See the bull crowned as the real Mr Beef
CALL him the real Mr Beef.
Prize cattle breeder Craig Gapes knows how to go about producing a world-class beast, and his prize bull Triple M Knockout is one of the finest.
The massive 968kg red angus bull claimed the Supreme Exhibit award at Casino Beef Week on Saturday – the honour given to the best animal of the entire show.
Mr Gapes’ wife Renae described Knockout as the “Brad Pitt of the bovine world”.
“He is a glamour puss,” she said.
“He’s got superior genetics, his dad was imported from Canada and his mum is one of our best cows.”
The stud paid about $40 a straw for semen sourced from the prize bull in Canada that produced Knockout. Now, after the untimely death of Knockout’s father, Knockout’s semen is worth in excess of $400 a straw.
“He’s been a very successful bull, he’s always in the top one or two of his class. He was second in his class at Sydney Royal back in March,” Mr Gapes said.
“We put a lot of time and effort, there’s a lot of genetics and a lot of money tied up in those cattle, (Knockout) is probably worth in excess of $20,000.
It’s not the first time the animals from the Gapes’ Triple M Red Angus Stud at Rukenvale, north of Kyogle, have secured the top gong from the Beef Week judges. The stud has dominated the competition for the past nine years, winning four or five times.
“The Red Angus is on a roll at the moment,” Mr Gapes said.
“They’re really starting to take off in the north and as the season improves and the cattle price improves we’re starting to get a bit more for our bulls, so it’s sort of a win-win situation.”
The cattle were the stars on Saturday but there were plenty of other drawcards to keep young and old entertained.
The woodchop competition attracted champion axemen from up and down the North Coast and New England.
Uralla’s Gary Dunn was among the finalist, attributing his success to picking “the right axe for the job” and with a $4000 box of axes he had plenty of choice.
“I’ve been doing it for about 20 years,” the 64-year-old said. “But a lot of these guys have been doing it their whole life, some are over 70 and still chopping.”
Beef Week Queen entrant Alice Magner said Beef Week Saturday was all about the town coming alive in a show of community spirit, especially for the big afternoon street parade.
“I love the fact it really celebrates the beef industry, and farmers, who are also doing it tough, can come along and be proud of what they’ve achieved,” she said.