IT WAS a serious case of girl power at Warwick's third annual Santa and Santa Infused Show and Sale, with both the champion pen of steers and the champion heifers bred, selected and entered by female beef producers.
Inglewood cattlewoman Kim McMaster, from Dundee Santa Stud, good naturedly accepted the bragging rights that came with her pen of commercial heifers being awarded champion females for the 2013 show.
"These were heifers from our commercial herd, which has droughtmaster, charolais and angus breeders," Mrs McMaster said.
"But the heifers were all by Kindara Zinger, an excellent santa type, natural polly bull.
"The heifers were only seven months old and weighed in at an average 310kg.
"So, we were really pleased by how they performed at the sale because there were some very good quality lines of females."
Meanwhile, the champion pen of steers was entered by Elizabeth Benstead from Rosevale Santa Stud, south of Tenterfield.
The santa steers, which were 12 months old and weighed an average 300kg, went on to to be named grand champion pen of this year's show and sale.
Judge Pat McMahon said the calibre of cattle entered in the 2013 event made selecting winners a challenge.
"It was definitely a quality yarding of santa cattle, with these lines reflecting breeders' commitment to quality, conformation and temperament," he said.
"The condition of some of the store calves was possibly down a little on the past year - they were bigger this time last year - but that was a result of the late start to the season across much of our region.
"However, what did impress me particularly this season was the females and I think the quality on offer at this show and sale will continue to attract buyer interest.
"Overall, the cattle were presented in very good order and were a credit to the vendors."
More than 300 head drawn from properties from across the Southern Downs, south into the New England and west to Bollon were entered in the show and sale.
Sale organiser and "thrilled" grand champion ribbon winner Elizabeth Benstead described the annual showcase event as a success.
"There were a lot of quality cattle here and that really is what we aim for," she said.
"Like a lot of people across this area, we are enjoying a good season now.
"But it was a tough spring and we really needed rain by December.
"We have cattle on country west of Warwick and it was really dry and had a very late start.
"Fortunately, now, though we have had rain and we will have a good body of feed going into winter.
"And while I think people here are feeling quite good about the season, there is still some uncertainty about the market in the immediate future.
"So, all that considered, I think the support for this sale from both vendors and buyers, and sponsors and agents has been very, very good."
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