Namibia: Otongovi Farming Named Slaughter Ox Champions

Heinz and Almut Gruhn of Otongovi Farming were crowned champions at the fourth Agra Slaughter Ox Competition at a ceremony recently held at the Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring.

The competition forms part of an initiative to provide ox producers with a platform to compete in an organised competition similar to the Agra Weaner Competition.

This year, Agra Auctions hosted five Slaughter Ox competitions where a total of 190 oxen were judged, compared to 155 oxen in 2018.

The first competition was held at Aub on 22 May, followed by Gobabis on 11 June, Windhoek on 3 July, Nina on 19 July and with the competition concluding at Otavi on 25 July. This year's competition was judged by Theunis Johnston, Neels Dodds and Petrus Maritz (Heads of Meatboard's Classification Services); Tiaan Steenkamp, (Agra) and John Pearson (Brakwater Abbatoir).

Herman Lintvelt, Agra's Regional Manager of Central Auctions said despite the current prevailing drought, the competition exceeded was a success.

"This is a clear indication of the amount of resilience oxen producers possess to ensure that they continue to produce quality oxen, under these difficult climatic conditions," Lintvelt said.

To participate in the competition each producer must enter two animals to be judged on their hooves and carcass. For the hoof category, key aspects for judging comprise age, fatness, masculinity, temperament, as well as good farming practices such as branding, dehorning, among others. These constitute 40% of the total points. On the carcass, the cattle will compete on the quality of meat, which constitutes 60% of the total points. All animals are slaughtered at the Brakwater Abattoir, which also supplies steak at all the competition points.

The main sponsor for this year's competition was Old Mutual, and other sponsors included Feedmaster, MSD, Efekto and Brakwater Abattoir.

Caption: CEO of Agra, Arnold Klein (first row left) and Carel Jordaan, Agra Senior Manager: Senior (first row right) with the 2019 Slaughter Ox Competition winners.

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