South Australian Hereford breeder Tom Honner triumphed in the ring at the Alice Springs Show on July 8-9 winning supreme champion with Minlacowie Suzuki after a 1600km trip.
The 19-month-old bull added to the multiple supreme titles Tom and wife Amy, Minlacowie Poll Herefords, Minlaton, have won at the red centre fixture.
Suzuki (AI) (PP) is a son of New Zealand sire Koanui Techno 3062 and out of Minlacowie Last Day M23, and was later sold in the Alice Springs Show bull sale for $19,000 to repeat buyer Wally Klein, Orange Creek Station, Hugh, NT.
The Klein family runs a 4000 cow Poll Hereford and Santa Gertrudis herd on their station 100km south of Alice Springs and finish cattle in an on-farm feedlot to heavy weights.
The family purchased five bulls in total to average $13,000 including two at $11,000 from Days Whiteface, Bordertown, SA. Lachy and Lou Day sold all five bulls to average $9300, including two to Todd River Pastoral Co, Alice Springs.
On BREEDPLAN, Suzuki had a 200-day weight of +47kg, 400 day of +84kg and 600-day weight of +120kg and was above average for carcase weight, eye muscle area, rump fat and retail beef yield.
Minlacowie sold two bulls to average $17,250 with Minlacowie Sam making $15,500. Suzuki and Sam were sashed as champion interstate pen of two bulls and champion and reserve champion Poll Hereford bulls.
There was a full clearance of 13 bulls with the Herefords topping at $19,000 and the Droughtmasters at $5500 for an overall average of $8577. All seven Hereford bulls sold for an average of $11,571.
In the led classes, judge Marc Greening, Injemira Beef Genetics, Book Book, NSW, was impressed with Suzuki’s overall softness, doing ability and carcase.
Organised by the Centralian Beef Breeders Association, the cattle competition drew competitors from South Australia, Alice Springs and north to Tennant Creek and Sandover with 125 head.
The Hayes family, Undoolya Station, Alice Springs, won the champion NT bred bull class with Undoolya Toro, champion interstate female with a Kerlson Pines bred cow, reserve champion interstate female, and placed second in the NT bred cow and calf.
An Undoolya station bred heifer lent to the Department of Education won reserve champion NT bred female.
Ben and Nicole Hayes received the Centenary Cup for the champion NT bred pen of two steers.
Nicole said the Poll Hereford steers came out of the mature class to win and weighed an estimated 550-600kg liveweight.
The couple exhibited 32 head including nine bulls and heifers loaned to the Department of Education for young handlers to show.
The Department of Education paraded the led Poll Hereford bull under 18 months, while Undoolya won the NT bred bull under 18 months, and the mature bull class with Poll Hereford entries.
In the junior handler classes, Lily Sabadin won the handler 10 years and under with a hand reared poddy calf, and the junior judging 12 years and under.
Rilee Sabadin won the junior handler 12 years and under, Isabel Sabadin the calf classic for 12 years and under, Tara Hodgins the calf classic 13 to 18 years, Carson Miller-Kruger the junior handler 13 to 18 years, Tenace Mulholland juvenile judging 13 to 18 years and Tony Penhall the best kept pen.
Tom Honner conceded there was nerves going into the Alice Springs Show bull sale off the back of a subdued cattle market, but he was buoyed by the confidence shown by producers after unseasonal widespread rain.
Minlacowie is one of the driest Hereford studs in South Australia operating in a 350mm rainfall zone with the bulls naturally acclimatised to pastoral conditions.
Mr Honner said NT buyers want docility, structural correctness for walking long distances, good extension in the neck for grazing on vegetation both on the ground and up in the trees, well-muscled carcase, strong hooded eyes, and a soft, loose skin.
“The atmosphere at the show was fantastic – you wouldn’t think the industry has dropped 50 per cent. Pastoralist were keen to see each other, exchange ideas and thoughts, and those operating in the sale were very passionate Hereford breeders.
“Centralian Beef Breeders Association were very accommodating and nothing was too much trouble. With Roe Creek sale cancelled we were lacking transport options to get the bulls up and a huge thanks must go to Hale River Holdings who organised a truck to transport our bulls alogn with those from Lachy Day the 1600km to Alice Springs.
“We have to keep lining up Hereford bulls like that every year if we are going to be remembered and make an impact.”
In other news, Undoolya has elected to withdraw their 550 steers from the Alice Springs Sale, which had been rescheduled to August after widespread rain, to finish them on native grasses and sell them over the hooks or to lot feeders.