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7,000 kilometres, 50 properties and Tarcombe Herefords named Champion

After nine days of judging, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) Heifer Challenge Champion for 2017 has been named, with father and son team Robert and Tim Hayes of Tarcombe Herefords awarded the prestigious honour.

The first Hereford stud to take home the title, the Ruffy property comprising 250 registered cows was awarded a $3,000 cash prize at the celebratory dinner last night.

Experienced cattle judge Alex McDonald travelled more than 7,000km to judge studs on 50 properties across Victoria and into New South Wales from Friday 27 January - Saturday 4 February 2017.

Bringing with him a wealth of knowledge, Mr McDonald is currently employed by the Agricultural Business Research Institute, has previously worked with the Victorian Department of Agriculture and was General Manager of the Australian Limousin Breeders Society for 22 years.

Mr McDonald, speaking after the completion of judging, said he was impressed by the excellent line up of cattle this year.

“In a year with such high quality entries, to be the first Hereford stud to take home the title of Champion in the six years of the RASV Heifer Challenge is a testament to Tarcombe Herefords,” said Mr McDonald.

As one of the many programs RASV conducts throughout the year to highlight quality production in agrifood and fibre, the Heifer Challenge recognises excellence in herd replacement females in seed stock operation throughout Victoria and into NSW.

RASV CEO Mark O’Sullivan said the Heifer Challenge is an integral opportunity for beef producers to showcase, market and develop their breeding operation.

“Congratulations to Tarcombe Herefords on being named Champion for 2017 from a high calibre list of entered properties,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

“The RASV Heifer Challenge offers some of Australia’s best cattle studs the opportunity to benchmark their herd replacement females against a wide variety of breeds and styles, with participants required to display pens of 10 registered heifers for judging.”

Murdeduke Angus of Winchelsea, Victoria, was named 2017 Reserve Champion, receiving a $1500 cash prize at the presentation dinner last night. 

Three of the ten 2017 finalists were also named in the top ten in 2016, including last year’s Champion, Boonaroo Angus of Corndale, Victoria.

Run by Stud Beef Victoria, Stock & Land Beef Week provides more than 200 beef producers with a unique opportunity to market, showcase and select genetics for breeding operations.



Tarcombe Hereford/ Poll Hereford, Ruffy VIC

Reserve Champion

Murdeduke Angus, Winchelsea VIC


Boonaroo Angus, Corndale VIC
Wormbete Simmental, Illabo NSW
Yavenvale Poll Hereford, Adelong NSW
Weeran Angus, Byaduk VIC
Caskieben Shorthorn, Carisbrook VIC
Rangan Charolais, Charleroi VIC
Lindsay Murray Grey, Coleraine VIC
Banemore Poll Hereford, Penshurst VIC