Raydon Park Maddock just keeps winning prizes. He won his class at the Canberra Royal Show, then won Junior Champion. A few weeks later, he won his class at the Braidwood Show, won Junior Champion and Grand Champion. The very next day he won his class at the Goulburn Show, won Junior Champion and won the Interbreed Junior Champion. In April he heads off to the Royal Sydney Easter Show. All for a bull whose owner wasn’t really expecting to win anything.
Owner Ray Lawrence has been blown away by the bull’s success. "This is the first animal I've ever shown" says Mr Lawrence, who lives at Mulloon with his wife Donna. He chose the bull when neighbour Janet Cantwell, studying at Charles Sturt University in Wagga offered to show one of his animals.
“He just looked the best bull at the time," says Mr Lawrence, who with 27 animals says “we’re only sort of like a hobby breeder here.” There were no early signs of the bull’s success, but he thought “ah well, why not” when it came time to nominate for the Sydney Show.
Mr Lawrence’s decision to show Raydon might have been taken on speck, but there’s nothing chancy about his breeding. A pure Limousin bull, his father’s father was the winner of the French Royal Show.
There’s nothing chancy about Raydon’s size either, he weighed in at a hefty 505 kilograms aged 11 months and 20 days at the Canberra Show. “He’s only been on the feed for two and a half months,” says Mr Lawrence, who only began to feed the bull up in earnest after Christmas. Judges are often taken aback by the bull’s youth. “Even the judge down at Goulburn…he was very surprised, he thought he was about a 16 month bull,” says Mr Lawrence.
He’s a bit of a character too, says Mr Lawrence. At the Canberra Show, while standing in the stalls, a heifer lay down in the middle of the space. Raydon was having none of her lounging in his territory, so wandered over and poked her back with his front foot, again, and again, and again, to bother her into standing up.
Mr Lawrence who has been breeding Limousin for over 15 years, is quietly optimistic about the bull’s prospects at the show. He’ll at the very least fit in well as a Limousin, the feature breed for this year’s show. If he is a success, the Limousin National Show in Wodonga could be on the cards, but Mr Lawrence isn’t counting his eggs.
“The last judge said he’d do well in Sydney, so we’ll just see what happens,” says Mr Lawrence.