SEMEX-HOLSTEIN AUSTRALIA ON-FARM COMPETITION 2010
South Australia is a haven for outstanding Holsteins and this year’s state judge for the Semex-Holstein Australia On-Farm Competition proved to be no exception.
This year’s judge Bill Thompson (who has exhibited Grand Champion Holstein at the Adelaide Royal Show for the last two years with different animals) placed 139 animals from 21 breeders.
The national spectacle, which is in its 10th year, has a number of unique points of difference. The most obvious is that all the cows were judged for their conformation on-farm in their working cobber.
Bill moved between individual farms, covering more than 600km in his biggest day’s judging as he worked to place cows, in first the Central and Fleurieu sub-branches, before going on to name his state champions.
A proactive group of people who bring the South Australian event to life have also given it wings and it is now considered to be a highlight of the year for exhibitors. More than 70 people attended the finals evening and all commented on the exposure they enjoy because of the extra work Semex representative Vaughn Johnston put in with the video work.
A new face on the championship podium this year was Andrew and Angela Koch, of Glenunga Holsteins. The couple milk 180 cows (including 150 Holsteins and 30 Jerseys under the Ashtaney Jerseys prefix).
“This is our first championship, but then again we’ve been a bit on and off with entering in the past, because we’ve been so busy,” Andrew said. “But we’ve improved our act a bit and since Vaughn (Johnston, Semex) started videoing it because all the competition has subsequently had a lot more exposure and there is more interest and value in it for us,” he said.
Their championship four-year-old entry, Glenunga Jordan Glenna is a VG85 Roylane Jordan daughter from a VG88 Comestar Outside, who traces her roots back to a Rockwood Park foundation cow (fourth dam) – Rockwood Park Quality Glenna EX2E. The family finds its original roots at the Deloraine Stud in New Zealand.
Quality Glenna is a former Reserve Champion Cow at the Adelaide Royal and the Mt Pleasant Autumn Fair and she has developed into a valuable brood cow for the Koch family. Jordan Glenna who was milking 40 litres a day at the time of the competition has had two daughters and she is back in calf for the spring shows next year. Her maternal sister finished second in the five-year-old class at branch level in this year’s competition.
Glenna had a rough start to the show season, finishing last in her four-year-old class at the Adelaide Royal Show.
“We were a bit shocked, to be honest,” Andrew said. “But we went home and she did all sorts of developing and two weeks later she won Grand Champion, Supreme Champion and Best Udder at the Fleurieu Spring Show, at Murray Bridge.”
Dean and Beverley Thorpe, of Balara Holsteins at Meningie, won the competitive two-year-old class with Balara Advent Dancer-Red. Dancer’s dam was a Red and White Talent daughter which died before she was classified. Dean said Dancer is an aggressive young cow who was in the first run every milking in their 185-cow herd. She was giving 30 litres at the time of the competition, and given her success they are toying with breaking her to halter in time for next year’s Royal Adelaide Show. The event remains an important date on their marketing calendar.
“It is certainly good. We’ve made it into our major state social event as well. There were nearly 70 people there on the presentation night and everyone had a fantastic time.”
The three-year-old winner, Paravale Rubens Rose-ET VG85, gave Jack Bramley, of Paravale Holsteins at Yankalilla, one of his final high points as an active breeder in the industry. She also proved that every cow has a story.
Jack recently dispersed his milking herd for an average that was a sniff over $2600 with a top price of $25,000. Rubens Rose, who traces her roots back to the famous US matriarch Stookey Elm Park Blackrose herself, now belongs to Dean and Beverley’s Balara Holsteins and she cost them $4900. Jack, who thought Rubens Rose was one of the bargains of his sale, is no stranger to lucky buys.
He secured her dam, Pooley Bridge Milestone Redrose, for $1000 as a six-year-old after seeing her waiting in the yard to go to the choppers and recognising her as the cow that had cost Anthony Steiner $15,000 at International Dairy Week. She had failed to get in calf that year, given Jack the chance to buy her.
“We flushed Milestone Redrose to Rubens and she had three black daughters for us and I’ve still got embryos,” Jack said. “Rubens Rose’s full sister had a Red and White calf though, so Rubens Rose would have to be a red carrier and there is no doubt that her udder is her most outstanding feature.”
Milestone Redrose is a 6 Star Brood Cow and she has 16 daughters (eight VG) and the Red and White gene is coming through in many of her daughters. Her win essentially gave Balara the majority of state champions.
“The Red and Whites are a bit of a novelty,” Dean said. Everybody wants one and I will try and breed some reds out of her. She’s a good young cow with a beautiful rear udder.”
Jack said the competition was fabulous.
“We feel no differently about this competition. It’s great and the hardest thing is finding judges to do it.”
The five-year-old champion Misty Brae Alan Della-ET came out of Gino and Amanda Pacitti’s stable. The couple, who farm with the help of their sons, Ashley and Andrew, are always a force. The VG85 Canyon-Breeze Allen daughter is backed by EX91 x VG88 x Tarinka Park Mascot Deanne EX4E. Della, who calved in August, was Reserve Champion at the Fleurieu Spring Feature Show and a class winner at the Adelaide Royal.
“Della’s dam has been a foundation cow in our herd and Allen Della’s two ET sisters are both classified high VG,” Gino said.
He said the competition was a welcome part of their business.
“It gives us a fantastic medium to promote our animals without the show environment. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to see how their cattle fit with their peers because it’s about honest, all-round animals.”
The mature cow class winner belonged to Eden Valley producers Steve and Verica Seeliger. Their VG88 homebred entry, Esjay Dividend Treva, won the aged cow class at the Adelaide Royal and she was pulled out in the championship line-up.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA STATE OVER JUDGING
State Over Judging: SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Judge: BILL THOMPSON, Glenorleigh Holsteins, Mt Gambier, South Australia
TWO YEAR OLD – 1st: Balara Advent Dancer-Red, L Thorpe Pty Ltd (Balara Holsteins, Meningie) – 2nd: Billabong Bolton Pippa, K and G Afford and Son (Billabong Holsteins, Murray Bridge).
THREE YEAR OLD – 1st: Paravale Rubens Rose-ET, J Bramley (Paravale Holsteins, Yankalilla) – 2nd: Jervois Logon Shannon, C and F Mason (Jervois Holsteins, Jervois).
FOUR YEAR OLD – 1st: Glenunga Jordan Glenna, A and A Koch (Glenunga Proprietors, Moculta) – 2nd: Billabong Informer Marion, K and G Afford and Son (Billabong Holsteins, Murray Bridge).
FIVE YEAR OLD – 1st: Misty Brae Alan Della-ET, G and A Pacitti (Misty Brae Holsteins, Myponga) – 2nd: Tauwitchere Shaker Laurel, K and G Afford and Son (Billabong Holsteins, Murray Bridge).
MATURE – 1st: Esjay Dividend Treva, S and V Seeliger (Esjay Holsteins, Eden Valley) – 2nd: Joyley Luckystrike Della-ET, G and A Pacitti (Misty Brae Holsteins, Myponga).
Stay tuned for more results of this exciting series of competitions Down Under!