Countryman - - IGA PERTH ROYAL SHOW - Bob Gar­nant

Dex­ter cat­tle walked away with the top awards in the Spe­cial­ity Breeds In­ter­breed Com­pe­ti­tion which con­sisted of three dif­fer­ent breeds.

Qual­i­fy­ing for the judg­ing in both the fe­male and bull classes, were Dex­ters from Bil­l­abong stud, Minia­ture Here­fords from Paragon stud and High­land cat­tle.

Judge Gavin O’Brien said the Dex­ter fe­male, Bil­l­abong Kinky, had over­all com­plete­ness as the cow and her calf pa­raded at the IGA Perth Royal Show.

Mak­ing the show a com­plete suc­cess for the Cabassi fam­ily, of Bil­l­abong, Mr O’Brien picked their bull, Bil­l­abong Mu­fasa, for his in­ter­breed bull rib­bon win­ner.

In the ear­lier breed judg­ing, Mu­fasa was sashed with the supreme ex­hibit rib­bon for his bal­ance and strength.

Stud co-prin­ci­pal Tr­ish Cabassi said Dex­ters be­came a pas­sion af­ter im­port­ing live cat­tle and se­men from the US.

Bil­l­abong also im­ported em­bryos from South Africa which re­sulted in an out­stand­ing fe­male, Bil­l­abong Voodo Magic, which had a large in­flu­ence on the herd.

“My par­ents bred Li­mousin cat­tle and I wanted to work with a smaller breed I felt com­fort­able with,” she said.

“The suc­cess of this year’s Show, which in­cluded hav­ing most points in the cat­tle sec­tion, was largely be­cause of the great in­flu­ence of our bull, Edge, which was bred mostly on US blood­lines. The im­por­ta­tion of ge­net­ics has been in­stru­men­tal in the de­vel­op­ment of the stud back to the late 1980s and, from there, we have made a quan­tum leap in qual­ity by specif­i­cally breed­ing for type — fem­i­nine fe­males that ex­hibit a wedge shape with good, long-last­ing ud­ders and bulls that are bred for high car­case value that will fin­ish evenly.

“All stud fe­male con­sid­er­a­tions must meet the ba­sic struc­tural re­quire­ments for rear­ing a healthy calf.

“Our herd con­sist of ap­prox­i­mately 65 breed­ing fe­males which is one of the largest Dex­ter studs in Aus­tralia.

“On last count we have bred 920 reg­is­tra­ble Dex­ter calves.”

Mrs Cabassi runs the stud with hus­band Mike, and their sons, Daniel, Alex and Ben.

“Not only has our farm pro­duced a great line of Dex­ters, it has pro­vided a healthy life­style environment to bring up the boys,” she said.

“They have learnt the im­por­tance of car­ing for all the farm an­i­mals and are the bet­ter for it.

“We work as a team on the farm and at the shows, which bodes well for them in their pur­suit of AFL foot­ball, cur­rently play­ing colts and re­serves for South Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club.

“Through the agri­cul­tural shows our fam­ily have be­come part of the wider WA cat­tle com­mu­nity which is a trea­sured part of our lives.”

Mrs Cabassi said rais­ing three boys on a small farm­ing con­cern has been fi­nan­cially chal­leng­ing but the long-term ben­e­fits out­weigh the dis­ad­van­tages.

“We have de­vel­oped other fi­nan­cial streams along the way which in­clude chaff and beef sales,” she said. “Dex­ter beef is of high qual­ity and unique flavour and we have cus­tomers lined up for more.”

Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant

With the Spe­cialty Breeds In­ter­breed cham­pion bull, Bil­l­abong Mu­fasa, and in­ter­breed cham­pion fe­male, Bil­l­abong Kinky with calf-at-foot, were Alex Cabassi, han­dler Kelly Man­ning, and Bil­l­abong Dex­ter stud co-prin­ci­pal Tr­ish Cabassi, of Old­bury.

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