THE Silver Fern Farms “Steak of Station” competition is already at the halfway mark of trying to find which local station produces the best-tasting steak.
Entries are either a steer or heifer, and half of the final points come from judging on the hoof, and on the hook.
The other half of the score is from the taste test, which is done at the A&P Show on Friday morning by a specialist panel of “foodie” judges.
The “on-hoof” section was won by Simon and Caroline Cave, while the “on-hook” section was won by local couple Sid and Merran Hain.
The Hains are leading the competition and currently have a slim lead of 0.5 of a point from the Caves.
Only 10.2 points separate the top and bottom scores of the competition as this stage.
Competition organiser Paul Kirkpatrick said he had received good feedback from judges on the calibre of entries.
“On the Hoof” judge Stuart Blake (of SFF Livestock, Hastings) said the line-up of cattle was exceptional and splitting the top half-dozen entries was a tough task.
“My commiserations to those who were knocked out through grading and weight criteria — our grader could not be bribed,” said Mr Kirkpatrick.
The prestigious award comes with a fantastic prize package of a carton of SFF cube rolls, a meal for two at Soho, a night for two at the Pacific Harbour Motor Inn and a case of wine, courtesy of Kirkpatrick Estate Winery.
Entries for this year’s competition are from Brownlie Estate, C. and C. Kirkpatrick, B. and L. Teutenberg, J. and P. Williams, J. Tombleson, Kowhai Stn, Mahana Farms, Marika Station, Marotiri Farm Partnership, Mokairau Stn, Ohuka Farms, Piritaha Stn, Poututu Stn, Ranganui, Rangimoe Stn, Rangatira Stn, Reripi Stn, Stirling Stn, Sunworth Stn, Tahaenui Stn, Tangihau Stn, Turihaua Stn, Waikura Stn, Wairongomai Stn and Whangara B20.