The Raff family’s champion sire Raff Empire E269 has finished his all-conquering stud showing career in fine style by winning grand champion Angus bull honours at the triennial Beef 2012 exhibition at Rockhampton today.
The triumph is the latest in a string of accolades made all the more remarkable for the fact the 32 month old sire has performed a paddock joining season in between.
In 2011 Empire was the Supreme Angus Exhibit and Interbreed Supreme Exhibit at the Dubbo beef spectacular, the junior champion at the Sydney Royal and the grand champion and supreme interbreed exhibit at the Melbourne Royal Show.
After that triumph he was put to work over 40 females. David Raff said the family then faced a tough decision about whether to bring him back to the show ring. “A lot of people thought we were mad bringing him back after Melbourne, it was a do you or don’t you situation, so we took the gamble.”
The gamble has paid off with Empire returning to claim the grand champion and supreme Angus exhibit award at the Royal Queensland Show in Sydney this year, capped off with Beef 2012 success today.
At 32 months of age, Empire weighed in this week at 1222kg, and has an impressive EMA scan of 148 square centimetres.
Despite his growth, it was his balance, structure and softness that appealed most, according to judge Reade Radel of Kandoona Red Brahmans between Taroom and Injune in Queensland.
“The reason why we put him up was he was just such a complete package,” Mr Radel said.
“The length, the bone, the muscling the growth, the fat coverage, he is a very well developed mobile bull.”
Raff Empire is a 10th generation Raff bred bull who traces back to the stud’s foundation cow, Sarum Doris 19th, purchased in 1965.
The Raff’s have said they consider Empire to be “the greatest bull we have ever bred”.
He has now won 11 interbreed supreme beef exhibit titles. He was descrived by Melbourne Angus Feature Show judge David Bondfield, Palgrove Charolais, as ‘the reason why Australia should be exporting semen to USA not importing it.’
It was a prophetic statement, because after returning to Drillham for a six week joining after Beef 2012, Empire will be sent to a Melbourne quarantine station to qualify for semen export.
Mr Raff said the family had not exported semen before but after receiving strong inquiry for semen from the US and Canada decided it would test the market.
To view all the winners from each class from day one of judging, click here