Cattle handler a natural

Kelly Manning (17) of Mardella with Heidi
Kelly Manning (17) of Mardella with Heidi

On October 2, Kelly (17), a WA College of Agriculture Harvey student, travelled to Claremont Showground with 12 other students to compete in the cattle competitions.

She won the senior dairy paraders competition, beef student parader and took out the FCAS Dairy Cattle Parading Championship State Final, which included top cattle handlers aged 16 to 25 from across WA.

Her state championship win, earned her a place at next year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show, where she will represent WA in dairy cattle parading.

Prior to the show, Kelly spent months preparing a beef-led steer and a beef-led heifer from her parents’ 121-hectare beef and cattle farm and a dairy heifer and dairy cow from WA College of Agriculture Harvey’s farm.

She also paraded a Blonde D’aquitaine heifer, which won senior champion in the Blonde D’aquitaine beef cattle category.

Kelly had to teach the cattle, which weigh up to 600kg, how to walk on halters and parade correctly in the show ring. The cattle also had to be in peak condition, which involved monitoring their specific diet requirements and washing and clipping them before the show.

Kelly said she became interested in cattle handling when she attended a youth cattle camp in 2010, where she won grand champion handler.

‘I’ve always grown up around cattle so I guess I have a natural ability to work with them,’ she said.