Cobram bulls star at Royal
Heather du Vallon’s Clitheroe Simmentals stud has turned on a blue-ribbon performance at the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show.
Her Cobram stud came home with as swag of broad ribbons, including champion bull, reserve champion bull and finishing off with grand champion bull and most successful Simmental exhibitor.
And with Canadian Bruce Holmquist the breed judge, her genetics were being compared with the best in the business — and came out on top.
To complete the program Heather entrusted her entries to Nathalia junior handlers Jacob Brennan and Georgie Nelson.
She said the students from St Marys of the Angels Secondary College ‘‘did an exceptional job presenting the cattle’’.
‘‘The show team was also expertly fitted by Jakaungah Speckle Park stud’s Jack Nelson,’’ Heather said.
‘‘It is important to recognise how many people are involved from selecting your show team to getting the animals in front of the judges — it’s a real team effort that is required to compete and win at the top level,’’ she said.
Heather has had her stud since 2003 but it now operates as a boutique business as she has moved off her farm.
She started showing five years ago and sells a small number of bulls each year.
But she will be shooting for the big time next year when she takes her champion young bull Clitheroe Magnus to Dubbo for the Simmental National Show and Sale on June 21.
This outstanding young sire — he was just 13 months old when sashed in Melbourne — weighed in at 623 kg and had an eye muscle area of 116, way above the industry average.
‘‘I try to add some out-cross genetics to my breeding cows every year and have used semen and embryos from Canada, the US and New Zealand,’’ Heather said.
‘‘I am just making some changes to our management program, as I no longer have access to irrigation I am moving the cows to all autumn calving,’’ she said.
‘‘But I was very excited with the results from Melbourne and I hope to see a lot of interest in the sale ring for Magnus in Dubbo.’’
Heather said if her other champion bull, the 18-month-old Clitheroe Manu, did not sell before Dubbo he would join Magnus in the sale ring there.
At the Royal, Manu weighed in at an impressive 823 kg but the travel and time in the shed at the show had seen him drop a few kilos.
Winning team: The stars of the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show Simmental competition were (from left) Clitheroe Manu held by Jacob Brennan, stud principal Heather du Vallon and Clitheroe Magnus held by Georgie Nelson with Canadian judge Bruce Holmquist.