The South Coast Beef School Steer Spectacular has adapted to the current COVID-19 pandemic, staging this year's hoof and hook judging event online.
And while Yass High School took out the overall grand champion award, Chevalier College in the Southern Highlands also wrote itself into the history books with a record-breaking and never seen before result of 99 out of 100 for the carcass component of the competition with a Murray Grey.
Due to the COVID restrictions, the competition was conducted under a heavily modified format, in what is believed to be an industry first, and certainly a first for the South Coast Beef School Steer Spectacular, with judging and results being delivered via live stream on their closed facebook page.
The three categories of the hoof and hook competition judging was broadcast live, allowing teachers and students to see their animals being judged.
Thirteen NSW schools entered 26 steers for the competition.
Shoalhaven based schools Bomaderry High, Nowra High, Shoalhaven High and one student from Vincentia High School, were joined by entries from Chevalier College, Picton High School, Narooma High, Oak Flats High School, Dapto High School, Moss Vale High, Karabar High (Queanbeyan), Yass High and Goulburn High.
Due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, five schools were unable to compete this year.
All the main arena activities were also cancelled, including the event at the Nowra Showground, instead Alastair Rayner judged the hoof competition at the Milton Meats complex, while South Coast Beef executive officer, Rob Stafford was the primary judge of three judges along with committee members Mick Hamilton and Wayne Brown for the carcass competition.
Chevalier College in the Southern Highlands secures a record-breaking and never seen before result of 99 out of 100 for the carcass component of the South Coast Beef School Steer Spectacular with a Murray Grey.
Overall grand champion school was won by Yass High School, with their Square Meater.
Grand champion carcass was won for the second year in a row by Chevalier College with the Murray Grey, with the record-breaking 99 out of 100 for the carcass component of the competition.
"This was an amazing result from both a strong breed and the great work raising the steer by the school, a worthy winner," said South Coast Beef media and communications officer Dave King.
Hoof Results - Overall the Square Meaters were the standout breed in the event, winning four of the awards in the hoof competition, including champion and reserve champion.
Yass had two steers, while Goulburn and Nowra had one steer each.
The Yass and Goulburn steers were supplied by Su McClusky from Hall in ACT, while the Nowra High school steer was born and breed by the school on site.
"The first time a homegrown steer is in the winner's circle," Mr King said.
In the lightweight division, champion steer was a South Devon from Bomaderry High School.
Hook Results - Despite the never seen before carcass score of 99 out of 100, there was only a few points between the top-scoring carcasses and it came down to one millimetre difference in fat depth.
In the end, it was awarded to the Murray Grey from Chevalier.
"The result shows how important it is to get the steer to meet market specifications in a hoof and hook competition," Mr King said.
In the lightweight division, the winner was a South Devon from Milton Beef and prepared by Kade King, representing Vincentia High.
The medium-weight winner was the record scoring Murray Grey, from Cadfor Murray Greys, prepared by Chevalier.
"We must thank Alastair Rayner for judging the hoof competition, Shoalhaven City Council, the State Government, including MPs Gareth Ward and Shelley Hancock for their ongoing support, Manildra for supplying the feed for all the schools and Milton Meats, who provided the yards for hoof judging and separate chillers for carcass judging," Mr King said.
Many more event sponsors can be found on the South Coast Beef website.
"The champion carcass is going to Jervis Bay Meat Company in Vincentia and reserve champion to Rosebank Meats at Kiama," he said.
Detailed official results were -
Lightweight Class - 1st Bomaderry HS with South Devon bred by Oakfield South Devons at Foxground; 2nd Nowra HS with a Square Meater bred by the school; 3rd South Devon bred by Milton Beef and prepared by Kade King from Vincentia HS.
Medium-weight Class - 1st and 2nd Yass HS with Square Meaters bred by Su McClusky from Hall in the ACT; equal 3rd Chevalier College with a Limousin Angus X bred by Ron Arthur at Bomaderry, and Goulburn HS with another Square Meater bred by Su McClusky.
Heavyweight Class - 1st Narooma HS with a Limousin bred by Kia Ora Limousins, 2nd Goulburn HS with a Charolais bred by Myona Charolais.
Champion and reserve champion steers were the Square Meaters from Yass HS bred by Su McClusky.
Lightweight Carcass - Silver medals to Nowra High School for two entries Square Meater bred by Nowra HS scored 87 points, Angus bred by F and R Ryan scored 85 points; Champion South Devon Bred by Milton Beef, prepared by Kade King from Vincentia High School.
Medium-weight Carcass - Gold medals to Chevalier College for a Murray Grey bred by Cadfor Murray Grey from Binda and Yass High School for a Square Meater bred by Su McClusky from Hall, ACT; Silver medals to Oak Flats and Goulburn High Schools; Bronze medal to Yass High School.
Champion Medium-weight and Grand Champion Carcass - Chevalier College for a Murray Grey bred by Cadfor Murray Grey from Binda; Reserve Champion Carcass was won by Yass High School for the Square Meater bred by Su McClusky from Hall, ACT.
Grand Champion School - Yass High School, runner-up Chevalier College.
Winners received cash prizes and ribbons for each category.
"We picked up valuable experience in using this type of live online technology to deliver the results the schools and teachers," Mr King said.
"Everyone who watched the live stream was impressed with how it all went.
"The judging video captured can now be watched many times over by students and will become a valuable asset for future schools and competitions.
"We are all looking forward to next year, with access to the newly upgraded Nowra Showgrounds and show ring to run this as a multi-day event."