REGINA — Winning a prestigious award like the supreme beef championship at Canadian Western Agribition can be a life changing experience.
For Sean Enright of Renfrew, Ont., getting the nod at the grand finale event Nov. 26 was completely unexpected. He has been showing his Angus bull EF Titan 545 all summer and won most of the events, including grand champion at the Agribition Angus open show.
“I didn’t expect it. When we won the champion Angus bull here, that was all I wanted to do, so this has all been icing on the cake for us,” he said.
The young sire by SAV Harvestor 0338 has had a successful show career and won the supreme championship at Expo Boeuf in Victoriaville, Que., Thanksgiving weekend.
“We said if he had won we would come west.”
The Enright family tries to enter Agribition every other year. The trip from their Ontario farm can take two days, so it requires a big commitment and confidence to come that far to compete against cattle that have already been champions elsewhere.
“It means a lot to come all the way from Ontario and do this,” he said.
The bull is owned in partnership with Cavanhill Farms of Kinburn, Ont., and will be retiring from the show circuit and returning home next March to breed cows.
The family is a third generation farm and has been in the Angus business for 15 years. They have 80 purebred cows and 450 Angus influence commercial cows.
The grand champion female went to show veterans Lee and Dawn Wilson of Bashaw, Alta.
Their female with a bull calf at side was also grand champion at the Olds Fall Classic and Agribition, which was held Nov. 21-26.
It is owned in partnership with Bill and Gerry Kokkelink of Hurst Mount Farms in Sydney, B.C.
The cow was named DMM Blackbird 105A, and the calf was by SAV International 2020. The bull calf was reserve supreme in the President’s Classic held earlier at the show.
It takes determination and hard work to stay on top the way Miller-Wilson Angus has over the years. They have also cultivated a degree of modesty.
“We were last in every class the first time we showed at Agribition,” Dawn Wilson said.
“I looked down that line, and I knew our cattle weren’t good enough. I thought we needed to do better.”
This is the third time they have won the supreme award, and every nod of recognition is treasured.
There is also some sentimentality for the couple, who have judged cattle all over the world. The building where the supreme challenge is held will be demolished after Agribition, and the event will move to a new centre next year
They also became grandparents this year, but there are no plans to slow down.
“We are hoping the little guys like it, too,” she said.
This year’s show featured 40 bulls and 31 females, many with calf at side. Entries came from across Canada, and many were multiple winners.