrawonga's prime beef win

Yarrawonga exhibits showcase breeding direction

Beef
Andrew and Fiona Bassingthwaighte, Yarrawonga Cattle Co, Wallumbilla, with their pen of three Santa Gertrudis heifers that claimed the grand champion ribbon. Picture: Hayley Kennedy

Andrew and Fiona Bassingthwaighte, Yarrawonga Cattle Co, Wallumbilla, with their pen of three Santa Gertrudis heifers that claimed the grand champion ribbon. Picture: Hayley Kennedy

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Yarrawonga Cattle Company were awarded the 2020 Ekka prime beef grand champion pen.

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Yarrawonga Cattle Co dominated the 2020 Ekka prime beef competition, claiming two of four champion ribbons and the Queensland Country Life grand champion pen.

Their pen of three Santa Gertrudis heifers scored the purple ribbon for the pen of three steers or heifers class, before going on to be awarded the grand champion broad ribbon and the Syd Vellnagel memorial trophy.

Andrew Bassingthwaighte said they were very excited.

"It's been a long time since we've won the pen competition so it's really good," he said.

"The pen of heifers, we always thought were pretty exceptional at home and always thought they might do well in their class, but to take out the whole thing was really exciting."

Mr Bassingthwaighte put the success of the pen down to their evenness.

"We scanned some of these cattle because we were maybe going to put them in a led competition and these heifers are actually better than our steers with muscle, they had 125 EMAs (eye muscle area), and fat cover was perfect," he said.

"All three of them coming through, they've been pretty exciting and being purebred Santas, it's great to see with the muscle, with the fat cover, with the character as well.

"All round, just a complete package on all three of them."

Weighing an average of 533kg, the grain-fed heifers sold for 490 cents a kilogram to Woolworths, showcasing the breeding direction at Yarrawonga, Mr Bassingthwaighte said.

"We're mainly selling into the Woolworths market now, so this is mainly what we're breeding for and it's just really good to show why we're going to Woolworths with what we're doing," he said.

The Santa Gertrudis breed had a strong showing throughout the competition, claiming a haul of ribbons.

"For us, it's to show people that we do have these cattle, and you can breed this type of carcase and your grass-fed type cattle, breeders that will survive on grass and will compete," Mr Bassingthwaighte said.

"It's a chance to change people's mentality that Santas are out there and not only do we have good weight gains in a feedlot, we can carcase as well."

Yarrawonga results

  • Class 24 - Pen of steers or heifers 451kg to 520kg: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
  • Pen of 3 steers or heifers: champion and reserve champion
  • Class 26 - Pen of 6 steers 521kg to 600kg: 1st
  • Class 27 - Pen of 6 steers 601kg to 720kg: 2nd
  • Pen of 6 steers: Reserve champion
  • Class 36 - Pen of 6 grass-fed chilled beef carcase: 1st
  • JBS champion and reserve champion carcase
  • Grand champion pen
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