Beef 2024 Report

Limousin, Santa Gertrudis & Angus share top interbreed honours at nation’s largest stud beef showing

Jon Condon, 09/05/2024

Paul Forman, Oakwood Limousins, Bundaberg (left) and co-owners David and Jess Eagleson, Ulster Limousins with interbreed champion bull Oakwood Cutright. Click on image for a larger view.

LIMOUSIN, Santa Gertrudis and Angus entries shared the ultimate honours in interbreed stud beef judging during Beef 2024 in Rockhampton, Queensland this afternoon.

Almost 30 tropical, European, British and Sanga breeds and their derivatives lined up to contest interbreed championships for bulls, females and breeders groups, in what presented a magnificent spectacle for the large crowd.

Today’s interbreed judging was the culmination of three days of non-stop breed judging in six stud beef arenas, involving around 1550 entries from 350 exhibitors from across Australia.

In the 36 years since the first Beef Expo in 1988, nobody could remember rain having an influence on the entire Rocky Beef Expo event, let alone the event’s stud beef judging. That all changed today when the heavens opened, forcing many onlookers and supporters under shelter away from the ring.

Interbreed champion bull

Tension started to mount in the interbreed bull division when judges selected seven breeds as finalists,from the 22 breeds paraded for the bull title. The included Brahman, Brangus, Charolais, Simmental, Hereford, Limousin and Red Angus.

Interbreed judges this year were Scott Dunlop, Ian Galloway and Wayne York.

Scott Dunlop complemented the breeders involved, saying the results on display took not years, but generations of selective breeding.

“It shows in the quality of the cattle we see on display,” he said.

He said for him, judging elite stud cattle “was just commercial cattle on steroids.”

“The breeders have to have that commercial focus, because at the end of the day, its meat on the hook, its reproduction, its carcase traits and over on that carcase. And a good set of feet and legs to carry that carcase around the paddock.”

Ultimately, the judges choice for interbreed grand champion bull was the Limousin representative, Oakwood Cutright, owned by Lindesay View Limousins, Ulster Limousin Stud and Red Oak Genetics.

The top weight in the Limousin division tipping the scales at 1040kg at 27 months of age, Oakwood Cutright scanned for a 143sq cm eye muscle, and perfect rib and P8 fat of 10mm and 15mm. Adding further attraction, he is a homozygous poll.

“The senior Limousin bull is a massive individual and he carries that weight easily,” Limousin breed judge David Bondfield said earlier.

Interbreed judge Scott Dunlop described the Limousin breed entry as the biggest capacity bull in the interbreed judging lineup.

“Look at him through the girth, that fullness, spring of rib and length of body. Over his top-line, he has squareness through the hip and gets wider again down through the stifle. You can’t put any more meat on that bull – the muscling is tremendous, not only in thickness, but depth of body – but what’s great about it (for a Limousin bull) that muscle is covered by good fat, so soft and dep in the flank.”

“That’s the reason he is the interbreed grand champion for 2024.”

Drenched, but happy: Paul Forman, Oakwood Limousins, Bundaberg and his son Maddox with Beef 2024’s Interbreed stud beef champion bull, Oakwood Cutright

The champion’s breeder was Paul Forman, Oakwood Limousins, Bundaberg. His sire was a Canadian AI donor bull, while his dam, another elite Oakwood female, just missed out on the Beef 2018 Interbreed female championship, having earned the Limousin female grand championship.

The calf was sold into a partnership also involving David and Jess Eagleson, Ulster Limousins, Murgon and Red Oak Genetics for $30,000 at last year’s Performance Limousin Sale.

Oakwood Cutright has recently come out of Ced Wise’s AB Centre after collection, with semen already sold across Australia and overseas.

He will also be used in natural matings in the Eagleson’s stud Limousin herd.

“We’re trying to breed Limousins with natural softness, while retaining fleshiness and volume of meat, and this bull exhibits plenty of that,” co-owner David Eagleson said.

“There’s a place for those more heavily muscled cattle, but this bull still has plenty of meat – a 143sq cm eye muscle – but he has the cover to go with it. As a yearling, he was still a standout calf, so he could be used for bullock production or trade steers.”

He was shown lightly as a calf, but decisions are yet to be made about any future show career.

The full lineup of 22 candidates in Beef 2024’s interbreed stud beef judging. Click on image to enlarge

Santas claim female interbreed crown

Clinching the interbreed stud beef female title for 2024 was the Santa Gertrudis entry, Murgona Queen Bee Q53, earlier judged senior and grand champion Santa female.

Queensland-based Murgona Cattle Co toasted a successful outing at Beef 2024, having earlier shown both bull and female breed grand champions among 97 Santa entries, exhibitors group and sire’s progeny stakes.

Exhibited by Daniel, Kasey, Taylor and Brian Phillips of Murgona Santa Gertrudis, Taroom, Queen Bee was sired by Murgona Legend and out of Murgona Nutmeg.

In commenting on the five females put forward for final consideration for the title, judge Scott Dunlop said it was a tremendous line-up of cattle.

“These females are well deserving of their time, normally we say time in the sun, but today it’s the rain,” he said.

“You can’t help but admire the capacity in this cow, the depth of body, the flank and udders on her. We’ve got a young calf here, which is great to see, and she’s doing a tremendous job on it.”

“She’s just a tremendous cow.”

Supreme Female Murgona Queen Bee Q53 with calf at foot, held by owner Kasey Phillips and handler Fletcher Skillington, with Mark Scown and Alistair Tippett of Nutrien, and Beef 2024 Interbreed Judges Wayne York, Scott Dunlop and Ian Galloway.

Exhibitors group title to Angus entries

Interbreed exhibitors group honours in a strong field went to Greg Fuller’s Pine Creek Angus, Woodstock, NSW.

In commenting on how the three judges selected the winners from the seven groups that were put forward for final contention, judge Wayne York said it had to be thought of like a football team.

“If you look at the Brisbane Broncos, you need to have a bit of grunt up front, so we need a few Payne Haases and Shane Webcke-type animals,” Mr York said.

“We need to have that bit of grunt in every single animal to show that performance, through that thickness, through that strength of body, that weight for age; we get paid on weight, so we’ve got to make sure we’ve got it.

“And then we need to have agility, we need those fellas with speed and that’s where structure comes into it; we’ve got to have depth of heel, we’ve got to have the right angulation through the front legs, they’ve got to carry them, and they’ve got to walk along.”

“Obviously, we need the smarts as well, so we need our halves and hookers, and that comes back to our reproductive standards and how we set ourselves up for the next generation.

“We’ve got to combine that and create that into a team that’s going to come forward at the end of the day.”

Mr York said the Angus exhibit was a terrific example of animals that had similarities all the way through the group.

“It’s a very young team, but they’re very good cattle,” he said.

“These breeders, the type of cattle they’ve got – I’m sure they’ll go on and do a tremendous job in the industry.”

Pine Creek Angus Stud’s Supreme Exhibitors Group with Gavin Iseppi, Josephine Green, Christie Fuller and Greg Fuller, Dane Pearce and Alistair Tippett, and interbreed judges Ian Galloway, Wayne York and Scott Dunlop.





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  1. Chris Meade, 10/05/2024

    Limousin are the most underrated breed in Australia, they keep winning carcase comps because of their retail beef yield and quality of beef. They add value to all British breeds and Bos Indicus breeds through hybrid vigour and they are now a very docile animal to work with

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