by Shane Foley
In 1998 together with my two sons Dallas and Nathan entered 2 cattle in the Sheffield School Show Hoof and Hook Competition.  The competition requires the cattle to be led by a junior handler under the age of 25 years.  Cattle are judged on the hoof, they are then slaughtered and judged on the hook (carcase).  The points are then added together.  The 2 cattle we entered were a Murray Grey/Hereford cross steer and a Murray Grey cross heifer.  The competition is held in the first week of November.  Due to the cool Tasmanian winter and spring the cattle still carry some of their winter coat, which makes presentation difficult for the hoof judging.

woodlands.5Our 2 entries achieved good results for the fat cover and fat colour, meat colour was good but didn't score very high for muscling.  In 1999 we decided to buy in some cattle with more muscle specifically for the competition.  We purchased a Charolais/Angus cross, a Piedmontese/Angus cross, a Belgium Blue/Angus cross, and a Gelbvieh/Angus cross.  A total of 96 cattle were entered.  Our Belgium Blue/Angus was placed Reserve Heavyweight Carcase.  In 2000 we purchased 3 Belgium Blue cross cattle and one that was completely new to me.  It was a Bazadaise cross steer, bred from a Bazadaise/Angus cow by a Bazadaise/Angus bull.  A total of 69 cattle were entered, our 3 Belgium Blue cross were unsuccessful but the Bazadaise cross won the heavy weight carcase and was awarded reserve grand champion carcase.  I said to the boys "This new Bazadaise breed could be the way to go".

woodlands.7In 2001 there were 57 cattle entered including some from interstate.  We entered 3 Bazadaise/Angus cross steers, a Murray Grey steer and a Lowline/Angus steer.  The Lowline cross steer won the lightweight carcase, the Murray Grey won the middle weight carcase and the Bazadaise cross were placed first, third and fourth heavy weight carcase and grand champion carcase.  The 3 Bazadaise also won breed team section, which is a team of three sired by the same breed of bull.  Points accumulated by each animal in the hoof section are added with points accumulated in the hook section.  For the breed team event rep's from each breed society choose what they think are the best 3 cattle entered to represent that particular breed.  We had the only 3 Bazadaise entered so naturally they made the team of 3.

woodlands.4In 2002 we entered 4 Bazadaise/Angus cross steers one of which was placed Reserve Grand Champion on the hook.  This was a pleasing result but our main focus was to present a winning carcase.  All 4 steers were in the heavy weight carcase section, resulting in first, second, third and fifth placings, also Grand Champion carcase and Reserve Grand Champion carcase.  We also won the breed team event.  I believe these exceptional results speak highly of the breed when fourteen month old steers have a dress out percentage in excess of sixty per cent, have 100mm fat cover over the rib and 12mm fat cover at the p8 site, and eye muscle area of 99 sq.cm.

woodlands.1In 2003 we entered 2 Belgium Blue/Angus and 1 Bazadaise/Angus cross.  The Bazadaise cross again proved to be superior by winning the heavy weight carcase and awarded Grand Champion carcase.  Reserve Grand Champion was awarded to one of our Belgium Blue cross steers.

In 2004 we entered a Bazadaise/Angus cross, a Charolais/Angus and a Belgium Blue/Murray Grey cross.  The Bazadaise cross won the middle weight carcase and was awarded Grand Champion carcase.  I was so impressed how the Bazadaise cattle handled the tough Tasmanian environment, the small birth weight of calves, and the high yielding carcase traits.  I decided in 2006 to purchase some Bazadaise heifers and establish a stud breeding program.


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