It’s been a while since Shadybrook Shorthorns appeared in the barns at Canadian Western Agribition.
The operation at West Brome, Que., sent one calf out with another exhibitor in 2011, but farm manager Lloyd Wright said it’s been 14 years since the operation made the more than 40-hour trip from southeast of Montreal near the U.S. border with its own cattle.
Enticed at least partly by the new facilities this year, Wright said it was time to measure the farm’s purebreds against western competition.
“This year we’d actually been at the show in Louisville, Kentucky,” he said.
“There wasn’t enough time to go back home. Our cattle have been on the road now for a good three weeks or a little more.”
The Shadybrook crew arrived in Regina several days before Agri-bition began, giving their five head time to rest and recoup before the event.
All that time on the road didn’t hurt them in the Canadian National Shorthorn show ring as they took reserve grand champion female with Shadybrook Perfect Spice 2E, along with reserve junior and senior females.
The farm also showed its Royal Winter Fair grand champion female, Shadybrook Dream Lady 19D, in the RBC Beef Supreme Challenge.
Shadybrook runs about 120 cows and holds a production sale at the farm every second year.
“We’ll be wintering approximately 200 head with replacement heifers we’re holding back and some bulls that we’ve raised to sell,” Wright said.
Wright, his crew and cattle weren’t the only ones to travel a long way to Agribition.
Seymour Hurry from Winsloe, P.E.I., has attended the show off and on over the years.
His family has long been involved in the livestock business; he attended his first Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in 1952 with his father’s dual purpose Shorthorns, and his granddaughter has now shown there, too.
“We used to go to all the shows — Toronto, Halifax, Moncton — and we had our own island shows,” he said during the Shorthorn sale.
However, a serious illness a year ago forced him to downsize his herd of 150 females, and now he is rebuilding.
He has only about six cows and returned to Agribition to find some new genetics for his operation.
He bought a bred heifer from Bell M Farms of Englefeld, Sask., for $5,900.
“I’ve bought from these people, the Moellenbecks, in previous years, quite a few animals,” Hurry said.
He said there are only about six breeders on Prince Edward Island because most farmers are growing potatoes or in the dairy business.
“We do have sales in the fall, and there are some new breeders, especially in Nova Scotia,” Hurry said.
However, coming to Agribition is a highlight because it lets him see both the number of animals and the quality.
“We don’t get prices like they get out here,” he said.
The high-selling Shorthorn was a polled bull calf, Creekside Retro 8E, consigned by Creekside Shorthorns of Holden, Alta., which sold for $7,500 to Fox Willow Shorthorns of Hamiota, Man.
Hurry’s purchase stood as the top selling female.