Cattle competitors hooked
MONTO'S young cattlemen and women proved to be a cut above the rest at this year's Hoof and Hook Competition in Gympie.
Following a successful stint on the show circuit, 10 members of the Monto State High School Cattle Club returned to the annual event after a decade-long hiatus.
Anna Phillips (Year 9) and Emily Zumbansen (Year 8) did their town proud by taking first place in their age groups, proving Monto is still a force to be reckoned with in the beef industry.
The competition has been running for almost 30 years solely for students of schools in the Wide Bay region.
The event has grown to include 230 students and 67 head of steers from 18 schools to rival the premier school's competition at the Ekka in Brisbane.
This year, students competed in parader and young judges competitions across several classes of animals, from stud through to feedlot-entry cattle, which were assessed both on the hoof and the hook.
Monto State High School agriculture teacher Toby Worley said the competition was structured to accommodate students of all experience levels, making it an appealing event for newcomers.
"At other shows on the circuit, the students are split up in ages rather than experience level so it was great to see that less experienced students in their first year of showing had as much of a chance to take home a ribbon as those who have years of experience,” Mr Worley said.
"It allows us to compete against each other and not have to go up against other producers who have access to large amounts of feed and some of the best cattle.
"Our two school steers, which were simmental crosses, narrowly missed out on a ribbon in their respective classes on hoof but we were successful on the hook, picking up sixth place.
"Students also excelled in their individual classes of parading and judging, with Anna Phillips taking out the title of Reserve Champion Parader.”
The competition was a rewarding experience for all involved and students participated in workshop activities throughout the weekend, where they learned about animal health, grooming and halter making from industry experts.
They revelled in the opportunity to network with other young cattle enthusiasts.
Mr Worley said the fantastic results were a testament to the support of the Monto community.
"I would also like to thank the parents and the Monto community for all of the support,” he said.
"Without this tremendous support, we would not be able to travel around to compete in these events that give our students so many opportunities to achieve such great results.
"We are always seeking out new sponsors or supporters to help with the financial cost of running the cattle team and travelling to all our events throughout the year, so if you know of someone who may like to help out please contact us.”
The Hoof and Hook Competition is now firmly back on Monto Cattle Club's calendar.
They have committed to attending next year's event, which will be held closer to home - just down the Burnett Highway in Mundubbera.
Year 8: 1st Emily Zumbansen, 2nd Sophie McLaughlan, 4th Riley Thomsen.
Year 9: 1st Anna Phillips, also reserve champion.
Year 10: 5th Claire Goody.
Year 12: 5th Savannah Goody.
Tegan Thomsen and Kirralee Streeter made it into the final 10 out of 60 competitors.
Junior Judges: 3rd Sophie McLaughlan.
Encouragement awards: Riley Thomsen and Emily Zumbansen.