29 September, 2022
Hoof and hook success for Kilcoy
KILCOY State High School (KSHS) had a thoroughly successful time at this year’s Gympie District Beef Liaison Group Wide Bay Interschool Hoof and Hook Competition.
One of the highlights was Year 10 student Chelsea Ferling winning the Herdsman award.
About 200 students from 17 schools were involved in the competition, with Kilcoy again the southernmost school while other schools were from as far north as Bundaberg and as far west as Monto.
Each year a couple of schools join together to plan and host the competition.
The KSHS contingent set off for the Nanango Showgrounds on the morning of Tuesday September 13 for three days of cattle showing and judging.
Agriculture teacher Ms Carter and agriculture assistant Mrs Martin accompanied the 12 KSHS students who took part: Mia Jensen and Kaylia Sippel of Year 12; Madeline Pratten, Holly Pratten and Hallee McKinnon of Year 11; Chelsea Ferling and Hayley Miles of Year 10; Charlotte Williams, Aimee Bleakley, Chanelle Ferling, Sam Rustman and Hayden Nissen of Year 9.
Mr Chris Andersen of Pacan Murray Grey Stud delivered the cattle to Nanango for KSHS.
“Preparations for this year’s show began in 2021 with the birth of our Limousin cross steer ‘Locky’ out of our school cow Top Deck,” Mrs Martin said.
“In 2022 we purchased a Murray Grey steer ‘Licorice’ from Mr and Mrs Andersen of Pacan Murray Grey Stud, and two steers from the Pratten family of Mt Kilcoy, a Simmental cross ‘Monte’ and a Braford cross steer ‘Stewie’.
“We were also donated a Hereford Brangus cross heifer ‘Paisley’ by the Ferling family at Creekview who got to go along for the ride to have her first show experience.
“The students have been working with and preparing the cattle since they arrived at the school.
“This involves feeding, halter training, clipping, grooming and washing.”
The show began on the Tuesday afternoon with the Experienced Junior Handler’s competition.
To cater for the full range of students, this competition was divided into novice, intermediate and experienced divisions.
In this competition, the students were judged on their ability to present the animal in the best possible manner for the judge. The students were also required to meet personal presentation/dress standards.
The KSHS students needed to be calm and confident while parading their animals and be able to stand their animal for presentation to the judge for inspection.
The students also needed to know the breed, age and weight of their animal, as part of their assessment of cattle knowledge.
All of the Kilcoy students participated in the handler’s competitions. Chelsea placed third in the Year 10 experienced class, while Mia and Hallee placed third and fifth respectively in the Year 11/12 Intermediate class.
Madeline placed first and Holly placed fourth in the novice classes, and Kaylia placed fifth in Year 11/12.
Aimee placed first in the Year 9 novice class.
“All students handled their cattle exceptionally well,” Mrs Martin said.
After the students competed, there was a handler’s class for teachers and Ag assistants, much to the delight of the students!
“There was a lot of heckling involved and maybe some sabotage, but a lot of fun was had by all and this may become a permanent feature,” Mrs Martin said.
Tuesday night featured a careers expo with representatives from the agriculture industry including Riverina Stockfeeds, Kilcoy Global Foods, Aussie Land and Livestock, Travis Iseppi, Nutrien and numerous others who gave up their time for the students.
“All representatives were impressed with the students’ questions regarding careers in the industry,” Mrs Martin said.
Wednesday was the day of the hoof component of the judging. This involved the students preparing (washing, blow drying and brushing) their animals and then leading them in the ring against other schools’ animals in the same weight division.
There were lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight classes with Monte at 361kg in the lightweight class led by Maddie, Licorice 369kg in the middleweight class led by Mia, and Locky at 465kg in the heavyweight class led by Hallee.
Monte placed third in the lightweight class, but neither of the other steers placed in their classes amongst stiff competition.
The overall winner of the hoof section was a Limousin Speckle Park cross heifer in the lightweight division, from Bundaberg Christian College.
On the Wednesday afternoon, the students led their cattle to the yards and they were trucked to Nolan’s Meats at Gympie for processing and hook judging, with the results of this being calculated over the next couple of weeks.
After the cattle departed, the students participated in a clipping competition. This was the first time this event was run.
Travis Iseppi gave the students a quick rundown on what was required, and then teams of four students were let loose with the clippers and grooming products on an animal.
“All students enjoyed this immensely and are looking forward to honing their clipping skills for next year’s competition,” Mrs Martin said.
Trivia and touch football were on offer on the Wednesday night, and this helped forge new friendships between students.
“A great night was enjoyed by all,” Mrs Martin said.
“Everyone was ready for bed after a busy couple of days!”
The final morning was time for junior judging where students were split into year and experience levels, and judged four pens of cattle in rotation.
The students spoke to the judge on the last pen and were then scored on what order they placed the cattle along with their knowledge and presentation.
Charlotte came first in the Year 9 novice judging, Chelsea came third in Year 10 experienced, Holly came first in Year 11/12 novice, while Mia was third and Hallee fifth.
At the presentation, Herdsman awards were given to students who displayed great leadership skills, work ethic, integrity and the willingness to lend a helping hand when needed.
Among the 200 or so competitors, Chelsea was awarded first place.
“All of the Kilcoy State High School students displayed exemplary behaviour and commitment to the preparation and showing of their animals,” Mrs Martin said.
Next year’s competition will be held at the Kilcoy Showgrounds for the first time.
The dates will be September 12, 13 and 14.