IT may have been more than 1000 days since the last Royal Queensland Show but there was a sense of returning normality in this year's led steer auction.
A familiar buyer returned to this year's sale with the sole objective of taking home the grand champion led steer from this year's Ekka.
The buyer was Brisbane's Breakfast Creek Hotel, which carried on where it left off at the last Ekka in 2019 by purchasing the grand champion, only this time it was knocked down for $22/kg dressed weight at auction.
Auctioneer Corey Evans, Australian Land and Livestock, Kingaroy, caught the winning bid for the grand champion, which was a Limousin-cross steer exhibited by Luke and Emily Kahler of Glamorgan Vale.
After rising out of the lightweight category, the steer was selected by competition judges Brett Littler and Rob Sinnamon as the top of the 168 steers entered in this year's competition.
Affectionately known as the "Brekkie Creek" the hotel has forged a tradition of buying the grand champion, including in 2017 when it paid $56/kg dressed weight at auction.
"The pub has been involved for a very long time, in fact, I was last with the pub in 2010 we bought the grand champion," Breakfast Creek Hotel operations manager Sally Lee told the Queensland Country Life.
"We like to get the grand champion because we think we have the grand champion steaks."
The steaks taken from the grand champion steer will also carry a legacy, as there are plans for them to be used during charity functions at the hotel later in the year.
"There are a few different functions that we run throughout the year, for a variety of causes," Ms Lee said.
"The steaks from this steer will be used during those functions, so it all goes to a good cause.
"We've been associated with the competition for a long time and it is really special to be back this year after a couple of years without a show due to COVID-19.
The steer weighed 396 kilograms on the hoof but will be killed and paid accordingly.
The competition's other champions also sold well, including the mediumweight champion, exhibited by Bureen Cattle Company, weighing 402kg on the hoof, which sold for $21.75/kg and was bought by Rode Road Meats.
Likewise, the reserve champion middleweight champion led steer, exhibited by Peta and Matthew O'Dwyer, weighing 455kg on the hoof, was purchased by Harris Farms for $21/kg.
The reserve champion lightweight led steer, exhibited by Golden Pastoral Company, weighing 343kg on the hoof, was sold to Mick's Meat Barn for $15/kg.
In the heavyweight led steer category, the champion, exhibited by Lindesay View Limousins and Tookawhile Show Steers, weighing 564kg on the hoof. was sold to Nolan's Meats for $17.25, while the reserve champion, exhibited by Ray Zahnow, weighing 544kg on the hoof sold to Woolworths for $14/kg.
Overall, the steers entered in this year's competition ranged from the $22/kg high to about 950c.kg or $10/kg.
Bulk buyers at Wednesday's sale included Woolworths, Nolan's Meats, and Harris Farms.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.