Family rivalry for top title
IT WAS a case of de ja vu at the 2013 prime cattle competition at the Killarney Show. The mud, rain and the surname on the major winner's trophy were all reminiscent of last year.
But closer scrutiny revealed a friendly, and fierce, competition between local cattleman Pat McMahon and his youngest son, Ben, for the prestigious grand champion of the show title.
The 16-year-old teen had collected the major broad ribbon for the past two years, but this year the glory went to his parents.
Pat and Lorna McMahon won six of the 13 championship trophies on offer, including the coveted grand champion beast of the show title.
Their winning beast was a bazadaise angus cross yearling heifer, which weighed in at 410kg and had been finished on their Cullendore Rd property.
The couple also won the reserve champion beast of the show title with a charolais cross heifer tipping the scales at 534kg and placed first in the 521kg plus supplementary fed class.
For Mr McMahon it was a sweet victory and he couldn't resist a good natured jibe when asked if he'd had any help from his son when selecting his entries.
"Most of the time we can't agree on what we like about cattle, let alone agree on what to enter," he laughed.
"So no, I didn't get his input.
"We were honoured to win though, because the cattle entries as usual at Killarney represented some very good weight for age gains and good conformation beasts."
The show win reflects to some degree the success of the wholesale meat business Mr McMahon runs with his brother Damian.
The McMahon's' sell 100 head of prime Southern Downs-sourced beef into butcher shops from Warwick to Toowoomba and east to Brisbane and the Gold Coast each week.
"We finish many of our cattle at Freestone Feedlot," Mr McMahon said.
"Yet these are difficult times for the beef industry.
"Grain prices have been squeezing margins for finished cattle, but the equation is improving and I am hoping this will be a better season for the industry as a whole."
There were more than 50 head of entries in this year's prime cattle competition at the Killarney Show.
- Pat and Lorna McMahon won grand champion beast of the show, reserve grand champion beast of the show, as well as the yearling, trade beast and heavyweight class championship trophies.