Unique event thrills North-West WA at Sandfire Roadhouse

In a one-of-a-kind annual gathering between Broome and Port Hedland, the Sandfire Roadhouse transformed into a spectacle for stations near and far.

Red weaners traversing through the obstacle course at the KPCA Livestock Handing Cup 2023

Organised by the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA), the KPCA Livestock Handling Cup has been a highlight for seven remarkable years. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere in the world.

The Livestock Handling Cup is a two-day event, with the first day comprising of a presentation program, focusing on best-practice principles across a range of industry topics.

Lauren Bell, hailing from KPCA, imparted priceless wisdom on ‘Strategies for a northern workforce’. Meanwhile, representing the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Rebecca Butcher delved into the intricacies of the Northern Australia Biosecurity Coordination Network, complemented by John Wheelock’s (KPCA) presentation on biosecurity preparation and preparedness. To wrap up, there was a concise DPIRD project update, expertly delivered by Annie Bone, covering the DPIRD Phosphorus project and the Pain Relief trial.

In addition to the speaking program, attendees were treated to an array of captivating demonstrations. Jack McKie and Tom Burke from Zoetis showcased vaccination techniques, offering invaluable insights into the techniques and rationale behind successful vaccination. The competitors then divided into three groups, with seasoned experts leading interactive mini-workshops and demonstrations in a round-robin format. Steve Burke shared his expertise on low-stress stock handling, Rusty Cooke represented RedRange and gave an insight into what makes a good lick, and Joni Hall showcased the remarkable capabilities of working dogs.

On the second day, the main event, the Livestock Handling Cup competition. The task may seem deceptively simple: skilfully select, draft and then manoeuvre weaners through an obstacle course while demonstrating the highest calibre of low-stress stock handling expertise. Eighteen teams vied for this year’s coveted title, the competition was fierce and set a new standard for low-stress stock handling techniques.

And the winners of the 2023 KPCA Livestock Handling Cup are…

Champion TeamKalyeeda Station (Team 1) including Shelby Brooks, Liam Hinch and Darcie Ingram
2nd placeYarrie Station Outback Beef, including Ainsely Logan, Abbie Staines and Rachel Pearce
3rd placeKalyeeda Station (Team 3) including Shelby Books, Darcie Ingram and Molly Marnoch
Encouragement awardMyroodah Station, including Joel Cherry, Heidi Smith and Elizabeth Shoobridge
Highly commended teamLiveringa Station, including Andrew Bell, Katie Kerby and Shane Arnold
Kachana Station judges' choice awardAsh Gall, Napier Downs Station.

The event was a testament to the dedication and skill of all participants, who showcased exceptional abilities in guiding weaners through the challenging obstacle course.

Beyond the competition, the KPCA Livestock Handling Cup fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among stations in the region.

Here’s to many more successful years of this remarkable event!

Two Kelpie working dogs move red weaners through a set of yards in the KPCA Livestock Handling Cup 2023