A record number of young cattle handlers from around Australia and New Zealand converged on Parkes for a packed program of learning new skills, competing and forming lifelong friendships at the Herefords Australia National Youth Expo.
Held at the Parkes showgrounds in central west NSW on July 6-9, the expo drew a record 143 young handlers aged from five to 25 from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and a team from New Zealand Herefords.
In the major awards, Grace Collins, Armidale, NSW, received the Herefords Australia Youth Travel Scholarship worth $5000 while the Most Potential Breeder Award winner Albert Telford, Mumble, NSW, received a registered heifer donated by Kidman Poll Herefords, Dubbo, NSW.
Junior competitor Rory Hutchison, Rockleigh, NSW, received the President’s Award and automatic entry to the 2024 Herefords Australia National Youth Expo.
Daryl Holder, The Cattle Shop, presented the Jason Sutherland Memorial Award to honour the contribution made by Jason to youth, the breed and the cattle industry. The award was judged by the herdsman judges and was won by William York, Dalby, Qld.
Ben and Katelin Davies, South Australia, presented the Wild Bear Scholarship for entry to the SA All Breeds Heifer Show to Katie Burridge, Spring Farm, NSW. New competitor Oscar Feuerherdt, Culcairn, NSW, received the Novice Award from Greg and Del Rees, The Ranch Poll Herefords, Tomingley, NSW, while Mitch Rees received the Encouragement Award.
Ballot cattle were donated by Te-Angie, Llandillo, Kianma, Glenholme/Kirraween, Rose View, Barton Fields, Tondara, The Ranch, Cloverlee, Kidman, Allanae, JTR, Kalnee Park, Eclipse, Yalgoo, , Shotgun, Sundene, Bendoc Park, Reevesdale, Leeway and Glenalvie.
Peter Goldbolt and Tim Reid were over judges in the junior judging, Roger Evans judged the cattle, while educational lectures were provided by Lee White, Jonathon Tink, Joel McGuire, Rose Philipzen, Hannah Powe, Michael Crowley, Ben Davies, Daryl Holder, Keirin Martin and Nelson Carlow.
Paraders judge Hannah Powe found it challenging to split the competitors for the grand champion parader but settled on William Van Gend, O’Connell, NSW. William received the Geoff Bush Trophy from Geoff Bush, Glenholme/Kirraweena Herefords, Cootamundra, NSW.
Hannah said it was exceptional to see the next generation of industry enthusiasts come through showing their skills, having fun and making friends.
“It is great to see the Hereford breed have such great numbers of young people this year,” she said.
“They all have the fundamentals right with soft hands in terms of how they hold the halter, keeping alert, having halters fitting correctly, walk with their animal and be mindful of spacing in the ring.”
In the pee wee division, champion junior judge was Charlotte Smith and reserve junior champion Lola Quirk. Elle Davies was champion herdsman and Abbey Lawton in reserve while champion parader was Elsie Stevens and reserve champion Charlotte Smith.
In the junior division, champion junior judge and champion herdsman was Rory Hutchison with Cloe Hughes reserve champion junior judge, Lani Lumsden reserve champion herdsman, Max White champion junior parader and Lachlan Hooper in reserve.
Sam Garvin, Orange, NSW, again dominated the sub-intermediate division being champion junior judge, champion parader and grand champion herdsman. Maddison Hann was reserve champion junior judge, Emily Hann reserve champion herdsman, and Jack Smyth reserve champion parader.
Mitch Taylor, Quipolly, NSW , showed his talent to emerge as champion intermediate herdsman, reserve champion parader and grand champion junior judge. Having been awarded champion junior judge Mitch will be the associate judge at BEEF 2024 in Rockhampton for the Hereford judging. Tom Hooper was champion intermediate junior judge, Maggie Willis reserve champion junior judge, Max Humphries reserve champion herdsman, and Angus Johnson champion parader.
In the highly competitive senior division, William Van Gend dominated winning the champion senior herdsman and champion senior parader. Skye Hubbard, Cobbity, NSW, was champion senior judge, while Lillian Oke was reserve champion senior judge and reserve champion parader. Emily Taylor, Quipolly, NSW, won reserve champion senior herdsman.
In the cattle classes, Amelia Miller parade Yalgoo Vanessa T301 (P) to calf champion, and Charlie Tarlinton handled the reserve champion Cloverlee Asteret T001 (AI (P).
Llandillo Vanessa T101 (P) was paraded by Lola Quirk to junior champion female and in reserve was Kianma Princess T003 (AI) (P) with Jack Smyth on the halter. Sam Garvin expertly paraded Kianma Matchless S022 (P) to senior and grand champion female with JTR Cherry Ripe S020 (AI) (ET) and Jack Nunan in reserve senior champion.
Judge Roger Evans, Tamworth, NSW, was impressed with the grand champion’s skin, functionality, maturity pattern and refinement. Matchless is a 2021 drop daughter of Eathorpe Precision P040 and owned by Keirin and Nikki Martin, Kianma Herefords, Forbes, NSW.
The futurity class was won by Llandillo Gladiola S18 (P) with Alfie Quirk, the champion bull was Kianma Top Gun T008 (S) with Max Humphries on the halter. Georgia Moody, New Zealand, was on the halter of reserve champion bull Kianma T-Rex T002 (P).
Black baldy heifer Glenalvie Belle was commercial champion for Holly Hutchinson and her buddy Hannah Flynn with Emily Taylor exhibiting her own black baldy steer Eclipse Texas Ranger to reserve champion.
Skye Hubbard, Shotgun Livestock, Cobbity, won the bred and owned class with Shotgun Elsa T001 (PP) and Harrison Guy showed his heifer Llandillo Canary T4 (PP) to win the owned class.
Herefords Australia Youth Committee president Alicia Trovatello finished her two-year term at the expo but will continue her involvement with the youth program.
“It was good to see 143 participants which is a record for Herefords Australia youth expos, and it has been hugely successful,” Alicia said.
“We had our education program on Friday with lots of positive feedback, hands-on experience for all competitors, paraders on Saturday and cattle judging on Sunday.
“We had all eastern states plus South Australia represented, and New Zealand sends a team every two years, so it was good to see the team of five here.
“There was a wide variety of ages and experience levels as well – this year was a record for the number of novices, so it was good to see those not familiar with the breed learning more about the benefits of Herefords.
“Herefords are a docile breed which is great for young people when they are starting out showing while the strength of our youth program has built over the last decade with a strong competition, good prizes and educational program.”
A committee member for four years, Alicia, 22, said stepping down as president was “bittersweet”.
“It’s been a hell of a ride – I’ve really enjoyed my time on there and its sad its ending on the committee but I will remain involved.
“I had been approached for the role by former CEO Lisa Sharp, she thought I was well suited even though I thought I wasn’t ready for it. It has been great for my own leadership skills, confidence, risk assessment, project planning, event management and public speaking.
“I was extremely shy and wouldn’t hold a microphone, but it has made me step up to do that.
Alicia described herself as always a “kid in the background” when she was younger and introduced the President’s Award to acknowledge the children not necessarily the best parader or herdsman but have the enthusiasm about the breed.
She said the youth committee had raised around $60,000 from auctions held at each youth expo with the funds going towards the youth program.
Herefords Australia chief executive officer Michael Crowley paid tribute to the generosity of the breeders donated ballot animals for use by both the National and Queensland youth expo participants.
“We are keen to grow this event and look forward to doing a lot more work with the youth taking these children through the ranks as they enter their beef industry careers.”
An auction held at the Parkes Leagues Club on July 8 raised $9265 for Herefords Australia Youth.