Best sheep, cattle and goats at the Royal Show

2017-05-31 06:01
                                                                PHOTO: Estelle SinkinsThe champion Angus cattle at the 2016 Royal Show on parade in the main arena.

PHOTO: Estelle SinkinsThe champion Angus cattle at the 2016 Royal Show on parade in the main arena.

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SHEEP, cattle and goat breeder from across South Africa will be heading to the Royal Agricultural Show in Pietermaritzburg to show their prize animals.

The main focus in the Royal Agricultural Society’s sheep section will be the Ile de France and Hampshire Down national championships.

There will also be regional competitions for the Suffolk, Dormer and Dorper breeds, with the champions in all these competitions going head-to-head in the Inter-breed on Wednesday, May 31.

Among those hoping to repeat their success of 2016 will be Steyn and Tjaart Steenekamp, of Twee Seuns Suffolk Stud in Barkly East, in the Eastern Cape, who bred the Supreme Champion Ewe on Show, and Corne Els, of Jancor Ile de France, in Amersfoort in Mpumalanga, whose Il de France was the Supreme Champion Ram on Show.

Judging in the sheep section will get under way on Saturday, May 27, with the fat lambs and commercial ewes. In a change from previous years, the Boer Goat regional championship will move to Monday, May 29.

There will be two rings in operation for the duration of the breed competitions, which run from May 27 to May 31.

And, in a change from previous shows, this year’s champions in the sheep section will form part of the Gold Cup parade.

In the cattle section, the action gets underway with the weighing and mouthing of the steers on Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26.

On Saturday, May 27, South Africa’s young farmers get the chance to show what they’re made of in the Youth Show, which stars at 8 am, and the Student’s Challenge, which will begin at 9 am.

These competitions will continue on Sunday, May 28.

Pupils from Weston Agricultural College, and students from Cedara Agricultural College and the University of KwaZulu-Natal will be among those taking part.

From Monday, May 29, the country’s best breeders will be showing their Angus, Brahman, Pingauer, PinZ2yl (correct), Simbra, Simmentaler, Limousin, Dexters, Sussex, Hereford, Jersey and Holstein cattle.

The winners in each breed will then contest the inter-breed in the beef and dairy sections, ahead of the announcement of the Gold Cup winners in the main arena.

Among those expected to take part are John and Tracey Devonport, of Devlan Limousins, situated on the banks of the Vaal Dam in Gauteng, who bred the Supreme Champion beef cow and Beef Super Cow and the Cappucino Pinzgauer Stud in Mooketsi in Limpopo, owned by Bernie van Zyl Pty Ltd, who bred the Supreme Champion Bull.

The annual carcass auction is moving from the middle Wednesday of the show to Tuesday, May 30, with bidding for the best lamb, beef and pork carcasses expected to be fierce.

The Royal Show, which runs from May 26 to June 4, is the largest mixed agricultural show on the African continent which means that farmers will be able to take advantage of the presence of virtually every tractor and implement manufacturer.

The show also features a display of construction and materials handling equipment, and more than 400 commercial, industrial and service sector exhibits.

A first for this year’s show will be the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer Competition, which will take place in the sheep section on Saturday, May 27.

The event has two categories. The first is open to juniors aged 19 and younger, with the second aimed at those aged 30 and younger.

The aim of the contest is to promote the livestock auctioneering profession.

The Royal Show event is one of ten regional competitions ahead of the national final in Parys in September.

Participants are judged on rostrum performance and livestock knowledge.

The winner will receive a jacket sponsored by Veeplaas, prize money of R1 000 sponsored by the Royal Show, and financial assistance to attend and participate in the Alfa Show Nationals.

The second and third placed participants will each receive R500 sponsored by the Royal Show.

The winner of the national competition will represent South Africa in the Argentine in 2018.

The agricultural competitions at the show will come to an end with the Gold Cup Parade where the crème de la crème of South Africa’s livestock will be paraded in the main arena on Wednesday evening, May 31.

The Royal Show runs from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, June 4. Tickets are R65 for adults and R40 for children under 12 and pensioners.

On the middle Wednesday (May 31) all tickets will cost R40 and on Super Friday (June 2) entry is R50 for everyone.

Halls will be open until 8.30pm and for R150 show-goers can enjoy unlimited access to the fairground rides between 5pm and 7pm.

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