Studs prepare to debut next generation at futurity
JUST like a debutante ball, next month's Droughtmaster Futurity will be a big deal for the young cattle stepping out for the first time.
In Laidley, 3 Sisters Droughtmaster Stud is busy preparing its new generation for the event.
Mother-daughter duo Geraldine and Zoe Bayliss own and operate the stud and said they never missed the futurity.
"Futurity is our kick-off for the show season to start each year," Zoe said.
The event was an important opportunity to see the genetics of the future, Zoe added.
We all kind of see what's coming for the rest of the year.
You look at another stud and go 'they've got a nice heifer calf coming through'.
The Laidley stud was formed in 2011 as a commercial operation before making the change to stud status.
Geraldine said the futurity was an opportunity to prepare the stud's new cattle for future shows.
"Breaking them in at a young age just sets them up," she said.
With younger cattle having little or no experience in the ring, preparation was key to getting the best out of the rookie calves.
Geraldine said it took a lot of "patience and slow work" to get the young ones ready.
The stud began preparing the calves in late November.
Zoe said they started off gently, simply putting halters on the young cattle and spending time with the livestock to get them accustomed to people.
She said the show was the cattle's first big test.
"Futurity is made for the young ones to come out and have their first show," she said.
It gives them their first outing to see what happens and then we can go from there.
This year's futurity will be a different experience for the stud.
The operation moved from its original property and with Geraldine and Zoe no longer on-site 24/7, the calves haven't had the same constant contact with people as the previous generations of cattle did.
Despite this, Zoe was still confident and said no one expected the cattle to be perfect first time around.
"It's a learning curve for everyone that goes there," she said.
Quality of cattle is excellent
FUTURITY is a big deal, according to Val Evans.
Not just for the cattle being shown but for those showing them.
The Droughtmaster Futurity organiser is busy making final preparations for the 34th annual event held at the Gatton Showgrounds next month.
With about 140 head of cattle attending, Mrs Evans is getting excited for the important event.
As the first showing for the droughtmaster breed for the year, she said it was an important opportunity to see what other breeders were doing in the coming months.
"A lot of people like to come along, even in our local area, to see the quality and the animals that are coming up and will be for sale later on," Mrs Evans said.
Despite the long-running drought, she expects the quality of the cattle on display to be "excellent" yet again.
This year organisers are considering splitting classes, which would often have up to 20 cattle in them, to make judging easier and fairer.
Mrs Evans said one of the great advantages of the futurity was it gave handlers, judges and spectators a little extra time to slow down and really look at all the cattle being shown.
You don't have to rush the day though either, you haven't got another breed following you like at the shows.
It was also a good opportunity for young handlers to make a name for themselves.
This year's futurity will be held on Saturday, March 2, at the Gatton Showgrounds.
Judging begins at 8.30am.