New Zealand’s best Holstein Friesians named
By Dianna Malcolm
New Zealand’s biggest dairy judging competition has celebrated record entries for the second successive year. First mobilised by Semex nine years ago this year’s Semex-Holstein Friesian New Zealand On-Farm Competition included 732 animals from 105 farms throughout the country.
One of its biggest drawcards for busy farmers has always been that the animals are judged (without preparation) on their conformation on-farm. It sets it apart from the show ring and has made the competition accessible for busy producers. Because of the sheer numbers and logistics involved, entries were first assessed by regional judges.
The first two finishers in every class were then re-appraised over eight days by the national judge who was Canadian breeder, Brent Walker (from the famous Walkerbrae herd in Guelph, Ontario). It was the first time a Canadian judge had presided.
Officials used Skype at the well-attended finals awards evening at the New Zealand Holstein Friesian Association’s annual conference in Hamilton recently to include judge Walker’s comments, who had returned to Canada. It was Brent’s first visit to New Zealand and he was impressed by the cows, the people, the scenery and the hospitality. In particular, he said the three and five-year-olds finalists were exceptional.
Holstein Friesian New Zealand’s General Manager Cherilyn Watson (from left) with Palmerston North finalists Ian and Denise Gates. They are joined (at right) by Semex’s Ryan Lett.
Holstein Friesian New Zealand’s General Manager Cherilyn Watson (from left) joins Tony and Serena Jenkins (Morrinsville, Waikato) who won Reserve Champion in the two-year-old class. Semex’s Ryan Lett is at right.
Shneil Singh and his father, Balraj Singh, (Waikato), are joined by Semex’s Bob Hammond after winning Reserve Champion five-year-old.
Semex’s Bob Hammond (left) is joined by Holstein Friesian New Zealand’s General Manager Cherilyn Watson, Tim Barclay and Semex’s David Mayo. Tim’s winning four-year-old was the first New Zealand On-Farm title for the Te Awamutu dairyman.
The biggest region was the Hawkes Bay/Manawatu/Wairarapa region which featured 140 entries (up 44 head) from 24 farms. The Waikato and Canterbury/West Coast were the next strongest in numbers with 130 cows from 21 and 15 herds respectively.
The surge of Champions coming out of South Canterbury and Southland continues, as four of the Champions call the bottom half of the country home in a competition that was split into six age classes, ranging from the two-year-olds through to a mature and veteran class.
Semex bulls sired 57% of the 12 Champions and/or Reserve Champions – proving the ongoing impact of North American genetics in New Zealand’s most successful herds. Many of the Champions are in-calf to Semex sire, Crackholm Fever.
If the Most Successful Breeder had been announced it would have been undoubtedly been awarded to Dean and Jo Geddes, of the Tahora Farms stable near Christchurch. Tahora was the prefix on six of the 36 finalists (17%) – including two Reserve Champions. The Most Successful Exhibitor would have fallen to another well-known name, the Deloraine herd of Alister, Bridget and James Sherriff, who farm at Temuka, in South Canterbury. Deloraine has been crowned New Zealand’s highest-earning dairy herd for three successive years in the last four seasons. This year they owned three of the four cows carrying Deloraine’s prefix in the finals, placing in New Zealand’s top-five for age in the On-Farm Competition. In all, they entered six animals with 50% winning Champion or Reserve Champion. Both Tahora and Deloraine come from the strong Canterbury/West Coast region.
Up and comer from Timaru
An up and coming back-to-back Champion was 28-year-old South Canterbury breeder Philippa Trounce. Philippa is the herd manager for Hayden and Jesse Dorman, who will be milking 600 cows in the spring. They are based 11km from Rakaia in Canterbury. Her three-year-old entry, Fairview Dolman Jazz-ET, is housed at her parent’s [Lindsay and Alison Trounce] 400-cow Timaru dairy, Fairview Holsteins.
“There’s a little bit of pressure on Mum and Dad,” Alison joked. In 276 days (continuing) this season Jazz has produced 9657 litres, 3.7% 359kg fat, 3.5% 335kg protein (694kg Milk Solids). She peaked at 53 litres per day. Jazz is well-known to the registered industry, having competed in both the North and South Island. The 2011 South Island Grand Champion was also 1st three-year-old and Reserve Intermediate Champion at the 2011 New Zealand Dairy Event at Feilding, in addition to Intermediate Champion at the 2011 Canterbury A&P Show. In 2012 she returned to Feilding, winning Champion Holstein and Senior Champion of All Breeds.
Backed by an EX Ricecrest Monday dam and a VG86 Comestar Leader, Jazz is carrying a Crackholm Fever pregnancy. She will calve one month earlier than last season at the start of August and the family is hoping for another big year from their popular young cow.
Judge Walker said the second calvers in the three-year-old class came down to udders. “This was a really strong class from one end to the other,” he said. “There are some really good cows that don’t make the top six, because it was a class that featured extraordinary udders and only small things that made the difference. My Champion is just an exceptional dairy cow. She is deep-ribbed, wide-rumped, wide chested, and has good feet and legs. To me she has an awesome udder. A great cow in the paddock and probably a great cow in the show ring too – but I didn’t get the opportunity to see her there.”
First time winners from Te Awamutu
This year also included two first-time Champions. Tim and Jo Barclay, of Te Awamutu, in the Waikato, won the four-year-old class with Okawa Tony Serenity EX. Serenity is sired by Tahora Talent Tony (who has sired 30 of the couple’s 200 milking herd). She was out of a VG88 dam Tim sold when Serenity was an in-calf heifer because the buyer made Tim an offer he said he “couldn’t refuse.”
Tim said Serenity is a great cow to work with. “She’s a great eater, a fast milker, she’s just such an easy cow on a day-to-day basis,” he said. Tim said they had two heifers from her, one sired by Crackholm Fever, the other by Sanchez. The couple also placed fourth with a young cow, which was stale on this lactation, Tahora Talent Theresa VG88.
Judge Walker said it was a tough class, with several cows in the hunt for the top award. “This beautiful uddered, hard-topped, good ribbed cow comes placed over another beautiful-uddered young cow using her depth of fore and rear rib, her strength of pastern and depth of heel,” he said.
“What awesome udders on this pair of cows.”
First-time winner from the Waikato
The other newbie Champion was the partnership of Doug and Lorraine Courtman and Brittany Bell, of Otoronganga. The Waikato trio won the Mature Class with Carse-O-Fern Free Jess EX. Bred by Doug and Lorraine over several generations, the couple allowed Brittany in on the partnership, because she wanted to show Jess. They are gearing for another show year, with Jess due in two weeks to Gillette Windbrook.
Jess, who is sired by Braedale Freelance, placed third in the On-Farm Competition last year. The six-year-old has now calved five times. With her last completed lactation at 10,863 litres, 3.0% 324kg fat and 2.9% 311kg protein in 278 days in their 144-cow seasonal herd, the Courtmans already loved her.
“With her placing last year, we knew she’d potentially be up there,” Doug said. “But I’ve never imagined my herd up there with the Tahora [Dean and Jo Geddes] and Deloraine [Alister and Bridget Sherriff] herds of the country. That made it a pretty special night.
“They started announcing it from sixth up to first and when they only had first left, I thought I’d either over estimated how good she was and got a bit keen, or she was going to win.
“She’s probably from the best type family we have on the farm.”
Three of four generations are EX, broken only by the premature death of her 85-point granddam. Jess won Supreme Dairy Cow at the Auckland Easter Show two years ago and she was Reserve Holstein Friesian this year, shown by Brittany.
“While I’m quite proud of her show record, if it wasn’t for Brittany we would never have shown her,” Doug said. “That’s why we like the On-Farm Competition, because you just have to give them a bit of a wash and bag them up a bit and away you go. And it’s developed into our major competition really. We’re very appreciative of Semex organising it and of Brent [Walker] for giving his time.”
Judge Walker said Jess was the epitome of a dairy cow. “She is wide chested and has a great rib with capacity and openness,” he said. “For a mature cow her slope from hips to pins and thurl placement is outstanding. The rear udder is high and wide, the fore udder is tight to the body wall and she has correct size and shape of teat. She is lean-thighed, clean hocked and she moves extremely well.”
South Canterbury industry heavyweights tear up national competition
The Sherriff family shone in the two-year-old class winning Champion. They also claimed Reserve Champion in both the four-year-old and the veteran classes. In all, they entered six animals – with 50% winning Champion or Reserve at national level. Their two-year-old Champion, Deloraine Sam Marga VG86, has to pull her weight in a competitive herd of 300 cows. She is out of a Silky Gibson dam and then backed by an EX Warden granddam. Bred by a homebred Braedale Goldwyn son and in-calf to Crackholm Fever, her completed first lactation is: 8142 litres, 3.8% 309kg Fat, 3.5% 284kg Protein in 295 days.
Alister Sherriff confirmed she is entered for the Oaks type and production class at Canterbury A&P Show in November.
Judge Walker said: “The first cow is hard-topped, deep-ribbed and good uddered with good mobility. She placed over second because I preferred the set to her leg. She is longer of her foreudder, especially on the left side, and she has more correct front teat placement.”
Their four-year-old Reserve Champion, Deloraine Talent Vila VG87, is the daughter of the Reserve Champion Veteran cow, Deloraine James Valmai EX2. The Shoremar James daughter was second in the 2010 Aged Cow class at the Canterbury A&P Show. Her best and most recently completed record was 11,456 litres, 405kg Fat, 380Kg Protein.
Five-year-old from Southland ‘wows’ judge
The five-year-old glamour class got Judge Walker’s attention.
“Wow! That’s all I wanted to say for this class,” Brent said. “What a class of from the first contender I saw at 8.30am on Monday through to 4pm the following Monday when I saw the last five-year-old finalist.”
The Champion, Karatane Adam Patsy VG88, owned by Stewart, Mary and Nathan Chilton, could not have been closer to the bottom of the South Island. The Chilton partnership milks 50 cows in Wyndham, Southland. The fourth place-getter also came out of the Chilton operation. Tronocco Golwyn June-ET EX beat her herd mate in the regional judging, but under fresh eyes, Judge Walker used his prerogative to switch the pair, making the homebred Talent daughter from a Skychief dam Champion.
“The first three cows in this class aren’t the biggest, but what great dairy cows they are,” he said. “The first cow is just a well-balanced dairy cow. She has width of chest, spring of rib, a great udder and exceptional mobility in a very strong class.”
“It was exciting to have an international judge on our farm – our third international visitor,” Nathan said. “I’ve seen him judge in Canada, so I knew him and it was nice to chat and compare what he thought about the cows. It was very enjoyable and the results night made a few people pretty happy in our house.”
While both cows have been shown, Nathan said June is the production and show cow while Patsy is a milk cow that has competed more locally, winning Supreme Dairy Cow at the 2012 Gore Show. Patsy has produced 11,862 litres, 4.4% 517kg fat, 3.1% 371kg protein in 276 days. She is short-bred to Comestar Lavanguard.
June has calved every year, producing 1108kg Milk Solids last season. She won the New Zealand three-year-old On-Farm competition two years ago, after finishing Reserve Champion as a two-year-old. She was fourth as a four-year-old and fourth this year.
Veteran Champion former Mature Champion
Clover-Lane Lee August, owned by David and Maree Ormsby (Karatane Dairies) at Gore has had a long and distinguished presence in the On-Farm format – winning two Champions and a Reserve Champion at national level in the last five years.
She was the 2008 Reserve Champion On-Farm Mature Cow and in 2010 she beat her full sister to win Champion Mature Cow. She returned this year to win the Veteran class.
The Comestar Lee daughter’s achievements are perhaps more notable because of her personal challenges. She has had two successive sets of mixed-sex twins with David and Maree’s vet recently confirming that August is again carrying twins – this time sired by Pine Tree Sid.
August is a sixth generation EX from the famous D-R-A August family in the USA. She is currently milking in a 450-cow herd. She has completed six lactations for her owners and her last completed lactation (after aborting twins almost three months early) was: 7902 litres, 4.7% 369kg F, 3.8% 301kg Protein (2.33kg MS/day) and 670kgsMS in 288days.
“August has really been a dream, no-fuss cow to work with, who has the bonus of a world renowned family behind her,” David Ormsby said.
Judge Walker said the class was a tribute to the longevity New Zealand dairy farmers could achieve with their cattle.
“The first place cow in the class wasn’t the bloomiest cow in the class; and she hadn’t had the easiest lactation BUT what a lovely, quality cow in udder texture, cleanness of hock and with an open, deep rib,” he said.
“She had the advantage over the cow in second (Deloraine James Valmal), because she was deeper in her fore and rear rib, stronger through her loin, and I preferred the height and width of her rear udder attachment.
“However, the Reserve Champion is very youthful. It’s her strength of fore udder attachment and nicer shape of teat that took her over the cow in third.”
Maughlin Storm TWO YEARS IN-MILK
” 1st – Deloraine Sam Marga VG86 (AM, BV & JJ Sherriff, Temuka, South Canterbury)
” 2nd – Membury Gold Freskia-ET (Tony & Serena Jenkins, Morrinsville, Waikato)
” 3rd – Ultimate Gold Crystal-ET VG85 (Brian & Serena Hammond and Trevor & Rosalie Zanders, Thames, Waikato)
” 4th – Tahora Dundee Legalette VG87 (Tahora Farms, Tai Tapu, Canterbury)
” 5th – Karatane Talent Donor GP82 (Dennis & Donna Holland, Kaiwera Dairy Ltd, Gore, Southland)
” 6th – Velvaleen Talen Peren-ET GP83 Brandon Gates, Palmerston North).
Comestar Leader THREE YEARS IN-MILK
” 1st – Fairview Dolman Jazz-ET VG88 (Philippa Trounce, Timaru, South Canterbury)
” 2nd – Tahora Goldwyn Tammy-ET VG86 (Velvaleen Farm Ltd, Palmerston North)
” 3rd – Klassic Damion Penelope VG89 (Deanna Ormsby, Wyndham, Southland)
” 4th – Tahora Talent Theresa VG88 (Tim and Jo Barclay, Te Awamutu)
” 5th – Cresslands Talent Bev VG85 (Graham & Nicky Stewart, Rangiora, Canterbury)
” 6th – Bushview Royal Atlas (Ian McCormack, Stratford, Taranaki)
Townson Lindy FOUR YEARS IN-MILK
” 1st – Okawa Tony Serenity EX (Tim and Jo Barclay, Te Awamutu, Waikato)
” 2nd – Deloraine Talent Vila VG87 (Alister, Bridget and James Sherriff, Temuka)
” 3rd – Brookview Dun Dee Ba VG86 (Vince & Sheridan Steiner, Tokoroa, Waikato)
” 4th – Tahora Final Cut Leggy-ET VG88 (Tahora Farms, Tai Tapu, Canterbury)
” 5th – Crossroads Wman Bizzy VG88 (Alex & Narda Harvey Family Trust, Dargaville, Northland)
” 6th – Muritai Monday Lindie EX (Dwayne Taylor, Waitara, Taranaki)
Hanoverhill Raider FIVE YEARS IN-MILK
” 1st – Karatane Adam Patsy VG88 (Stewart, Mary & Nathan Chilton, Wyndham, Southland)
” 2nd – Quinedale Monday Wazi EX (Balraj & Hardeep Singh, Taupiri, Waikato)
” 3rd – Fantastic Lartist Like S2F EX (S Muller & P Schnuriger, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty)
” 4th – Tronocco Golwyn June-ET EX(Stewart, Mary & Nathan Chilton, Wyndham, Southland)
” 5th – Tahora B Goldwyn Tori-ET EX (Tahora Farms, Tai Tapu, Canterbury)
” 6th – Pelorus Allen Cleary-ET EX (Kerry & Carol Robbins, Rai Valley, Nelson-Marlborough)
Conant Acres Broker MATURE IN-MILK
” 1st – Carse-O-Fern Free Jess EX (Doug & Lorraine Courtman & Brittany Bell, Otoronganga, Waikato)
” 2nd – Tahora Approval Lark EX (Tahora Farms, Tai Tapu, Canterbury)
” 3rd – Parkville Storm Pat S3F EX (Paul and Dianna Capes, Eketahuna, Manawatu-Wanganui)
” 4th – Kauri Glen Gibson Duchess EX (Kauri Glen Ltd, Wahoroa, Waikato)
” 5th – Deloraine Allen Ellon (Fairleigh Dairy Farm Ltd, Gore, Southland)
” 6th – Aldersyde Cousteau Brit EX (Stewart, Mary & Nathan Chilton, Wyndham, Southland)
Comestar Laurie Sheik VETERAN IN-MILK
” 1st – Clover-Lane Lee August EX2 (Karatane Dairies Ltd, Wyndham, Southland)
” 2nd – Deloraine James Valmal EX2 (AM, BV & JJ Sherriff, Temuka, South Canterbury)
” 3rd – Karatane Juror Anna EX2 (Karatane Dairies Ltd, Wyndham, Southland)
” 4th – Fantastic Lavina S0F EX3 (Vaughan & Kirsty Clarke, Fantastic Farms Ltd, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty)
” 5th – Pateke Stormatic (Jo Braggs Valley Partnership, Blenheim, Nelson-Marlborough)
” 6th – Westell Cutter Socks EX (David and Wendy Harker, Te Awamutu, Waikato)