THE cancellation of this year’s Royal Queensland Show has prompted some unusual changes, including plans announced today to run the event’s popular led steer competition – the largest in Australia – as a carcase-only event this year.
Entries are open for this year’s Steer Competition, which will drop the ‘led’ component and run in a modified format due to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.
This year the competition will focus on hook classes only, with double the prize money on offer – a total of more than $13,000 up for grabs. The RNA last month announced the cancellation of the 2020 Ekka, due to covid-19 social distancing measures and public gathering restrictions.
Judging will be carried out by qualified AusMeat/MSA chiller assessors on Wednesday 5 August, following transportation of all entries to Nolan Meats at Gympie the day prior.
RNA beef committee chair Gary Noller said it was important the RNA found a way to continue to run the competition in some capacity.
“Our dedicated exhibitors have been preparing their cattle for the show since before the Ekka was cancelled in April, so it’s important we provide an avenue to recoup some of their investment,” he said.
“The carcase information helps exhibitors to promote their bull sales from late August to October during spring bull sale season,” he said.
Following a long-standing Ekka led steer tradition where major prize winners often sell for eye-catching amounts, this year’s lightweight, mediumweight and heavyweight champion and reserve champion carcases will be auctioned to the highest bidder via a livestream. Other entries will be sold to Nolan’s, weight and grade.
Mr Noller said with three school classes in the Led Steer Competition, it was also vital to continue to provide educational support to students and teachers.
“Exhibitors will receive photos of both the live animal and the carcase, combined with data, so they can be used as an educational tool for agricultural students,” he said.
The cattle will be delivered to four nominated saleyards on Monday 3 August for transportation to Nolan Meats. The saleyards are Glen Innes (NSW), Murgon (QLD), Toowoomba (QLD) and Silverdale (QLD).
The popular led steer jackpot competition will continue this year, under the usual terms, with jackpot winnings distributed among each of nine class winners on the hook (5pc of the jackpot each, 7pc of the jackpot to each of the light, mediumweight and heavyweight champion carcases, and 3pc to reserve champions. The ultimate highest scoring carcase will claim the remaining 25pc of the jackpot.
- Entries close Friday 12 June. To enter go to www.ekka.com.au/competitions
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