MONTANA McCorry believes a little feminine persuasion is critical when trying to coerce a 700kg plus limousin bull around a show arena.
The 15-year-old Stanthorpe High student took a break from working with Stanthorpe Show's 2014 Grand Champion European bull, Stanhigh Golden Wulf, to explain the steep learning curve that is parading.
"It's definitely about learning how to work with an individual animal," the teenager said.
It was a really good way to make friends and even though you have to be really focused while you are working with cattle, it is still pretty social.
The Year 11 student has been an active member of her school cattle and show team for the past three years and would highly recommend the experience.
"I came from Ipswich to high school in Stanthorpe with my family and I just decided to join the cattle club," Montana explained.
"Back then I had absolutely no experience with any animals larger than a dog.
"So it was a steep learning curve for me, but I loved it from the start.
"It was a really good way to make friends and even though you have to be really focused while you are working with cattle, it is still pretty social.
"I've made some great friends being a part of the club and I love going away to shows with the cattle."
Opting to sign up as part of the Stanthorpe High cattle team has already proved an astute move for the teenager.
Last year her commitment to cattle paid off when she won the limousin herds
person title at the Brisbane Exhibition.
The major win came after a string of successes on the 2013 Southern Downs regional show circuit.
Yet the high school student remains firmly down to earth; thanks in part to anchoring moments like the agonising few seconds when the 25-month-old Ekka junior champion, Stanhigh Golden Wulf, stepped on her foot.
"He's very heavy and I definitely knew about it," she said with a laugh.
"But the truth is Wulf prefers female handlers.
"When you are the handler you really have to learn about the temperament of the individual animal so you can get them to do what you need them too.
"Each animal has their own personality, so I think you have to find one that works with your personality as the handler."
Fittingly, the show season started on home ground for the keen young cattlewoman.
From Stanthorpe the secondary school team have plans to compete at Tenterfield, Inglewood and Texas shows, before heading to the Brisbane Exhibition in August.
"I am not a big fan of junior judging, but I love paraders," Montana said.
"And this time of year - and I think for someone like me, who wants to make a career in agriculture after school - then going to shows is a chance to meet people in the industry and find out what opportunities are out there."