By ERWIN CHLANDA
The show started with a chilly minus one degree but warmed up to a brilliant 18 as thousands of people streamed through the gates for Day One of the annual event.
While on one end of the grounds the sideshow alley drew a young crowd, at the other cattle judging was in full swing for much of the day, culminating with the selection of the Grand Champion bull.
It’s always been a battle between the Brahmans and the Herefords, said judge Shane Bishop, from Kadanga, Queensland, pictured with Hettie Day, leading this year’s winner.
His owner, Lachy Day, from Bordertown, SA, says the 26 months old PollHereford weighs about 900 kilos.
And this is how Day’s Extractor got to the top of the class, in Mr Bishop’s words: “This one’s got a lot of thickness, lot of springer rib, tremendous muscle on his top and down to his hind quarters.
“I really like him from the hip down to the flank. When you see bullocks like that on the hook, you know they’ve got plenty of red meat in them.
“He’s never going to be a huge bull, I call him a moderate frame bull, with good length and carcass – there will be plenty of weight in this fellow.
“I like him from behind to the hip and pin region. Good testicle size, very good in the scrotum.
“Powerful head, a little bit wide between the front shoulders and the brisket area, but still really good in the shoulder and front legs.
“Average in the pigment around the eye, might be there should be a little bit more pigment around the eye, but a strong headed bull.
“Today he is my grand champion Alice Springs show bull.”
Tomorrow the star will be among 47 bulls for sale, starting at 11am. The top price last year was $5500, for a Droughtmaster.
Around 50 head of cattle were judged in dozens of categories, and led into the ring by station people including 23 children. The got ribbons for their skills as handlers and the presentation of their cattle – including in fancy dress (below).
After a great sale, cattle steal the Show
By ERWIN CHLANDA