Royal Show Success!!!!

This year 5 steers and 6 merino wethers were entered by Meningie Area School in the Royal Adelaide Show. The steers, Moyle Park Jerky, Mentara Park Jethro, Wellington Lodge Jiminy, Lancaster Jupiter and Raven Jedi, were entered in the School’s class of the Led Steer Competition, while the wethers were entered as 2 teams of 3 in the Schools Merino Wether Competition. 
Preparation began in February when the Year 11 and 12 students went to David and Gwenda Eckert’s farm to select the 10 wethers that we would feed and monitor before selecting our final teams. These were then shorn, inspected and tagged as being eligible to enter. 
In April our steers began to arrive and students who wished to participate started spending lunchtimes up at the Ag Block feeding and preparing them for the show. 
This year we took 17 students, with only 3 having been part of the successful team last year that won the Most Professional Show Team trophy for the Led Steer Competition. The students from Year 9 were; Jiye Hoad, Daniel Bland, Aimee Brooks, Colin Baldock, Georgina Tiver, Gena Mansfield, Lochie McPherson, Sharnee Gemmell, Bree Stone, Jai Ling  and Kobie Hood. Brittany Thompson, Lachlan Brown and Holly van den Brink from year 10 were joined by Brenda Baldock from Year 11 and the 2 Year 12’s were Jessie Bland and Haylee Jacobs.
After months of preparation, grooming, breaking in and washing, we were ready for the show. The steers went down to Adelaide last Monday night, while the wethers and all of our gear followed on the Tuesday. Hamish Jurgs and Mel Treloar helped with transport and stayed on to help over the next few days as well. Tuesday was spent setting up our stall, getting the wethers weighed and scanned and settling the animals into the routines of the show. We then made our way to Hamilton Secondary College where we slept in the gym that night along with students from Coomandook Area School.
An early start Wednesday had us at the show before 7am and we started by cleaning the stall and feeding the stock. The wether judging started at 8.30am, after which the sheep were shorn, which took most of the day. The steers were taken for weighing and scanning before being washed to remove all of the scanning oil and to get them ready for the judging ring. The rest of the day was spent either in selection for the Thomas Foods International trophy or in the Grand Parade. 
At 5pm the results of the wether competition were announced. The first category was for Growth Rate. The wethers were weighed when they were inspected and then those who had gained the most weight from then until the show were awarded ribbons. Our two teams came 3rd and 8th, out of over 40 teams, so quite admirable. The next category was skin value which we didn’t receive any ribbons for, but we did win the Meat Value Category and also came 8th in the Wool Value section as well. So overall a very successful year for us. We then spent a few hours enjoying the other attractions at the show before watching the fireworks and heading back to Hamilton. 
Thursday is the main judging day for the steers, so it was another early start to make sure that the stalls were clean and the animals fed and watered before giving the steers their final make-over before going into the ring. Brittany was the first to go into the ring with Raven Jedi. While Jedi did not get a place, Brittany was asked to come back for the Urrbrae Handlers’ Award at the end of the steer judging. She is the first Meningie student to make the final of this competition for many years. 
The next into the ring was Haylee with Jerky, then Daniel with Jiminy, and then Jessie and Lachlan Brown were both in the same class with Jethro and Jupiter respectively. Unfortunately none of our steers received any ribbons on hoof this year. After the announcements of the champions steers the Urrbrae Handlers final was held. Despite her good efforts Brittany didn’t get a ribbon here either. 
After winning the Most Professional Show Team award last year and only having only 3 show veterans this year we didn’t expect to win again this year. Our stall looked great again, and all of our students worked hard to keep it looking clean and tidy but we were very surprised to find out we had in fact taken out back to back awards. This is a real honour and is a measure of the efforts that everyone involved put in. 
On Saturday Ms. Low and I returned to the showgrounds to attend the presentations of the carcase prizes for the steers. Again we didn’t receive any ribbons but Mentara Park Jethro was the highest scoring Red Angus carcase, the second time in 3 years that we have won that award with an Eckert steer.
We need to thank the breeders of the steer; David and Gwenda Eckert, who also bred the wethers, Richard and Kaye Daley from Moyle Park Red Polls, the McFarlane family from Wellington Lodge Angus, the Cartledge family from Lancaster Black Simmentals and Jason and Penny Schulz from Raven Limousins.
We also need to thank our sponsors who helped with the costs of the team including our purple shirts and black vests that caused quite a stir around the cattle sheds. These were; Thomas Foods International, Swan Farm Machinery, Wanderibby Feedlot, Meningie Fodder, Coorong Ag Services, Meningie Veterinary Clinic, Lake Albert Caravan Park, Mappinga Park Dairy and Mentara Park Farm.
We also need to thank Mel Treloar, Hamish Jurgs, Bethany Jurgs and Katelyn Jones for helping around the shed and for getting us to and from the showgrounds. 
Well done to everyone and now the challenge is on to take out the hat trick next year.
As a foot note, the Grand Champion steer was won by Coomandook Area School and the Grand Champion Carcase was won by Tintinara Area School so along with us, the Coorong Mallee Partnership took out the 3 big prizes for the steer competition. 


1 North Tce MENINGIE 5264
Principal: Mr. Iain Love
Partnership: Coorong Mallee