Prime Lamb awards presented

Robbie and David Curtis of Bellevue Grazing Co at Millmerran took out a swag of Prime Lamb awards this year.

By Jeremy Sollars

Top lamb producers from around the region and beyond saw the efforts of their hard work rewarded with the winners of the 2018 Warwick Show and Rodeo Society Prime Lamb Carcass competition announced today, Saturday 6 October.

More than 80 lambs were entered in this year’s ‘hook’ competition and the results impressed judge Brett Shelley, who had the tough task of choosing the winners at Carey Brothers Abattoir at Yangan late this week.

Millmerran Dorper producers David and Robbie Curtis of Bellevue Grazing Company came away with the Champion and Reserve Champion Pens of Carcass Lambs and said the hook competition was always a good opportunity to learn more about what butchers and their customers are looking for when it comes to lamb for the domestic trade.

“We don’t often get to see ours on the hook so it’s a learning opportunity for us, at the business end of the process, to look at things like fat-set,” David told the Free Times.

“This is a really well-run competition, particularly with the curfew on weigh-in, it means everyone’s basically on an even keel.

“The Dorper is proving its worth as a breed in the drought and we’re seeing widespread acceptance of them – they produce a beautiful, nuggetty little carcass and we’re really pleased with how we did in the competition this year.”

With daughter Sophie, The Curtis’ currently run around 3000 Dorpers and White Dorpers on their property and experiment with the grain ration fed to finish their lambs.

They held a stud ram sale in mid-September at which 119 rams were snapped up and are holding up in the drought, despite having only received around five inches of rain over the last 12 months, including 17mm in the last two days.

David is a qualified Dorper and White Dorper Judge and Inspector, successfully completing his final Judge’s exam in Britstown, South Africa, in 2010.

He was one of two Australians who passed that exam, making them the first two fully-qualified Australian Dorper Inspectors.

Closer to home, long-time competitor Warren Schelbach from Sandy Creek west of Warwick was chuffed to win the Reserve Champion Single Carcass Lamb, which was finished on oats.

Warren and wife Wendy currently run about 250 ewes.

Brett Shelley was the successful tenderer for the lambs in this year’s competition.

Prime Lamb officials and entrants – and local media representatives – enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch of lamb chops and rissoles, courtesy of Carey Bros Abattoir and G R Meats.

Results…

• Lamb with highest dressing percentage (59.3%) – P & P Hood

• Champion Single Carcass Lamb – P & P Hood

• Reserve Champion Single Carcass Lamb – W & W Schelbach

• Champion Pen of Carcass Lambs – Bellevue Grazing Co

• Reserve Champion Pen of Carcass Lambs – Bellevue Grazing Co

• Most Entries from an Agent – TopX

Class 1: Single Lamb, 42-46KG Live Weight

• 1st – W & W Schelbach

• 2nd – P & P Hood

• 3rd – Black Beauty Pigs

Class 2: Single Lamb, 46-51KG Live Weight

• 1st – P & P Hood

• 2nd – W &W Schelbach

• 3rd – Mark Cook

Class 3: Pen of Three Lambs, 42-46KG Live Weight

• 1st – Bellevue Grazing Co

• 2nd – Bellevue Grazing Co

• 3rd – McLean Farms

Class 4: Pen of Three Lambs, 46-51KG Live Weight

• 1st – P & P Hood

• 2nd – Bellevue Grazing Co

• 3rd – Terrica Pastoral

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