A STEER named Banger is the beast hoped to take the top title at the Ekka in honour of Darling Downs cattleman Keith Bange.
A renowned limousin grazier in the district, Mr Bange ran the Kia-Ora cattle stud at Clifton.
He died in December aged 82 after a long battle with cancer.
Fellow limousin breeders David Achilles and the McCarthy family are joining forces to take a win at the Royal Brisbane Show in Mr Bange's memory.
Kerry McCarthy, who runs Lochinvar Limousin stud with her husband Simon, said it would be a tough run to get the young steer to competition.
"The led steers is a pretty hotly contested competition right across the local shows and pinnacle is the Royal Brisbane,” Mrs McCarthy said.
"We've done a bit of a joint venture with David, who has bred Banger and used to breed cattle with Keith.
"Keith loved his cattle and particularly the limousins and was very well respected in the Clifton community.
"We had known him for the 11 years since moving here from the Samford area on the outskirts of Brisbane so we want to do our best.”
Mrs McCarthy said Mr Achilles had bred plenty of winning steers in the past, but Banger was a special beast.
"The people who have shown David's cattle before have always bought them,” she said.
"This time around we haven't bought Banger, so we'll both be showing him at Ekka; I think he's a pretty special one for David.
"We've shown our stud cattle for the past few years, and will be doing so again this year with a bull and three heifers, but it's our very first led steer contest.
"We're looking forward to it; even though it will be tough competition we're wanting to do an extra special job with him.”
At just under a year old, Banger has so far placed at every show he's been entered into around the Darling Downs.
Mrs McCarthy said they were increasing food rations and making improvements to prepare for competition next month against more than 100 other cattle.
"The idea is you don't want to get a first in January because it means by August he'd be too fat,” she said.
"David is an ex-butcher so he has a good eye, and it's definitely an asset for us that we've been around steers at home and have shown other cattle before.
"We know at Farm Fest there were about 160 beasts entered in the led steers and we're expecting most of those to be at Ekka plus a fair few more.
"Limousins are a pretty popular breed and a lot of the winning steers are limousin or limousin infused, but there will be plenty of other fantastic beef breeds like speckle park and herefords.”
Unlike led steer rounds at smaller country shows, as the end of year exhibition, the Ekka contest culminates in a hoof and hook contest.
"That means we'll parade him in the main arena and then he'll be led onto the truck to go off and be judged on the hook,” Mrs McCarthy said.
"It will very tough to lead Banger onto the truck for us but it's all part of the promotion of the breed for us.
"The thing we like most about showing is getting the kids involved and the camaraderie of the limousin breeders; we're a very tight knit group.
"There's not much money in stud showing, but we love it; we just hope we can come away with a win for Keith.”
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