Co­bram bulls star at Royal

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

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.

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