Representing Victoria: Sarah Sutton (22)
Sarah is the Victorian state finalist at the 2021 Agricultural Shows Australia National Young Judges finals held at the Royal Queensland Show. Agricultural Shows of Australia sat down with Sarah to learn about the her busy life balancing her own cattle stud, working in thoroughbred racing and completing a degree at Marcus Oldham College.
I’m from Ballarat, located in the Central Highlands in Victoria. It’s famous for gold and being the coldest place in Australia. I am the fifth generation of our family to be involved in agriculture and was lucky enough to grow up on our family mixed farming operation in North West Victoria.
I’ve been very fortunate to have been exhibiting at Agricultural shows for most of my life. From when I was quite young I loved showing horses at our local shows. Later on I was lucky enough to attend Ballarat Grammar which had a fantastic ag program that included showing the schools sheep and cattle at country and royal shows. I was fortunate enough to start showing cattle through school in 2014, I soon discovered that I absolutely loved it. As part of attending shows with the school we were encouraged to participate in the young judges competitions at our local shows which is were I first started competing. Since then I’ve exhibited cattle as far north as Rockhampton and every were in between.
I am currently in my final year of a Bachelor of Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong. Out side of that I have my own small shorthorn stud and commercial cows. As well as showing for a number of studs and doing cattle and contracting work in my spare time.
In ten years time I would like to be running a successful shorthorn stud and working with in the beef cattle industry were ever that may take me.
Thanks to Matt Dickinson (ag teacher) who introduced me to cattle showing, and to Sapphire Halliday, Scott Bruton and the Swan family (Roly Park) who I have been showing with since I finished school. They have been hugely supportive and influential in continuing with showing and starting my own stud. There are so many other people who have played a big part in my getting here.
The cattle industry is wonderful at supporting youth and im so proud to be representing Victoria. My dad (Bill Sutton) was probably my biggest influence in my love for agriculture particularly cattle. He was passionate about farming and I was so blessed have grown up with a farming background and the encouragement to go as far as I want in what ever I chose to do. My stud is called Double S in his memory(as in two generations of Suttons)
Besides having a successful shorthorn stud my life long ambition is to own a sausage dog.
My favourite show is Sydney Royal! Its just a fantastic vibe and great set up. Everyone always has a great time and the quality of cattle is fantastic.
Hard to narrow down to a career highlight but obviously a Victorian state title in the Junior Judging was fantastic as I was also runner up in the state paraders the same year. It was a really great day.
Probably my favourite and most memorable moment was winning Champion Open Parader at Sydney Royal. The win was my first big royal ribbon. It was made even better by being on the halter of one of my favourite animals for a stud that I’ve had a lot of involvement with and has done a lot for me, Roly Park Shorthorns.
The bull was Roly Park Mr Tasmania who a lot of people will know. He was probably the first bull to put us on the map not just for his loud colour but his infallible temperament and show ring success. I was fortunate enough to show his dam who was a brilliant heifer, who went on to be a great cow with Mr Tasmania at foot. Tazzy went on to win many country and royal Supremes and was our first royal interbreed ribbon at Melbourne. After two years of taking him every were that Sydney was to be Tazzys last show before the Shorthorn National sale. Unfortunately they all retire at some point. He was well over a tonne and towered over me being only 5’5.
After two years together he new his job and he loved to show off. If you had asked him all the ribbons trophy and fuss were for him I just happened to be there. It was nice to think that after so much time together and at his last show he had won for me.