A black Holstein one owner didn’t want to bring to the New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE) – and a Jersey who could have easily been eating grass at home – were named Junior All Breeds Champion and Reserve respectively at Feilding today.
The Holstein, Larkspur Lauthority Whip, started the day settling into Reserve Champion in the Youth Show under South Taranaki judge Kylee Perrett. She was exhibited by Lara Honeyfield in the Youth Show on behalf of her owners, Ron and Amy Baker, of Fusion Genetics, at Kairanga.
In the Holstein open show Whip first won the Junior Yearling Heifer class, followed by Junior Champion Holstein before going on to snaffle All Breeds Junior Champion after the scores were collated from the five interbreed judges which included Kylee (Youth Show), Ryan Lett (Waikato, Combined Breeds) Bernie Cox (Mid-Canterbury, Holstein), Craig Robertson (Canterbury, Jersey) and Roger Hutchings (Northland, Ayrshire).
Ron Baker candidly admitted that there had been some robust discussions about whether Whip deserved her place in the team.
“We weren’t expecting her to get up, even though I’ve always liked the heifer,” Ron said.
“I haven’t liked her,” Amy chimed in.
“Amy has been a bit on the bench about her,” Ron countered.
“I’m not on the bench – I’m on the other side of the fence,” Amy insisted.
Regardless, Whip already had runs on the board. Last year, she was second in the Junior Calf class in the Holstein show and the L’Authority x Diamondback x Windbrook has some other telling credentials. Her granddam is the top-producing Holstein in the couple’s 160-cow (year-round) herd, with a completed 305-day lactation of 1114kg MS [14,761 litres].
The pair say they enjoy the rivalry of choosing the show team and every year one of them has the final say. Up for grabs is a year’s bragging rights when they get it right.
“I’m feeling pretty good about that right now,” Ron said.
“I suppose he would, because he doesn’t usually win,” Amy laughed.
“It’s still pretty exciting, and Lara Honeyfield did a lovely job on the halter,” said Ron as he claimed the final say.
FERDON ENJOYING BEING BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Down at the Ferdon Genetics’ team there was also banter about the Reserve Champion Jersey – Ferdon Ribbon Eliza – owned by Frenchman Clement Illand.
The 26-year-old Normandy-born native has been in New Zealand for two-and-a-half years. He bought the heifer from Ferdon Genetics, who were a guest consigner in Waipiri Holsteins “A Taste of Waipiri” sale in June 2021. Ferdon Genetics includes Warren and Michelle Ferguson, and their son, Corey. They milk 220 cows on 92ha at Otorohanga, in the heart of New Zealand’s Waikato. They offered to continue to house and manage Eliza for Clement.
Clement is well-travelled with runs on the board after working at Golden Oaks Farm in Chicago, in the United States. During his time in the US, he was also part of MAST International, which brings young internationals to the US on a J-1 visa to train for 3-18 months in greenhouses, farms, research labs, and wineries, where they learn new skills, improve their English, and experience American life. He also had the chance to to study for a semester at the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
Because Warren had been chosen to judge the Jersey show at International Dairy Week (IDW) in Australia, the family had deliberately limited its entries for the NZDE. The only heifers it included were in the sale.
However, when the New Zealand and Australian border was once again closed by Covid-19, Warren was forced to withdraw from his IDW judging assignment. With an extra set of experienced hands in the mix, Corey started to look at the heifers and suggested perhaps Eliza should join the team.
DROPPED AN ENTRY FOR THE RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION
Warren joked they had had to drop one of their own entries to make room for her.
“It was a good drop, I think,” Clement smiled with a cheeky shrug of his shoulders. “It could have been worse, she could have been last, and have done nothing.”
Everyone chuckled, knowing the win was good news for Ferdon’s campaign.
Eliza is sired by Black Ribbon, whose name was inspired by the two Jerseys in his pedigree who remain the only exponents of their breed to win the coveted black Supreme Ribbon at NZDE. Black Ribbon is by a homebred son of Ferdon Comerica Viyella, who was Grand Champion Jersey at the NZDE for five successive years – winning Supreme in 2012, 2015 and 2016. Black Ribbon’s dam is Ferdon Blackstone Rose, who was Supreme Champion at the NZDE in 2018. Eliza’s dam, Ferdon N Lights Eve, comes from a family which has also contributed a number of Royal Champion titles to Ferdon’s trophy cabinets.
As Clement happily settled back into his dinner – sponsored by NZDE – after sharing his thoughts, and when he was asked if there was anything else he’d add, he smiled and said: “Bon Appétit.”
For today’s full results, please visit https://nzdairyevent.com/?page_id=1975
THURSDAY JUDGING ACTION
bidr® will livestream the event from the first class. Simply click here to watch the show in real time: https://bidr.co.nz/con…/livestream-of-nzde-judging-showing
8.15am – Youth Show – 2 & 3 year-old in-milk classes followed immediately by Breed and All Breeds 2 & 3 year-old in-milk classes.
Noon – Lunch
1pm – Breed and All Breeds 4 year-old and over in-milk classes
3.30pm – Wilbur Trophy Competition: Each breed can enter a team of four
4pm – Breed Champions
5pm – National Anthem and Supreme Champion