QUIET and focused, Poker Ranch Sorting Australia owner Michael Sekulich pointed to a brown and white beast in a herd of 28 young cattle and began to cut him from the mob.
His partner, Andrew Nash, watched on and moved his horse to the side to let the steer pass into the holding pen; then he was into the herd, working his own beast.
The two men were practising yesterday afternoon for Toowoomba – and Australia’s – first Poker Ranch Sorting competition at the Queensland Beef Expo.
A team of 15 Americans flew in yesterday and after three days of trials, a team of their six finest riders will face off against an Australian contingent in the grand final on Friday night at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.
Poker Ranch Sorting is a variation on cutting, where two riders work alternatively to cut out the correctly numbered beast while the others are kept separated.
Local grazier Anthony Smoothy is providing more than 100 head of prime Black Angus cattle for the competition.
The inter-continental competition is just one of many attractions at this year’s expo, which showcases the latest products and technology to assist graziers to grow better quality beef cattle and manage their farms more efficiently.
Australian Events director and event organiser Bob Carroll said the Beef Expo was formed last year to highlight the beef industry.
“The expo will look at everything from fencing to cattle handling, feed, nutrition, how to build herds and grow them more efficiently, and farm management,” he said.
The event will also feature the much-anticipated all-breed sale and the led steer competition.
A seminar program will run over the…
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