Ravensdale Poll Herefords declared Champion of 2019 RASV Beef Week Heifer Challenge

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) annual Heifer Challenge has named Ravensdale Poll Herefords the Champion for 2019, following nine days of on-farm judging.

The RASV Heifer Challenge conducted during Stock & Land Beef Week saw 36 properties from Victoria and Southern NSW compete for the title of Heifer Challenge Champion.

The Holbrook property owned by Brian Burgess and managed by Simon Ward was selected from the 36 properties to be awarded the honour for the first time along with a $3,000 cash prize.

Excited about the win, Brian stated that "winning the RASV Heifer Challenge is a great honour and with the calibre of other stud operations of all breeds, it vindicates our philosophy to strive to be the very best. It really does focus me and the team at Ravensdale to strive even further to reach perfection in our cattle breeding program."

The judge of this year's competition Mr Dean Afford of Lyndoch South Australia, who travelled more than 5000km to judge all 36 herds, was honoured to be involved in the program. "It was very pleasantly gratifying to find the high standard of cattle presented, particularly under the extremely dry seasonal conditions prevailing in the northern and eastern areas of the competition."

Speaking on the condition of the heifers throughout the nine days, Dean was impressed with their temperament, quality and evenness. "These heifers generally displayed structural correctness, with good muscling according to breed type without being over muscled and losing femininity.

The participants put forward heifers that would be a credit to any breeder, with five breeds represented in the ten finalists.

I am a strong advocate of competitions that focus on the female portion of a herd, as this represents the 'engine room' of any beef production enterprise. RASV is to be congratulated on backing and running a very well organised Heifer Challenge.

The privilege of being able officiate as judge of this event is undoubtably a highlight of a long and interesting association with the beef industry."

RASV CEO, Paul Guerra congratulated all those involved in the RASV Heifer Challenge and Stock & Land Beef Week.

"As one of the many programs RASV conducts throughout the year to highlight quality production in agrifood and fibre, the Heifer Challenge recognises excellence in herd replacement females in seed stock operation throughout Victoria and into NSW.

All Heifer Challenge finalists will be invited to a function hosted by RASV during the 2019 Royal Melbourne Show to celebrate their terrific achievements and contribution to Victorian agriculture and RASV programs," said Mr Guerra.

The 2019 Reserve Champion, including a $1500 cash prize was awarded to Boonaroo Angus, Corndale, a previous dual winner of the RASV Heifer Challenge.

Run by Stud Beef Victoria, Stock & Land Beef Week provides more than 200 beef producers with a unique opportunity to market, showcase and select genetics for breeding operations.

For more information, visit rasv.com.au and follow RASV on Twitter @RAS_Vic.

2019 RASV HEIFER CHALLENGE RESULTS

Champion
570 Ravensdale Poll Herefords, Brian Burgess & Simon Ward, Holbrook, NSW

Reserve Champion
922 Boonaroo Angus, Corndale, VIC

Finalists
928 Eloora Shorthorns, Bulart, VIC
982 Weeran Angus, Weerangourt, VIC
859 Murdeduke Angus, Winchellsea, VIC
945 Melville Park Herefords, Vasey, VIC
975 Taronga Herefords, Paschendale, VIC
755 Mount Major Murray Grey, Dookie, VIC
690 Wormbete Simmentals, Illabo, NSW
578 Sugarloaf Creek Herefords, Towong, VIC

2019 Heifer Challenge Champion RASV Heifer Challenge judge, Dean Afford, with Brian Burgess and his winning heifers