Bringing visitors from across the country, Ekka is an opportunity for students to showcase their steer handling skills at the largest steer competition in Australia.
Thirteen out of sixty of the best students were selected to attend Ekka this year from Years 8 to 11. These students chose steer handling as a sport at school.
Since 2011, St Joseph’s has been competing at Brisbane, proving its place in the competition with continual success. In previous years, St Joseph’s has won the team herdsman competition five times as well as placing every other year.
The show team exhibited ten steers in both the hoof and hook component of the competition.
Students are chosen for their teamwork and ability to show initiative and self-management, demonstrate pride, manage and handle animals and prepare cattle for competition against some of the best competitors in Australia.
The show team competed in the led steer competition which encompassed a junior section that is open to schools and exhibitors under 18; and an open section, competing against professionals, with animals sourced from the local region of the Upper Hunter.
Outstanding achievements included:
St Joseph’s cattle won the following placings on the hoof in large class numbers from a total of 400 steers at the competition:
- 2nd lightweight junior steer with a steer from Neil Nelson
- 6th in the open lightweight steer class with a steer from the Sinderberry Family
- 8th in the open midweight steer class with a steer from Glencoe, Rouchel
- 6th with open heavyweight steer from Graham and Kim Clydsdale from Rouchel.
In the open section, St Joseph’s was 1 in 3 schools that placed a total of 30 schools competing - an excellent achievement against some of the best competitors in Australia.
Hook placings were also pleasing with the best placed steer gaining a second with 92/100 points in the light weight class. The students won:
Herdsman - Placed 2nd
This is one event where the whole team works together and is a reflection of everyone’s effort. It involves the quality of our display, cleanliness of the cattle and stall area, our ability to interact with the public, our behaviour and attitude. We impressed the herdsman judge this year, being praised for the quality of our display and actively working on feedback from previous years. The students worked on the theme of past, present and future in our static display, encompassing our Co-AG partnership with Muswellbrook Coal.
Credit and congratulations must go to a devoted group of students that went to Brisbane. Their effort and application at a show of that standard was commendable. Special mention must go to the leaders who took charge, set the expectations and were perfect role models.
Junior Judging - Placed 10th
St Joseph's placed tenth for junior judging with team members including Sophie I, Logan M, and Gaby N.
Sophie went through to the oral round of the competition, gaining second place from 140 competitors!
The benefits and skills that are developed, not only on show day but leading up to the shows are huge including, communication, teamwork, leadership, initiative, responsibility, trustworthy, independent, tolerant, patient, problem-solvers, supportive and welcoming. Students have an immense amount of pride in their work.
We are very fortunate to have excellent local cattle to work with that provide us with success, however the students are the benchmark for our success.
Congratulations to the whole team on a great effort!