Stawell Show to feature interesting breeds

STAWELL - Some interesting breeds of horses, cattle and goats will be on display at this year's Stawell Show.

In the horse section, there will be led and ridden classes for pure and part-bred draught horses, while harness events have also been added to the horse program.

The harness section includes standard bred, pony, hackney and open classes.

Four show rings will be operating - Pony ring, hack ring, breed ring (including harness events) and the Horse Riding Club and Pony Club ring. Show jumping will also feature in the horse arena and will commence at 9.30am.

The cattle section will include an exhibit of Belted Galloways. This very distinctive breed can be coloured black, dun or red and is easily recognised by the prominent white belt around its middle.

The Belted Galloway is an ancient breed of cattle that originated in the south west of Scotland. The breed is hardy, adaptable, and a good converter of roughage to beef.

They have a double layer of coat to protect them from harsh weather, while the outer hair sheds the water and the undercoat of dense soft hair keeps out the cold. This coat also insulates against the hot sun and being of medium size - average weight of a mature bull is 900kg and a mature female is 500kg - they do not require the high maintenance feed of larger breeds.

Belted Galloways first arrived in Australia around 1950, but registered cattle were not imported until 1973. These came from New Zealand having been bred there from cattle imported from Scotland.

A breed society was formed in 1975 in Australia to maintain a herd book, while being attractive to look at they also produce very good beef and tests in America and Germany show that they have a higher level of Omega 3 fat than most breeds.

Miniature goats made their Stawell Show debut last year and the Australian Miniature Goat Show will again be a feature this year.

The Australian Miniature Goat was officially recognised as a breed in 2000. They are bred as a pet and companion animal as they are affectionate and easy to manage. Miniature goats come in all colours and ear types and range in size up to approximately 60cm.

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