In a fitting tribute to the 50th anniversary of its origins, a Droughtmaster stud bull from the Atherton Tableland claimed top billing at the Cairns Show last week.
Kel-lee Jules, a 35-month-old bull from Kel-lee Droughtmasters, Upper Barron, owned by the Williams and Cockrem families, made his first appearance in the winner's circle as the senior champion Droughtmaster bull.
He went on to be named grand champion Droughtmaster bull and supreme Droughtmaster exhibit, the top awards of a special Droughtmaster feature show.
The event was put together to celebrate the golden jubilee of the breed, the result of a cross between Bos Indicus and Bos Taurus by a group of pioneering North Queensland cattlemen in the 1900s.
Tully High Luna from Tully High School's Droughtmaster stud was named supreme Droughtmaster female.
After a four-way tussle, Kel-lee Jules went on to be named the supreme beef exhibit of the show.
Stud beef judge David Greenup, Rosevale Santa Gertrudis, Jandowae, said Kel-lee Jules met all of the reproductive and carcase qualities needed to produce the next generation of females and males.
Mr Greenup sang the praises of Far North Queensland stud breeders, declaring their cattle could match it with studs from all over the country.
It was a view shared by Neil Donaldson, chief executive officer of Droughtmaster Australia, who made the journey north for the celebration.
"This showing is a great example of the breed," said Mr Donaldson, following the conclusion of the feature show.
"Stud breeders have done a great job in selecting the cattle, and the quality we have seen here is comparable with many of the bigger studs in other parts of Australia."
Mr Donaldson said 2012 was shaping as a milestone year for the Droughtmaster, with the breed winning grand champion commercial breed and grand champion interbreed in the stud cattle section of Beef Week 2012.
"I don't think that's ever been done before."
Kellie Williams, Kel-lee Droughtmasters, who organised the feature event, said seven studs provided 35 exhibits for the Droughtmaster show.
It was the first time Kel-lee Droughtmasters has taken out the top bull award in the 16 years of exhibiting at the Cairns Show.
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