Beef Australia 2021 stud judging reached its pinnacle on Thursday afternoon when the interbreed championship took place before a jam-packed crowd.
Judge Roger Evans of Nagol Park Shorthorns at Tamworth wasted no time in handing down his decision for the best breeder's group before Brett Kinnon, Bungoona Brahmans, Clermont, finally got to officiate the supreme male and female titles after falling ill before he had the chance to complete his role at Beef 2018.
Just over 1300 head of stud beef cattle were nominated for the triennial event, with individual breed judging taking place over two days.
Taken aback is how NCC Brahmans stud principal Brett Nobbs felt when his exhibit was named the champion interbreed group.
It was full siblings, grand champion bull NCC Novak, calf champion male NCC Navajo and calf champion female NCC Nova that 'epitomised' what judge Roger Evans was looking for on Thursday afternoon.
Coming out on top of the line-up of 21 exhibits, Mr Nobbs said he was ecstatic with the win.
"It's a real honour to achieve, particularly the likes of the group classes," he said.
"It's a challenge to produce that evenness of product that stands up as a group of three and I think that's what got us over the line today - the overall completeness of the three animals individually but also as a group they complement each other and they're extremely even in type."
The Brahman group were one of seven breeds to be pulled forward by Mr Evans, and Mr Nobbs said he took "a lot of notice of the groups that were pulled out in the final line-up".
"I was a little bit taken aback that we managed to pull it off; obviously there are some exceptionally good groups of cattle there and an impressive line-up for the beef industry in Australia if that's the type of cattle we can put forward," he said.
Sired by JDH Mr Elmo Manso and from Brahrock Miss Martin Marri 5153, the group epitomises the NCC breeding program, Mr Nobbs said.
"To be able to put these three animals together and show the world how consistent our cattle are is quite timely for our program because it's reached a level of maturity now in the development of our genetics and where we want to be in the industry," he said.
It was the consistency of the group that put the exhibit ahead of the others in the final line-up - Charolais, Droughtmaster, Red Angus, Romagnolas, Shorthorns and Speckle Park - for Mr Evans, Nagol Park Shorthorns, Tamworth, New South Wales.
Commenting on the "tremendous line-up of cattle", Mr Evans said it was "a very tough decision but also a very easy decision".
"The reason I put these Brahman cattle in the group first, if you look at these cattle from the lead bull to the middle bull to the heifer, there's very little difference in type, they're tremendously well structured, I love the strength of spine on this lead bull, the second bull and also the heifer," he said.
"To me, there's the least amount of holes in these cattle compared to the other groups and I think it's the consistency of type.
"I love the uniformity we see in this group, structurally very sound, really free moving and it's the amount of evenness we see in all three animals why they won today."
The Price family of Moongool Charolais at Yuleba made it back-to-back supreme female wins when Moongool Radical 26 was elevated to the top title.
In what was just her second show appearance, having received a reserve junior championship as a heifer at the Royal Queensland Show in 2019, judge Brett Kinnon couldn't go past the shear volume and milking capacity of the 31-month-old who was paraded with a heifer calf, Moongool Radical 27 by Airlie Kris.
She was back in calf to the same bull.
"She is a real matron type of a cow that I think has a lot of maternal traits I'm looking for," he told the packed crowd.
In the end, it was the Simmental, Fleckvieh, Angus, Charolais, Speckle Park and Red Angus who were pulled up in the final line-up.
Radical 26 came from a successful line of show cows as a daughter of Moongool Radical 17 and was by Flabas.
"Her mum was a fairly successful cow and the pedigree is very strong," Moongool's Ivan Price said.
"The Australian record $83,000 bull came from the same family so we've been very lucky to come across the genetics we have and they have been very successful for us over a number of years."
Moongool could arguably be one of the most successful stud beef cattle outfits in interbreed competitions.
In recent times their cow and calf claimed the interbreed female title at Sydney in 2019, they won the group title there in 2017 and at the Royal Queensland Show in 2013 they secured both the male and pair interbreed titles, just to name a few.
"There is a fair bit of luck involved but we breed a type and the type that we breed is suitable for our Australian needs and it's very rewarding to win it again," Mr Price said.
"There is a lot of hard work that goes into it by a lot of people and it's good to come to these events and get a win."
New South Wales won the state of origin battle for the supreme interbreed male title with the prize-winning bull, Royalla Ventura P158, taking the top gong.
The Job family of Royalla Shorthorns made the journey from Yeoval in NSW worthwhile when their 50th year stud celebrations were capped off with one of the industry's most prestigious awards.
Stud principal Nicholas Job said the win was 20 years in the making.
"We have been coming up here since the early 90s and we have come so close; we have been runner up, I think, three times," he told the Queensland Country Life.
"To me, it's the premier beef event in Australia. It's the trophy that everyone really wants."
The bull was named supreme Shorthorn exhibit of the Sydney Royal Easter Show just last month and after a 16 hour truck trip to Rockhampton was 75 kilograms heavier with four millimetres more fat.
He was unrecognisable to Sydney interbreed judge David Bassingthwaighte, such was his impressive condition.
The rising-three-year-old son of the successful Royalla Rockstar had already completed two joinings with his first calves hitting the ground and was set to return home to go back out with cows.
"He is one of those bulls we saw when he was a baby and you knew he was in for something and when you see his mother and his father, he is a true combination of them," Mr Job said.
"Sam Parish worked at home for a while when he first left school and he broke the bull in and he was going to show him at Sydney show last year and when all the shows last year were called off Sam said I'm coming back and showing him."
Judge Brett Kinnon pulled forward a top seven lineup featuring the Angus, Brahman, Charbray, Charolais, Romagnola, Santa Gertrudis and Shorthorn bulls.
It was then between NCC Novak from NCC Brahmans at Duaringa and Royalla's bull for the final showdown.
It was a tough decision for Mr Kinnon given the Brahman stood out as an excellent example of the breed.
But the Shorthorn was the bull for him.
"The Shorthorn bull is a bull with an extreme amount of length, a lot of carcase," he said.
"He's a bull that's six months older than the Brahman bull, but on the day I think he's the bull for me. He's carrying a lot of weight but he's still very good on his feet and legs."
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