WINNING PATH: Sisters Carmen Sowden, 13, and Lannah Sowden, 11, came home from Beef Week with three first places, one second and reserve senior female for Oakwood Fiddlez (pictured) with her calf-at-foot Five Star All About Me.
WINNING PATH: Sisters Carmen Sowden, 13, and Lannah Sowden, 11, came home from Beef Week with three first places, one second and reserve senior female for Oakwood Fiddlez (pictured) with her calf-at-foot Five Star All About Me. Contributed

Carmen brings love of cattle to the Ekka

A LOVE of beef cattle took Carmen Sowden to the Ekka this week, where she brought home champion of the day in the young paraders competition.

More than 500 students across Queensland and Northern New South Wales have competed in the young paraders and led steers events.

Contestants are judged on how well they lead an animal, their leading style and the control they have.

Thirteen-year-old Carmen has been involved in the event for the last three years - a love that was passed down from her father.

"It's difficult and takes a lot of practice," she said.

"You need to get your animals ready and get to know them - it also depends a lot on what their temperaments are like."

Carmen said it had taken her a couple of years to perfect her leading style.

"It's pretty exciting and a lot of fun but I've put a lot of work into it this year and it has paid off," she said.

"I love the cattle and to be able to be lead with some of the best breeders, exhibitors and handlers in Australia - it's a lot of fun."

The St Mary's Catholic College student said her passion for cattle is now her lifelong dream.

"I would love to show cattle and beef and do something with genetics and reproduction in cattle," she said.

"There's a lot of hard work that goes into making a career, it's not the type you can make a lot of money out of, but it does pay off."

Carmen would like to head to America to gain more experience in the industry.

"It's huge over there and I want to just get different ideas and bring that knowledge back to Australia."

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