Keep calm and carry on, says show champ

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - KAROLIN MACGRE­GOR

KEEP­ING calm in the show ring is the key to suc­cess, says na­tional ju­nior cat­tle han­dler cham­pion Pyper Page.

Pyper, 17, re­cently beat com­peti­tors from across the coun­try af­ter earn­ing her place in the na­tional fi­nal by win­ning last year’s state cham­pi­onship at the Stan­ley Show.

Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of her older sib­lings, who have also been suc­cess­ful in han­dling, Pyper started work­ing with cat­tle when she was about eight.

“It’s quite funny ac­tu­ally be­cause I used to be scared of cows,” she said.

“Once I started work­ing with them, though, I re­alised they’re ac­tu­ally not that bad and now I love them.”

Pyper has also been part of the Sh­effield School cat­tle han­dler team and now en­joys help­ing out the younger com­peti­tors.

Af­ter han­dling minia­ture Here­fords at the be­gin­ning, Pyper then moved on to An­gus but her pre­ferred breed to work with is Santa Gertrudis.

“They can be a bit tem­per­a­men­tal and they re­mind me of horses,” Pyper said.

“The heifer I had last year was quite sen­si­tive and she was a bit of a one-per­son heifer but I re­ally liked her.”

Com­peti­tors had an hour to get to know their an­i­mals at the na­tional cham­pi­onship be­fore they took to the ring.

“That’s prob­a­bly one of the hard­est parts of it be­cause you don’t get very long with them be­fore it starts,” Pyper said.

Pyper was han­dling a young Red Poll heifer who was at her first show. “So she was a bit ner­vous and then we had to swap heifers as well,” she said.

“I had a pretty good run with the shows here, so I would have been a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed if I hadn’t won.”

As well as work­ing with cat­tle, Pyper said one of the other things she en­joyed about show­ing was the peo­ple she meets.

“When you go away to things like the na­tion­als it’s a great ex­pe­ri­ence and you meet peo­ple from a lot of dif­fer­ent places,” she said.

This year’s Tas­ma­nian ju­nior cat­tle han­dler fi­nals and ju­nior judg­ing fi­nals for both beef and dairy will be held at the Stan­ley Show on De­cem­ber 9.

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