National cattle entries ‘out of top drawer’

2010-05-26 00:00

WITH new cattle breeds on show and a national championships to be judged, competition in this year’s Royal Agricultural Show cattle section looks set to be the best in many years.

Between 950 and 1 000 cattle have been entered in the beef and dairy sections of the show, from May 28 to June 6 at the Royal Showgrounds.

This year’s show also plays host to the Santa Gertrudis National Championships, for the first time since 1978. “We’ve got about 280 animals coming for the nationals from all over the country,” said Garth Ellis, a local breeder and a member of the council for the Santa Gertrudis Society of South Africa.

“We’re expecting animals out of the top drawer. A number of the KZNl-based exhibitors have featured in the Supreme Championships of the Royal over the past few years, and with the nationals here, we would expect a number of our animals to be in this year’s supremes.”

Breeders will be coming to the show from as far afield as Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and one of the country’s top Santa Getrudis men, Willie de Jager, is making the long trip from Kuruman in the Northern Cape to show 46 animals.

Grant Kobus, head of the cattle section, said they will host 13 breeds of cattle this year. “We have had a very good entry of Simmentaler and Simbra, and the Brahman guys are back again.”

He added that entries have also been received for the Ayrshires and Braunviehs, two beef breeds that haven’t been seen at the Royal for many years, and a new beef breed, the SA Huguenot, which will be represented by nine animals.

In the showring for the first time this year is Cedara Agricultural College, which has entered the stud animal classes in the Hereford section. Cedara will also be defending its title in the commercial beef class, where 146 animals will be competing for the title of supreme champion at the carcass auction at 4.30 pm on June 2.

Judging in the cattle classes gets under way on May 29, with the Gold Cup cattle parade in the main arena and the announcement of this year’s supreme champions in the beef and dairy classes taking place at 5.30 pm on June 3.

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