Mike’s Classic Win

The 2016 Southern Grass Fed Carcass Classic competition results were presented at a recent awards dinner in Naracoorte, South Australia, with local Shorthorn breeder, Mike Newton, Kingston, claiming two of the major awards.
The innovative carcass competition is designed to showcase the excellent quality of grass fed beef that is produced throughout Western Victoria and South Australia.

The competition is open to grass fed cattle that are MSA accredited and NLIS tagged.
Entries are processed at Teys Naracoorte plant and two thirds of all entry fees are donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. In previous years the entries were submitted over a fortnight in early October, however the wet winter and spring saw the delivery period in 2016 extended from October 1st to February 24th.
Producers are required to enter the entire truckload, or nominate a pen of each load, with a minimum requirement of 10 head, allocated to the competition. Cattle are then drafted into the 3 categories automatically, depending on their specifications.
The longer window has paid handsome dividends for the organising committee, with the number of entries this years sky rocketing to over 720 entries, currently making the Southern Grass Fed Classic the largest grass fed beef competition in the country.
Prizes are awarded for individual animals within each of 3 classes, being 180 – 240 kg, 240 – 320 kg and 320 – 420 kg.
The competition also awards the breeders with the Best 3 animals and the Best 10 animals with the highest overall score as a group, which is an important measure of the herds overall performance.
Taking out the titles of both the Best 3 animals, and the Best 10 animals, in this years competition, South Australian Shorthorn breeder, Mike Newton, said the competition is a fantastic opportunity for breeders to evaluate the performance of their cattle.
“If more breeders can support this event, it is just such a great learning curve.”
Mike said the competition for him, is about working to constantly refine the carcass quality of his herd, and the benchmarking aspect is a great way to define the direction his herd needs to take.
Mr. Newton’s Shorthorn steers took out the major awards after 3 steers individually finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the 320 – 420 kg class.
“I was expecting to be competitive, but it turned into a really special evening.” Mike said.
In the group of 3 steers, Mr. Newton’s group finished with a combined score of 269.12 points, whilst the second placed group scored 262.88 points.
In the group of 10 steers, Mr. Newton’s group finished with a combined total 877.17 to average 87.7 points, 36 points clear of the second placed group with a combined total of 841.7. It was an emphatic win, and the consistency of Mr. Newton’s South Bundarra and Yamburgan blood Shorthorn steers, was particularly important.
“I had 20 steers that scored 80 points or greater in that class. It shows that the draft didn’t just have the odd good one in it, to win the group results was really pleasing.”
For the Shorthorn breed, Mr. Newtons wasn’t the only award for the night with a Shorthorn Saler cross steer, bred by Mr. Allan Kranz, taking out the title of Grand Champion led steer from the Mount Gambier Show, with the prize awarded to Cameron Curtis, Grant High School.
For Mike, the competition has not only allowed him to benchmark his herd against other leading southern herds, it has also validated his breeding program and the opportunity for southern beef producers to generate increased profit using Shorthorn genetics.
“This proves that even grass fed Shorthorns, can match it with the best of them.”

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About Shorthorn

The Shorthorn breed is truly unique, from their distinctive roan colour, to their rich breed history and most importantly, the wonderful community of breeders, there is nothing else quite like a Shorthorn.

The key to the Shorthorn breeds advantage lies in their balanced genetic profile, driven by market participation that has been developed and refined, after more than 200 years of genetic selection under Australian conditions.

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