A New England school cattle team is preparing the charity steers for auction at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for the second year in a row.
In 2022, the PLC Armidale cattle team prepared and led the steers, which included a 12-month-old steer that sold for $34,000, under the direction of long-time team managers Tim Light and Briony Looker.
This was the first time in the auction’s history that the steer had come from an area outside the Riverina, and the all-girl independent school has been invited back again for the 2023 show.
Since 1998 Schute Bell Badgery Lumby has held an annual charity steer auction at the Royal Easter Show to raise funds for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. This auction has grown to become a successful fundraiser for the charity. The proceeds of the steers go directly to providing funds for crucial research and projects for cardiac research and innovations.
This year’s steers are purebred Speckle steers, ‘Stormy’ and ‘Texas’, to coincide with the Speckle Park Feature breed. They were bred by Tim and Naomi Hobson from Panaroma Farms, in Narrabri.
Tim Light and Briony Looker have been the PLC Armidale cattle team managers for the past 9 years. Mr Light said they were honoured to be invited back to prepare the charity steers for Shute Bell Badgery Lumby in 2023.
“It’s a huge privilege, and I think it was down to the service we provided last year,” Mr Light said.
“The comments from Sydney were that they were the quietest steers they’d had, and the girls were very professional in the way they handled them.”
The pride of the team also contributed to the repeat invitation, his fellow team manager said.
“Not only in the fact they were selected to do it but the pride they had in their school and in working for us,” Ms Looker said.
“Overall, it was that pride and the service we provided for Shute Bell and the Victor Chang institute. We have a huge team of girls and are very productive, so people are starting to know our name and recognise us.”
This recognition resulted in another group contacting the team to prepare their charity steer to provide funds for KidFix – an outback adventure rally raising money to help sick and disadvantaged kids.
Alongside Stormy and Texas, ‘Billy’ a purebred Angus steer donated by PLC Armidale alumna Emma Hodgens and her husband Sandy, will be an additional charity steer for the PLC Armidale 2023 Sydney Royal Easter Show team to prepare and show.
Regular rally participants Sandy and his friend Charlie decided to do something a little extra this year and donate a steer to the PLC Armidale cattle team, and all proceeds from the auction will go to the KidFix cause.