by Janet Poole.
Show seasons down our part of the globe start around October and go through till April or May. With the exception of some of the biggest events these are all held outdoors. There are no specific shows for Miniature Herefords so we have to compete against other small breeds or bigger breeds but the minis can more than hold their own. They are also attracting a lot of attention with a growing number of people interested in becoming breeders in their own right. This is good advertisement for the advantages of having Miniature Herefords and one which needs to be promoted.
In Australia there are several breeders who are showing their stock but at present only one in New Zealand. It is such a shame we have the Tasman Sea between our two countries because the opportunity to compete against each other would be a real boost to our breeding programmes. Joy Walters, of Boomer Creek Miniature Herefords in Tasmania, has been showing her animals for years and very successfully. She has been a real asset in helping other newcomers to the show ring with training, preparation and techniques.
Bridgewater High School has also had the benefit of Joy’s instruction and their enthusiasm for turning out minis which perform well has earned them many placings. The school has its own Bridgewater Miniature Hereford Stud.
Two of the newer breeders in Australia have recently taken to showing with good results. They are keen to see more owner/breeders of Miniature Herefords come on board so that there is more competition among the smaller animals. Alison Livermore has Winswood Miniature Herefords in Victoria and Jack Bryan has Highlander Miniature Herefords in New South Wales.
On the eastern shores of the Tasman Sea is the very small country of New Zealand. There are around thirty Miniature Hereford breeders here and many have show quality animals but somehow exhibiting them is slow to take off. At present Riverlets Miniature Hereford Stud is the only one with animals in the show ring but this has generated so much interest in the smaller Herefords that they are becoming better known. Most of the competition is against other breeds of cattle as well as the bigger ones but one show does have a Small Beef Breeds Class where the minis always perform very well. This is also proving to be a popular class for those with the smaller breeds of cattle.
The big wish for the future is to have enough Miniature Herefords being shown in both Australia and New Zealand that special shows can be held for them as is happening in America. An exchange system whereby handlers can cross the Tasman to either country and show animals bred there would be a good incentive for the younger people. This is already being done by Lowline (Angus) breeders and we can’t let them get away with that, can we! Another outlet is the Virtual Cattle Show for Miniature Herefords which proved a lot of fun last year. Closing date for this year’s show is May 31st, 2012 and you can find information and entry requirements on both the MHBA (www.mhbaonline.org) and AMHBN (www.amhbn.com) websites.