Dalyston’s Alexie Carmichael received two first place ribbons and was named age group champion with Sue Boland’s Red Angus heifer, Claremont Red Miss Moneybags.

By Emily Pendlebury

TWO local girls recently returned from a trip to Geelong, where they outranked their fellow competitors in the Stud Beef Victoria 2019 Cattle Handlers Camp. Emily Pendlebury, 15, of Wonthaggi met Alexie Carmichael, 11, of Dalyston while on the camp. Emily submitted a story to the Sentinel-Times on their achievements.

I HAVE an extreme obsession with show cattle.
I have my own stud, Rouge Red Angus and have heavily been active in the agricultural industry from a very young age.
Recently, I participated in my first youth camp of 2019. The Stud Beef Handlers camp was held at the Geelong Showgrounds from Thursday, January 17 until Sunday, January 20.
This camp was all about going back to basics – meaning that all participants learnt a lot about stock care in commercial and stud operations.
On Thursday, we had sign-ins as well as getting to know our groups and team leaders. I was a part of team ISECO and was lucky enough to be group leader alongside my instructor Jen Isedale.
My team was made up of four juniors (under the age of 12), two intermediates (aged between 12 and 15), and three sub-intermediates including myself (aged 15-17).
The team activities were full of fun as it meant that we had to get to know each other super quick and find out what we were all good at to finish the challenges to the best of our abilities.
By the end of the first two team activities on Thursday night, my team had bonded and we were like old friends.
Friday was warm, muggy, wet and full of learning and lectures from some of the best in the industry.
These lectures consisted of learning how to wash and dry your animal for the show ring, tattooing and tagging animals for stud registry and for the National Livestock Identification System, back-lining and drenching stock to keep them healthy, leading practise and ringcraft, nutritional classes on how to feed an animal for a show and basic grooming of your cow.
The afternoon was focused on us older participants with a more advanced lecture.
Annie Boon from Limitless Show Cattle and Show Supplies, and Jess Parker from Lochclyde Pastoral Company, ran a Sullivan Supply talk about all of their products as well as demonstrating these products with a clipping/fitting demonstration.
After this, we moved onto a structural talk with a representative from Mereduke Angus. This structural talk was a bit of guidance and preparation for the junior judging competition.
At 5pm, all participants rallied for the junior judging competition where almost 70 competitors judged four head of Angus cattle from Kelly Angus, Limitless Show Cattle and Cobb Country Angus.
The top 12 were then selected to voice their comments and opinions either to the crowd or to the overjudge, Andrew Kelly from Rosewood Red Angus.
The finalists consisted of about three from each age group. I was sashed first place alongside two other girls who took out second and third place.
Saturday was game day and included two rounds of handlers’ competitions and the Stud Beef Challenge.
The first round of handlers commenced under the judge of Scott McKay. I placed third in my handlers’ heat with Jess Parker’s Shorthorn heifer, Lochclyde Joanne LSSN6.
Then my team blitzed the Stud Beef Challenge, working together to prepare a heifer so she was fit and ready for the show ring.
We had the pleasure of fitting the gorgeous Lochclyde Toffee (Murray Grey x Shorthorn). Team ISECO didn’t place in this competition but I am very proud on how my group of novices bloomed and created a very well-fitted masterpiece.
Then it was time for round two of handlers under judge Erin Grylls. Joanne and I clicked this round taking out first place.
We then went back out in the ring for our age group final where we came out on top again. Congratulations to Trinity McInnes on your reserve.
It wasn’t until that moment when it hit me, I was going out with one of the best handlers’ heifers to compete in the overall Stud Beef handlers’ champion.
With the biggest grin on my face and a massive fist pump, I got the nod and was awarded supreme champion parader of the 2019 Stud Beef Victoria Handlers Camp with Lochclyde Joanne LSSN6.
The feeling is almost indescribable. It’s a mix of being on cloud nine and pinching yourself because you simply cannot believe it!
The friendships and contacts you make out of youth camps like this are endless. One of the young girls I met was Alexie Carmichael.
She competed over the three days with Sue Boland’s Red Angus heifer, Claremont Red Miss Moneybags.
Alexie had great success out in the show ring in the handlers’ classes walking away with two first place ribbons and age group champion. Congratulations Alexie and I am definitely looking forward to working with you in the near future!