Making the most out of the show circuit
WHEN a stud owner wants to improve their public profile and draw in more clients, they look to the show ring.
Entering into the show circuit gives a chance to display the best qualities of their breeding program.
But training and conditioning a beast to perform in front of a crowd takes time and specified knowledge.
This is where a bloke like Les Lee from Leegra Fitting Service steps in.
"They approach us to show them, I go over to their place and pick them out as weaners and they come to our home, we break them in and show them,” Mr Lee said.
Mr Lee and his wife Leanne have been breaking in show cattle for almost 30 years.
When a breeder calls Mr Lee he'll select out the best beast in the herd, looking for body length, bone and muscle shape and temperament.
"You're breaking them in, tying them up and getting them quiet handling them, giving them good feed,” Mr Lee said.
"You're filling them up and making them grow, they need condition to show.”
It's an involved process and many a graizer would be hard up to find the time, with commitments both on farm and off.
"It's probably just as easy to get someone else in to do it,” Mr Lee said.
"Most of them we show on their behalf.
"We travel all over, we'd do 20-25 shows a year.
"We go to the New South Wales border, up to Rocky and out to Emerald and all your local shows in between.”
Mr Lee will go as far as leading the beast in the ring but should it win all the accolades and prize money go back to the owner.
"Most of the bulls that they show go on to be sold,” Mr Lee said.
About a fortnight ago in the Droughtmaster Feature at the Gympie Show the Lees picked up the Grand Champion Bull and Grand Champion Female.
Mr Lee was at Coolabunia Saleyard on Tuesday selling a single Limousin steer, which sold for 352c/kg.
"We've got about 30 breeder but it's just a commercial operation for ourselves,” he said.
"We have a lot of cross breeds but I put a limo bull over them.”
In general he reckons the Euro breeds have an advantage when showing.
"In the lead steer game you need a Euro base.”
They have good shape, good length and when crossed with the English breeds they muscle up well.