New prime location announced for Ekka cattle comp
THE last royal show prime beef competition in Australia has found a new lease on life this year and is heading to Silverdale Saleyards.
The Ekka Prime Beef Show will be held at Hayes and Co’s saleyard in August, securing the major event after the Ekka was cancelled last month.
Hayes and Co senior auctioneer Peter Hayes said the team was excited to take on the big role.
“We’re very keen and very honoured to be having it,” Mr Hayes said.
The team at Hayes & Co have plenty of experience to take on the big task, as the company does the yard work at the competition when it’s run at the RNA showgrounds in Brisbane.
The Silverdale Saleyards were also used 13 years ago to host the pen of six section when the RNA had an overflow of cattle.
Mr Hayes said this year the judging and sale would take place in pens rather than in the ring.
“The idea of that is to keep the cost down for the vendors, less stress on the cattle and the stock handling procedures should be a lot better,” he said.
He said it was a big win for cattle producers in the state that the competition would still run.
“Full credit to the council of the RNA that they have the initiative to have a go,” he said.
The Ekka is the last major show to have prime cattle in Australia and Mr Hayes said it was important to keep the event going.
“The other states don’t have prime cattle, all the other shows just have lead steers,” he said.
“We want to keep the tradition going.”
Cattle will arrive at the saleyards on Wednesday, August 5, before judging and sales are completed on the Thursday.
The Prime Beef Competition classes include grain and pasture-fed, supermarket and local trade, with more than $12,000 in prize money up for grabs.
RNA Beef Committee Chair Gary Noller said exhibitors had been preparing their cattle for many months and finding a new location allowed the competition to proceed.
“It’s important we continue to recognise our hardworking primary producers and their products, so they can continue to successfully promote the pedigrees and genetics of their cattle,” Mr Noller said.
“Our exhibitors use the competition and sale to promote their commercial stock, plus our seedstock producers use it to promote their bull sales.
“Food production is an essential industry, so it’s business as usual for our beef producers amid the coronavirus pandemic.”