Ekka win sends Delaforce to national cattle judging finals
JOHN Delaforce has finished the show season with an impressive year in the ring.
He has claimed two major accolades, one of which has projected him to the national finals in Perth next year.
The 18-year-old Toogoolawah cattle breeder took out the state stud bull young judges' competition as well as the stud beef paraders title at the Ekka in August.
Earlier in May, John also won the over 18 section in prime cattle judging at Beef Week 2018.
John said the experience boosted his confidence in the ring and was a progression towards becoming a stud beef judge.
"By going in the paraders and young judges, you get more experience and make yourself a better judge, and it also improves your communication skills.”
John began judging in the young judges' competitions about six years ago, attending any agricultural shows he could.
This year, his victory at the Esk show awarded him a place in the West Moreton and Brisbane Valley sub chamber final at Lowood, which he won to progress to the Ekka.
With more than half a year until the national final, John will continue to attend agricultural shows, when the season kicks off again.
"You've got to stay in the scheme of things and keep going to shows and keep your mind in the game,” he said.
"It's basically a sport, you've got to keep yourself refreshed and chase that marking target that everyone else is trying to look for.”
Besides judging cattle, John is studying a diploma of agribusiness at the University of Queensland, as well as looking after his own stud Delta Brae.
Alongside his parents, the Delaforce family runs about 50 santa gertrudis stud cattle at their Toogoolawah property.
John said the judging experience assisted with selecting his own show team, but he often relied on his own judgements as each show judge was different.
"I'm only selecting certain attributes I would put over my cows,” he said.
Due to smaller stud numbers, John said continuing the santa gertrudis genetics successfully was an important attribute for his stud.
"We try and keep our structure on point, they've got to be able to get out there in the paddock and not break down,” he said.
"And also keeping the breed characteristics, the dark cherry colour, well structured animals with no black pigment.”