The Texas Longhorns Australia National Show and Sale returned to Gunnedah for another year, drawing a crowd from across the nation.
Local and TLA life member Geoff Dawson said people flocked to town from Emerald and Crows Nest in Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Murwillumbah on the coast, and Nyngan.
About 70 people attended the show on Saturday in the Gunnedah Showground, and about 120 people attended the sale on Sunday at the Gunnedah Saleyards.
Mr Dawson said the show saw “a magnificent line up of 15 longhorns compete in various classes, with the ultimate trophy being the Grand Champion Female and Grand Champion Bull”.
Grand Champion Female was claimed by Kooroora Elsa, a 20-month-old heifer exhibited by Rodney and Adelaide Cooper of Kooroora Longhorns, Scone.
Grand Champion Bull was awarded to Speargrass Star Witness, a striking 14-month-old black and white bull exhibited by Nicole and Keith Burns of Speargrass Longhorns, Deepwater.
Best Presented Animal was awarded to to YC Venus, a 12-month-old heifer shown by the Newbury Family of Yarrow Creek Texas Longhorns, Glen Innes. The Herdsmanship Award was presented to Adelaide Cooper from Kooroora Longhorns, Scone, for demonstrating initiative in parading, exhibiting and preparing show animals.
Judging the show was Gunnedah local Patrick Rankmore.
“Patrick’s abilities in the judging ring were evident to the large crowd in attendance and he was also able to attend the annual dinner on Saturday night,” Mr Dawson said.
On Sunday, 30 quality longhorns went under the hammer, with Sam Plevey from Purtle Plevey Agencies kicking off the auction.
Mr Dawson said the average was up about $500 from last year and the quality had also improved.
“The average was almost $1,800 across all lines, from small steers to mature breeders and promising young bulls,” he said.
“A clearance rate of close to 100 per cent after the sale was a very pleasing result.”
The Klante family from Nyngan purchased the highest priced bull, paying $6,200 for Speargrass Star Witness, a 14-month-old bull bred by Nicole and Keith Burns of Speargrass Longhorns, Deepwater.
The family also purchased the highest priced female, an “outstanding” three-year-old heifer, YC Impressive Springs 814, bred by Ben and Kristy Newbury from Yarrow Creek Texas Longhorns, Glen Innes.
Seven-year-old Fletcher Wilby had his first crack at the sale, with his Texas Longhorn, Skinny Lizard Smartie, selling for $1300.
Mr Dawson said Fletcher was also very excited to be awarded the Trophy Steer of the Year Award for Smartie, which was judged out of all the trophy steers in the sale.
“Don Collins and Vicky Horsburgh were the volume buyers of the sale, taking a great range of longhorns back to their place in Queensland,” Mr Dawson said.
The TLA AGM was also held over the weekend, with Mr Dawson and John Bastardi from Deepwater presented with life membership on Saturday night.
Mr Bastardi has been the president since the establishment of Texas Longhorns Australia, while Mr Dawson has almost single-handedly run the TLA from the start.
Mr Dawson has always been on hand to help new and existing members and his efforts have not been lost on the members. He stood down from his positions this year and said he was pleased to see members put their hands up for positions.
Incoming president is Rodney Cooper from Kooroora Longhorns in Scone. Rodney has previously held the position of vice president, and is also the TLA show coordinator.
Gunnedah’s Blackjack Camera Club were a visible presence at both the show and sale, operating the barbecue and snapping plenty of photographs of the weekend’s action.
Mr Dawson said the annual show and sale was growing in popularity, with many looking forward to the 2018 event.
This article first appeared in the Namoi Valley Independent.