EDMONTON — The final winner may come down to one person’s opinion, but at a show like Farmfair, many of the cattle in the show ring have already been champions elsewhere.
Some of the owners have captured the supreme banners at big name shows like Farmfair and Canadian Western Agribition. It can make for intense competition.
Nevertheless, there is an art and science in creating superior cattle that can generate interest in a breeder’s program, said Rob Smith, chief executive officer of the Canadian Angus Association.
“A lot of things have to line up to create a champion,” he said.
An Alberta Supreme Stakes was created this year to reward high performers from Lloydminster Stockade Roundup, Olds Fall Classic and Farmfair.
Cash prizes were provided for owners who were awarded points for their show standings at the grand and reserve levels.
For the Noble family of Lloyd-minster, Sask., 2017 has been their year. They won grand champion Simmental bull and female at Farmfair and at Lloydminster.
“It is not too often you get the opportunity to win the kind of prizes that they have here,” said Randy Noble at Farmfair. He and his wife Vanessa, along with their two sons, Ryley and Toby, also have some full-blood Simmentals at Black Gold Simmentals.
The grand champion bull is owned with Bohrson Marketing. Named Captain Scream, this two-year-old was the result of a flush Randy bought on a cow. He ended up with three live cattle and all have performed beyond expectations.
At the supreme show, they made it to the top five standings.
While everyone likes the recognition, many tend to be modest in such an atmosphere.
Veronica McLean is part of the Shorthorn team at Lilac Acres at Innisfail, Alta. They had the grand champion female at Olds and grand champion bull at Farmfair in 2016 and won the best female this year in Edmonton.
“You are going against other breeders and other types of cattle. It depends on what the judge takes into consideration,” said McLean.
Another outstanding individual that has stood in the national spotlight is a bull from Royal Canadian Gelbvieh owned by Rodney and Tanya Hollman of Innisfail. Named Right Combination, the bull was national champion Gelbvieh at last year’s Canadian Western Agri-bition and National Western Stock Show in Denver and this year at Farmfair. A son of this bull was named national bull champion.
While the bull received high praise in the barns and stood in the top five finals, Tanya Hollman said representing the breed is the higher honour.
“We have heard some good things about him in the barn,” she said before the show.
“It is more important we have something that represents our breed to the best of our ability.”
Lance Leachman of Big Gully Cattle at Maidstone, Sask., had grand champion Hereford bull at Farmfair with Big Gully 102 Hurley.