GETTING animals ready, and taking them to shows, can be a massive effort for breeders of any breed.
To reduce this stress, the Simmental breed has initiated its own on-farm challenge, where a judge visits farms, and assesses cattle in their own elements.
Despite only being in its first year, the Browns Stockfeed Victorian Simmental On-Farm Challenge was well-received, with almost all Victorian Simmental studs entering at least one animal into the competition.
Renowned judge Peter Collins, Merridale Angus, Tennyson, spent four days on the road last week, assessing 120 Simmental cows, calves and bulls, from 14 studs Victoria-wide.
Mr Collins said he was very impressed by the quality of the cattle on display.
“They were sensational, the quality of the cattle, the structural soundness, and just the overall look, was something that the breeders really should be proud of,” Mr Collins said.
“At almost every farm, the calves were better than their mothers, which is a good sign that the breed is heading in the right direction.”
Simmental Australia board member Peter Wenn, Pinaroo Hills Simmental stud, Bunyip, said the competition is a good opportunity for those who don’t normally show, to benchmark their cattle against cattle from throughout the state.
“It gives breeders an indication of how other breeders are going, and what other breeders are trying to do,” Mr Wenn said.
On Saturday night, a dinner was held in Bendigo to present awards to the winners of the challenge.
After announcing the winners of each of the 12 classes, the junior and senior champion cows and bulls were awarded.
Junior champion female was awarded to Stu and Jill Cameron, Inverleigh Simmentals, Invergordon, for a heifer that Mr Collins said was “spot on”.
“There were a lot of female entries, and this one was outstanding, her length, depth, temperament, and udder, it was all perfect,” Mr Collins said.
Senior champion female was awarded to Patty and Jim Doelle, Milky Way Simmental stud, Edenhope, who entered 20 animals, and took home a whopping 12 awards.
Mr Collins said the four and a half year-old cow was “well put together, smooth, and very sound in her feet”.
Ms Doelle said the cow had produced very good progeny, and would be retained in the stud to produce more.
Junior champion bull was won by Peter and Vanessa Wenn, Pinaroo Hills Simmental stud, Bunyip, for a young bull who Mr Collins said had “a lot of grunt about him”.
“He’s got a big, sirey head on him, and will go on to breed some great calves,” he said.
Ms Wenn said their junior champion, who is up for sale, is a “good, lengthy, meaty bull”.
Senior champion bull was awarded to Don Buchanan and Frances Radomiljac, Rowlon Park Simmental stud, Echuca, for a two year-old that Mr Collins described as a “superstar”.
“He’s sound, meaty, and smooth, and very well put together,” Mr Collins said.
Ms Radomiljac said the bull was structurally sound, with great depth and solid performance, and was up for sale.
See photos and videos from the on-farm visits, here.