Gunnedah's St Mary's College comes out on top at Sydney Royal Cattle Show

St Mary’s College has excelled in the Sydney Royal Cattle Show bringing home three out of five ribbons in the trade cattle section.

The school claimed the champion ribbon for the live section of the trade steer class, reserve champion for trade carcase, and champion ribbon for the virtual taste test.

St Mary’s Tank, was named Champion Trade Steer, weighing 502kg, with fats of 12mm on the rump and 8mm on the ribs. Tank went on to produce a bronze medal-winning carcase for his desirable yield and quality traits.

The Murray Grey cross steer was bred by Val Stevenson of Curlewis and purchased at Gunnedah Saleyards in late November. 

St Mary’s agricultural teacher Lachlan James said it was the first time the school had won the live section. He accepted the champion ribbon with Year 12 primary industries student Zack Nurnane, Year 11 primary industries student Miles Lush, and Year 10 agriculture student Elliot Blackman.

The school saw continued success on Saturday, with Silverman, a Murray Grey cross steer, awarded the Reserve Champion Trade Carcase award and silver medal for carcase quality. 

Mr James said the combination of Silverman’s superior muscling, 90cm2 eye muscle area, perfect fat depth and excellent fat distribution were leading factors in achieving the award.

The school’s third Murray Grey cross steer received the Champion Virtual Taste Test Carcase award. 

“This is an award that calculates the carcase with the greatest eating quality based on measurements made on the carcase,” Mr James. 

“Greyboy's marbling, meat pH, meat colour and excellent rib fat depth all contributed to him winning the prestigious award.”

St Mary's college also exhibited a fourth entry that although unplaced live, provided the highest dressing and yielding carcase of the entire competition. An 101cm2 eye muscle area and 73.7 per cent estimated yield saw the heifer place seventh in the highly competitive class.

"This year, St Mary's College exhibited the highest quality team of trade steers ever seen at Sydney Royal,” Mr James said.

“Being awarded three of the five available broad ribbons was testament to this.”

The teacher said the school’s students and staff “clearly demonstrated their ability to select, prepare and present cattle of the highest standard to meet the required competition specifications”.

“The dedication and professionalism of the agriculture and primary industries students was paramount to achieving such outstanding results,” he said.

In 2016, the school won Champion Trade Carcase at the show with a Murray Grey cross steer. The carcase scored 91.3 points and was the only carcase to receive a gold medal in that class.  

Mr James said St Mary’s students would now focus on competing at Wingham Beef Week where their judging and livestock handling skills will again be put to the test.

champion or reserve. in that competition there are five ribbons that they give out champ live, res champ live, champ carcase, res champ res, virtual taste test.

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