New Zealand biggest dairy judging competition celebrated record entries this year.
First mobilised by Semex eight years ago this year’s Semex-Holstein Friesian New Zealand On-Farm Competition included 720 animals from 100 farms throughout the country – underscoring its industry credibility, durability and relevance.
One of its biggest drawcards for producers has always been that the animals are judged on-farm. And because of the sheer numbers and logistics, animals were first assessed by a judge at regional levels to qualify for a chance at the national titles.
This year’s national judge was Western Australian Master Holstein breeder and former Holstein Australia president Ray Blackburn. The well-known Cookerup cowman travelled nine days and 4000km to find this year’s champions.
Semex bulls sired 92% of the 12 champions or reserve champions – proving the ongoing impact of North American genetics in New Zealand’s most successful herds. Braedale Goldwyn sired four of the top-six in the four-year-old class – including the champion.
Ladino Park Talent was also represented strongly with his daughters taking four of the top eight places in the three and four-year-old classes – including champion three-year-old.
Last year the South Island farmers dominated, winning all six class champions. This year the titles were spread more evenly through the country in age groups, which included a two, three, four and five-year-old classes, in addition to a mature and veteran class.
Ray Blackburn said he had judged in New Zealand before and he expected quality entries, when his champions were released at the New Zealand Holstein Friesian Association’s annual conference in Marlborough recently.
“We’re a global breed now,” he said. “I love the concept and I think it went really well. The quality of the cattle did vary a little bit, but the cows that finished in the top six or seven would be competitive in Australia.”
One of the first-time champions encapsulated the essence of the competition’s mantra. Robert and Megan Hammond, from Reporoa, are lower order sharemilkers, who milk 410 cows for Jim and Sue McDonald. They have 20 cows in the herd, including the country’s champion on-farm three-year-old, Ruapehu Talent Saree. They bought Saree’s dam as an empty rising two-year-old from the celebrated Cairnhill dispersal (Trevor and Rosalie Zanders). It was a risk, given her age and that she was not in-calf. But Robert said they could not afford others that were selling that day and he liked the pedigree.
“It was a way to get into the cow family at a rate we could afford,” Robert said. “It went from there and while it’s been tough to get heifer calves, we now have three including the Talent (Saree) and a Braedale Goldwyn daughter. The dam classified EX and she is now 10 years old.”
Saree classified VG86 at two years and her three-year-old lactation stands at 9006 litres with 680kg milk solids in 245 days continuing. She is in-calf to Semex sire Crackholm Fever.
“This competition makes me want to put more and more into the cows,” Robert said. “I was speechless when we won – blown away. I thought we’d be in contention and hoped for somewhere around third. But to win was amazing.”
Another young first-time winner was twenty-six-year-old South Canterbury breeder Philippa Trounce. Philippa works at a 450-cow commercial cow operation, one hour south of Timaru.
Her two-year-old entry, Fairview Dolman Jazz-ET, is housed at her parent’s [Lindsay and Alison Trounce] 400-cow Timaru dairy, ironically, with the class reserve champion, Fairview Gibson R Raquel.
The pair have been going head-to-head all season in the show ring and it has created some friendly rivalry in the tight-knit family. Jazz, a senior two-year-old, was reserve intermediate champion at the New Zealand Dairy Event to two-year-old Raquel. The On-Farm Challenge result has now switched the two. Raquel is also the reigning All- New Zealand two-year-old photographic champion.
“We’re not too worried about it,” Lindsay smiled. “We like them both and it’s great to have two at the top of the country’s best young cows.”
Philippa said the result shocked and thrilled her.
“I was stoked,” she said. “It’s something you dream about, but don’t really expect to win. We’ve been quite competitive all year and had a bit of fun with it, but we have to be careful how much ribbing we give each other because it comes back and bites you if the result is reversed next time they come out.”
Jazz has produced 6847 litres, 3.6% 245kg protein, 4.1% 280kg fat in 291 days continuing this season. Raquel has produced 7240 litres, 3.2% 235kg fat, 3.3% 238kg fat in 287 days continuing. Both will re-calve this September.
One of the stand-out champions for Ray was the four-year-old winner and the reigning New Zealand Dairy Event supreme champion cow, Tahora Goldwyn Toni-ET. Owned by Tahora Farms at Lincoln, in Canterbury the Braedale Goldwyn daughter is one of New Zealand’s most talked about animals right now.
She comes from blue bloodlines. Her dam, Tahora Metro Tonio, was a Royal Show class winner and her grandam is Tahora Romeo Tonio EX the 2004 and 2006 New Zealand Royal Show Champion. Her third and four dams come from Australia and Canada respectively, originating from the world-famous Walkerbrae stud in Guelph.
Tahora’s Dean Geddes said Goldwyn Toni was “as good as we’ve ever bred.” They think so much of the family, they have 18 milking daughters out of Romeo Tonio in the herd and the Goldwyn is the next matriarch in the making. She has been flushed and they have seven pregnancies to Pine-Tree Sid and they are flushing her to Gillette Windbrook.
“This competition is great for promotion and very good for involving people who don’t show,” Dean said.
Ray said Toni impressed him deeply and he considered her career to be just starting.
The glamour class, the five-year-olds, was won by a Waikato entry owned by Kauri Glen (Tony Barton, Sharon Gwilliam and Tony’s parents, Peter and Dulcie). Kauri Glen was the only operation to feature in two champions.
Kauri Glen Gibson Duchess was classified EX in the Autumn. The third calver, who has an EX-2E dam behind her, recently won the All-New Zealand Holstein Friesian photographic competition (senior cow). She also won her class at the New Zealand Dairy Event in February and she is due to calve to Ladino Park Talent in September. Her current lactation is: 9917 litres 300kg protein and 427kg fat in 257 days (continuing).
“We love her udder and her style,” Tony said. “We think her best is yet to come and she is the best cow we’ve got right now.”
The couple have a split calving pattern, milking 240 in the spring and 100 through the winter with a rolling herd average of 7000 litres.
Their veteran champion, Waitoki Storm D Clear EX-3E, is an 11-year-old with six calvings behind her. Clear is co-owned by Kauri Glen, Garry Colquhoun (Ekatahuna) and Trevor and Robin Rennie (Te Awamutu) after the trio bought her as an 87-point youngster for $12,000 at the Belrose dispersal sale in 2004. She is the sixth generation in her family to classify EX and her sire stack includes Maughlin Storm x Dominator x Blackstar x Triday Valiant Gold x Linmack. Her current lactation is: 9237 litres 267kg protein 315kg fat in 273 days (continuing).
“Storm D Clear is an awesome paddock cow,” Tony Barton said. “Any time of the day you walk out there she looks great. She has a rising three-year-old by Goldwyn due to calve in the spring.”
This year’s mature champion comes from a herd with the runs on the board. Deloraine Stormatic Merle, sired by Comestar Stormatic, is owned by Alister, Bridget and James Sherriff, who farm at Temuka, in South Canterbury.
Deloraine was recently recrowned as New Zealand’s highest-earning dairy herd for the third successive year, and Merle has to pull her weight in the 300-cow herd. Classified EX-1E, the seven-year-old’s last completed lactation (305 days) was 9345 litres, 3.4% 313kg protein, 4.7% 441kg fat with 754kg milk solids. There are four EX dams behind her and her dam was Deloraine Ned Mynette x Dalton Myrtle. Merle was third in her class at the 2010 Christchurch Show.
“We love her modernness,” James said. “She has a great udder that’s just welded on, she’s got angularity and style and she’s an easy cow to work with. We had hoped she’d do quite well, because I’ve been out and about and I’ve seen what other cows are around.”
Merle will calve in the spring and the family hope to have her out again for this year’s Christchurch Show in November.
Maughlin Storm two years in-milk – 1st: Fairview Dolman Jazz-ET (owned by Philippa Trounce, Timaru, South Canterbury) – 2nd: Fairview Gibson R Raquel (Fairview Holsteins, Timaru, South Canterbury) – 3rd: Klassic Damion Penelope (Deanna Ormsby, Gore, Southland) – 4th: Bushview Royal Atlas (I and M McCormack Family Trust, Stratford, Taranaki) – 5th: Crossroads Psuez Meg (A and N Harvey family trust, Dargaville, Northland) – 6th: Ferdon Lady In Red S1F (Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga, Waikato).
Comestar Leader three years in-milk – 1st: Ruapehu Talent Saree (R and M Hammond (Reporoa) – 2nd: Valiant Drake Cara (D Leef, Kawakawa, Northland) – 3rd: Fairview Fortune Lassie (Fairview Holsteins, Timaru, South Canterbury) – 4th: Dornview Paddy Olivia (G and J Dorn, Pihama, Taranaki) – 5th: Penoak Talent Pren (Penoak Farms, Bay of Plenty) – 6th: Karatane Rob Parnett (Karatane Dairies, Gore, Southland).
Townson Lindy four years in-milk– 1st: Tahora Goldwyn Toni-ET (Tahora Farm, Lincoln, Canterbury) – 2nd: Velvaleen Tai PClear C-ET (Velvaleen Farm (Wairarapa) – 3rd: Belallen Goldwyn Pet-ET (Karalea Ltd, Rakaia, Canterbury) – 4th: Tronnoco Golwyn June-ET (S and M Chilton and sons, Woodland-Edendale Highway, Southland) – 5th: Doaba Talent Rey SOF (J and G Khatkhar (Morrinsville, Waikato) – 6th: Crossroads Gold Vicki-ET (A and N Harvey family trust, Daragaville, Northland)).
Hanoverhill Raider five years in-milk – 1st: Kauri Glen Dibson Duchess (Karui Glen Ltd, Waharoa, Waikato) – 2nd: Pateke Allen Bubbles (Braggs Valley partnership (Blenheim, Marlborough) – 3rd: Carse-O-Farm Free Jess (D and L Courtman (Otorohanga, Waikato) – 4th: Pukematai Igniter Fay SOF (Pukematai farm, Blenheim, Marlborough) - 5th: Dornview K Out Erin (G and J Dorn, Pihama, Taranaki) – 6th: Parkville Storm Pat S3F (PR and DS Capes, Eketahuna, Manawatu).
Conant Acres Broker mature in-milk – 1st: Deloraine Stormatic Merle (AM, VV and JJ Sherriff, Temuka, South Canterbury) – 2nd: Karatane Storm Annie (Karatane Dairies Ltd, Gore, Southland) – 3rd: Kauri Land B Sky Jennifer (Kauri Glen Ltd (Waharoa, Waikato) – 4th: Campbelltown Donor Gabbie (Jeremy and Debbie Gloyn, Rongotea, Manawatu) – 5th: Pukematai Oak W Iris (Pukematai Farm, Blenheim, Marlborough) – 6th: Mokoia Emerson Ribena (Mokoia Holsteins Woodville, Palmerston North).
Comestar Laurie Sheik veteran in-milk – 1st: Waitoki Storm D Clear (Kauri Glen, Waharoa, Waikato in partnership with Garry Colquhoun (Ekatahuna) and Trevor and Robin Rennie (Te Awamutu) – 2nd: Melan Leduc Rowena (R and S Faulkner, Levin, Manawatu) – 3rd: SRC Melrose Geoffrey Babe (Sherriff Farms No. 1, Temuka, South Canterbury) – 4th: Carse-O-Fern Lee Quest (D and L Courtman, Otorohanga, Waikato) – 5th: Pelorus Donor Peach (Robroy Farms, Rai Valley, Marlborough) – 6th: Mokoia Integrity Beryl (Mokoia Holsteins, Woodville, Wairarapa).