Animal judging event fun, open to all ages

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A Southern Districts Royal Agricultural Society selection and judging day is being held Saturday, 17 March, 2018.

Gore A&P Show president and RAS district councillor and treasurer Rob Hall is organising the free annual event on Saturday, which is open to all ages.

It would be a day to have fun and learn about judging animals, Mr Hall said.

Those attending would receive 10 minutes’ teaching time, to learn about what to look for when judging, followed by a 10-minute judging session.

“The best way to learn is by doing,” Mr Hall said.

The judging sections covered would be beef cattle, dairy cattle, equestrian, sheep meat and wool and poultry.

There was also a baking competition open to anyone to find the best scones and the baked loaf or cake, he said.

A photography competition was another way to get involved, the two categories being animals and farm scenes.

It did not matter if participants had never judged animals before, and anyone could come along and have a go.

“People say ‘oh no I’m not into judging, I’m not into showing’ but it’s about basic stock selection,” Mr Hall said.

The features judges should be looking for were balance, capacity, structural soundness, mobility and muscling, those being the attributes that added up to a good animal.

Mr Hall said that he once told someone who had never judged before to think about what she liked about her boyfriend.

She mentioned his eyes, good posture and backside.

“It is not that different when you are judging stock. You look for the basic physical traits such as eyes, as this can show an animal’s temperament or if they’re a ‘go-getter’,” he said.

His advice was taken on board and she ended up winning her section that year.

“You’d be surprised what you actually do know when you learn the basics,” he said.

The event was also being used to select junior judges to go to the RAS national event in Hawkes Bay.

There were age limitations and judging criteria for those who made it through to the national event, so winning a section did not necessarily guarantee someone a spot, Mr Hall said.

Brooke Flett, of Otautau, was the southern districts representative at the RAS Nationals last year.

She won the dairy section at the event, and would travel to Adelaide later this year to compete.

Several experienced breeders and judges would be attending the event, including Bede Chamberlain, of Gore, who would judge fleeces, and Ross Brown, of Gore, who would judge poultry.

“Some of the judges coming started when they were kids by breeding ducks or hens,” Mr Hall said.

While the Southern Districts Royal Agricultural Society selection and judging day was usually held at the Gore A&P Showgrounds, this year it would be at his family family property at 467 Turnbull Rd, Waikaka, so cattle did not have to be shifted around, Mr Hall said.

Registration is at 9.30am and the event starts at 10.30am.