Clifton teens take on veterans
A PAIR of Clifton teenagers has wowed judges at this year's Brisbane Ekka, taking on cattle veterans in the game at least 10 times longer.
Ryan Lewis, 18, with his own line of Soleo-Melance studs, first took out the 16-18 month class with his bull, G-Unit, but went on to score the reserve ribbon - essentially runner-up - when G-Unit competed against all classes.
In the Santa Gertrudis grandstand, his mother Bronwyn agonised as the judge in a navy blazer took his time judging the four bulls in front of him. G-Unit was beaten by Alastair Bassingthwaighte's Badger.
Ms Lewis, clearly disappointed for her son, managed an audible "bum", but Ryan took it in his stride - Mr Bassingthwaighte is a man said to have 50 years experience, compared to Ryan's five.
"I have looked up to him and he has really helped me along during the showing," Ryan said. "He's a great bloke too."
This was the first Ekka Ryan had competed in, an achievement in itself for a young man who started his stud line only in 2007.
He expected little, but was delivered plenty.
"I was happy to even be at the Ekka really, which is good," he said.
On the other side of the Ekka arena, Broxnun-J Schwerin, 13, from Clifton State High School, was enjoying second place in the 12 to 13-year junior paraders.
Young BJ has already been parading bulls for eight years - first walking a 600kg beast before his sixth birthday.
"It was hard because I was real small and they were all pretty big," he said.
Now he is happy to share some tips.
"You need to be confident in your leading, stand it up to the best of its ability and make it look the best it can," he said.
"It's good fun - I like working with cattle and seeing a heap of friends at the show."