TENTERFIELD cattle producers Keith and Annette Willcocks stole the show in Warwick on Friday winning the coveted grand champion prime beast award of 2013.
The personable beef producer, who last year judged the prime classes, proved he is just as adept at picking a winner in the paddock.
His entry, an Angus cross steer tipping the scales at 475kg, won class one for a single steer with no more than two permanent teeth and weighing 465kg and over, before taking out the prestigious broad ribbon.
The southern cattleman said an exceptional growing season on their 800 hectare property, Warrawee, in the ranges east of Tenterfield, had contributed to his show success this year.
The Willcocks' second Warwick entry, a 350kg Angus cross steer, won class five for single vealer or yearling 305kg-370kg.
"Our season is excellent, the country and the cattle have responded very well," Mr Willcocks said.
The Willcocks run up to 350 Angus Hereford cross breeders on their country and routinely use Angus bulls.
Market-wise, they target the local trade and have had a long standing order to supply 160-200kg carcase weight young cattle to a Tenterfield butcher.
In a good season the order is filled by 8-10-month-old weaners straight off cows.
In a tougher year they have an on-property feedlot to get young stock to weight.
"We have a long standing price-wise agreement that works for both us as the supplier and the butcher," Mr Willcocks said.
"But we like to think we are producing quality cattle and that's why this order has been successful and in place for so long."
This year's show judge John Anstey, from Warwick Meats, agreed wholeheartedly.
The Gold Coast-based cattle buyer described the livestock entered in this year's prime classes as "outstanding quality".
"The calibre of cattle across all the classes really made my job as a judge difficult," Mr Anstey said.
It was a sentiment shared by prime cattle steward Bill Gross who said an increase in numbers reflected the ongoing producer interest in the competition.
"The interest is there and producers are putting more and more effort into turning off very high quality cattle," Mr Gross said.
"This year in particular the standard of the younger, lighter cattle was very good, but all entries were show standard."
For full results from the Warwick Annual Show Prime Cattle competition, see Page 17 of today's Bush Tele.
- Champion pen of three: Howard and Tanya Gross.
- Reserve champion pen of three: Ian and Ann Coy.
- Champion steer/heifer: Keith and Annette Willcocks.
- Reserve champion steer/heifer: Howard and Tanya Gross.
- Champion vealer or yearling: Keith and Annette Willcocks.
- Grand champion beast: Keith and Annette Willcocks.
- Highest local points: Pat and Lorna McMahon.
- Highest number entries: Risdon Park Feedlot.
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