Fitting stud cattle has become a full-time job for some Queensland show enthusiasts like JJ Fitting.
The well-known service has been known to cart three semi-trailers worth of cattle across the state and can spend up to seven weeks away from their homes.
With more than 30 years of cattle showing under their belt, owner Jason Jeynes and his partner and managing assistant Julie Sheehan, Kraken Brangus stud, Dalma, dedicate 42 weeks of the year to the show circuit.
Their love and passion for exhibiting cattle at a high standard has seen them fast become one of Queensland's biggest cattle fitters.
Employing up to 13 people on some occasions, Ms Sheehan said the team at JJ Fitting was always up for a challenge.
"You have to be very passionate about cattle and because it's their welfare first and foremost, as well as the promotion of the breed and the individual studs," Ms Sheehan said.
"There might be 3am starts, but there are really enjoyable moments which counteract the early starts.
"We're really privileged to have such high quality cattle entrusted to us from across Australia.
"We never take for granted how much that is in handing over these animals to us, because they are worth a lot of money."
Attending 19 shows in 2021, JJ Fitting exhibited 60 stud cattle across seven studs in regional Queensland and New South Wales.
Ms Sheehan said they're looking at a similar numbers again this year.
"We do a southern run that starts with Cooyar Show, which is the second last weekend in February, then we usually do Bell and Pittsworth show," she said.
"We actually made a really big commitment and we took three semi trailers and we were on the road for seven weeks without coming home.
"Because we're Central Queensland based, we get a lot of southern clients that want to market their cattle up here, or they're CQ clients that sells through CQLX and they also want to market their cattle in the south."
JJ Fitting will travel to Sydney, where they expect to show Brangus stud animals for the first time in 13 years.
"We're taking a reduced number to Sydney, just because we haven't been there for a number of years since they moved to the new venue. We just want to get a bit of a handle on things for ourselves," Ms Sheehan said.
"We're taking Simmentals to Sydney and for the first time in 13 years we're actually taking our own Kraken Brangus stud cattle.
"Last year, we were really flat out with clients cattle, and at the end of last year, we said that we'd actually try and put our own cattle on the truck a bit more this year.
"The beef coordinator at Sydney mentioned that no one has showed a Brangus animal at the Sydney show for 13 years."
The pair both began showing cattle in their mid teens.
"I think my first experience was probably as a 12 or 13-year-old showing led steers at the Ekka," Ms Sheehan said.
"We love showcasing cattle and I think you have to love it because there's a lot to be said for showing as far as advertising.
"These days showing cattle is such a great way to get your cattle out in front of people and I think it's growing again."
Ms Sheehan said the team couldn't wait for Ekka, following a two year hiatus.
"It's just that tradition and people all of a sudden will bring cattle out that you may not have even seen for much of the year on the show run," she said.
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