Schools' hoof and hook comp success

Victorian school part of winning Borthwick Trophy team

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BOND: Brenna Guilfoyle, Year Seven, with one of the hoof and hook steers from Wagga Christian College. The college won the Grand Champion Carcase competition. Pictures, supplied

BOND: Brenna Guilfoyle, Year Seven, with one of the hoof and hook steers from Wagga Christian College. The college won the Grand Champion Carcase competition. Pictures, supplied

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Victorian and NSW high schools meet with success in hoof and hook competion.

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The Australian Shorthorns have been announced as the winners of the prestigious Borthwick Trophy, as part of the 2020 RASV Hoof and Hook Competition.

Widely recognised as the most prestigious interbreed steer and carcase award in Australia, the Borthwick Trophy is a competition between teams of three purebred steers.

The results of both live and carcase judging were considered in determining the winner.

The Australian Shorthorn team comprised two exhibits from Meadow Vale Australian Shorthorns and one from Rutherglen High School Exhibit, bred by Spencer Family Shorthorns.

Rutherglen High School's Ron Webb said the Australian Shorthorn wass easy to work with, even during COVID times

"It settled in really well," Mr Webb said.

"The stock are supplementary fed, and we run our paddocks on a weight basis, and we weight them five or six times, then they are penned, according to their weight and given a ration."

The cattle were also scanned.

"We had seven this year, we took a slight reduced number, due to coronavirus - we have had as many as 14 go, but normally we aim for about ten."

Mr Webb said the cattle were consistent, rather than outstanding.

"The Borthwick, obviously, was a really good result for the breed.

"Our Australian Shorthorn was 17th overall, but it was the consistency, across all of them that saw them win.

"They were all well covered, and through that consistency, were able to outscore the other breeds."

Wagga Wagga Christian College was awarded both the Bott-Burston Trophy and the prestigious Grand Champion Carcase for their Speckle Park steer, bred by Tim Weller.

"It's an F2 Speckle Park, I bought the cow in calf, from Trewilga Park, Forbes," Mr Weller said.

My sister is the ag teacher there, she was after she is always, she has always watched the Speckle Park breed, and what they can do.

I had five different steers, which fitted the right age group for what she wanted, to hit the right target markets for the steer competitions for the Royal Melbourne Show.

"I knew the shape, structure and correctness of the cow that it's out of, and knowing the dressing percentage and intramuscular fat, that Speckle Park are known for, it was a no brainer that would be a good option for a carcase competition."

He sold the calves at eight months old.

Of the five, two placed as champions in the hoof competition and all placed in the top three of their classes.

"It reconfirms how much a part of the Australian beef industry the Speckle Park breed, deserves to be."

"Earlier in the year, they won a major competition, at the Ekka and Brisbane.

"Anyone that hasn't noticed the breed, it's time they stood up and noticed."

Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria chief executive Brad Jenkins said he was delighted the Hoof and Hook Competition was able to be presented in 2020

It replaced the annual Royal Melbourne Show Beef Carcase Competition

"We were pleased by the positive response to the new RASV Hoof and Hook Competition with 137 entries and we greatly appreciate and value the support we received from exhibitors and the wider cattle community," Mr Jenkins said.

"In a year that has caused immense disruption to many, especially to the many schools and colleges involved in the competition, it was wonderful to provide a platform to promote and celebrate excellence in agriculture."

The Murrindindi Shire Council provided the Yea Saleyards facility for the on-the-hoof judging.

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