IN MORE than three decades since its inception, the Gympie Carcass Classic has not seen tougher conditions faced by entrants.
From very wet to very dry, graziers have had difficult times in trying to get animals prepared for the event, whose induction was held at the Sullivan Livestock Woolooga Saleyards, west of Gympie.
Co-ordinator Mick Senini said given the prevailing weather conditions, he was well pleased with the numbers and the quality.
Entrants presented 117 animals and came from many regions of the Burnett and Mary Valley, along with the eastern Downs, Lockyer Valley, Emerald, Murphy's Creek and Capella.
Exhibitors include Nolan's Cooloola Blondes, Doug Bothams, the Lacey family from Capella, HW Donaldson, and Kingaroy and Murgon state high schools.
Some entrants had to fall back on slightly older animals or to feed heavily, to get animals in the right condition.
There is no set entry weight, but exhibitors are recommended to aim for 300-350kg live at entry. Carcasses have to comply with the weight rules 200-280kg dressed, and also with Meat Standards Australia and buyer standards to be eligible for awards.
During the induction process, cattle: have the RIDF ear tag read and registered, are drenched, have a Classic tag inserted, and are weighed.
At this stage, cattle are valued and the first of the live animal assessments is made, as part of the continuing live assessment competition.
Local high schools can also take part at this stage.
Cattle are transported to Donnelly's Gowanlock feedlot at Tansey and, after a week to settle in, are weighed again.
The future calendar for remaining Carcass Classic events is as follows:
June 17 - mid-term field day, where a good idea of an animal's progress can be estimated; and the next live assessment;
July 18 - end of the competition, Gowanlock, where final assessments are made; and
July 25 - final stage, the Carcass Classic Showcase at Gunabul Homestead, Gympie from 1pm, incorporating guest speakers and presentations to winners.