It’s like the soccer World Cup but for Dairy Cows. The European Championships are organized by the European Holstein & Red Holstein Confederation every two years and this year 16 countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) will be participating in this outstanding event.
In 2013, the event is being held in Fribourg, a city located at the cultural border between the German and French speaking parts of Switzerland. Fribourg 2013 is going to be something special, since Switzerland itself represents one of Europe’s countries in the show ring.
Tuesday 26 February
08:00 onwards Arrival of the animals
Friday 1 March
08:00 – 16:00 Farms visits
16:00 – 17:30 Showmanship: young breeders final
18:30 – 20:00 Opening ceremony
20:30 onwards Swiss European Sale
Saturday 2 March
9:30 – 11:30 Red Holstein championship: “Individual” / “National Groups”
13:00 – 16:00 Holstein championship: “Individual”
16:00 – 18:00 Holstein championship: “National Groups”
18:00 – 19:00 Prize‐giving ceremony
20:00 onwards Breeders’ fondue party
Sunday 3 March
8:00 onwards Departure of the animals
8:00 – 16:00 Farms visits
Different from the standard classes many North Americans would be accustomed to, the classes for the All-European Championships for Holstein and Red Holstein are as follows:
- Junior category: only 1st lactation cows, having calved, up to 32 months.
- Intermediate category: only cows having calved twice, up to 60 months as at 1 March 2013 (born 1 March 2008 or later).
- Senior category: only cows having calved three times or more (at least two completed lactations).
- 1st Lactation cows must make up at least 20% of a country’s contingent. The same applies to cows having calved twice.
- All cows must have been born in Europe and must have been recorded in the herdbook of the participating country since 1 March 2012 or before (subject to milk testing). All the cows and reserve cows must be registered by 25 January 2013 at the latest.
Presiding over the Holstein classes will be David Boyd from Glaslough Holsteins in Ireland whilst the Red classes will take place under the watchful eye of Niels Erik Haahr of Anderstrup Holsteins, Denmark.
David Boyd is an Irish breeder who runs a dairy farm with his brother in Glaslough. There are 50 dairy cows and 80 heifers in their Glaslough Holsteins herd. The average output is 10,300 kg of milk over 305 days at 3.69% fat and 3.29% protein. There are 14 EX cows and 33 VG ones in the herd. In 2011, 20 first-calf heifers were classified VG, with two of these receiving a VG88 classification. David has enjoyed a great deal of success at shows. In particular, he was named the Best Breeder and the Best Exhibitor at the Irish National Show in 2011. David has been accredited as a judge by the Irish Holstein Friesian Association for more than 20 years and he is also a member of the IHFA board. He has judged at a large number of shows in Ireland, the UK, Portugal and Italy. He has also taken part in the last four workshops for European judges.
Niels Erik Haahr is a Danish breeder whose family owns the Anderstrup Holsteins dairy herd. They have 300 cows with an average output over 365 days of 14,600 kg of milk. They have developed an intensive Anderstrup Holsteins breeding program, with more than 200 calves per year resulting from embryo transfers. The scheme produces numerous bulls for AI centers in Denmark and Germany. Anderstrup Holsteins is also heavily involved in competitions and it has already won 25 awards at the National Show. Niels Erik Haahr has been judging since the age of 16 and he is now an accredited judge. He has performed judging duties at many important regional shows in Denmark and at the National Show on four occasions.
From the host nation, Switzerland, comes one of the strongest contenders Decrausaz Iron O’Kalibra EX-94, who many of the North American experts say could walk on the colored shavings at Madison and give the North American cows a run for their money.
However, there are many other cows to watch for including:
The Past Champions
Festive events and a specialist trade fair
The focus of attention of the 5,000‐plus visitors from Switzerland and the whole of Europe will, of course, be the championship itself, which will be held in the ring. However, other aspects of breeding will also be presented to the public during the two days of the event. A competitive showing exclusively for young breeders, a cattle auction and two gala evenings will foster relations between the delegations within a pleasant and festive atmosphere, while a specialist trade fair will bring together commercial exhibitors from areas relating to breeding and agriculture, thereby promoting friendly, professional contacts between the various Swiss and European participants.
No EXPO Bulle in 2013
The organizers of EXPO Bulle have declared that due to the exceptional circumstances, the show will miss a year in 2013. Event manager Jean‐Charles Philipona stressed that: “This was a difficult decision to take because breeders are very attached to EXPO Bulle. However, we know what an event like the European Championship represents in terms of human and financial resources. Since the majority of our partners are involved in both events, we will work closely with the federations and pool our strength. Holding the European Championship is an exceptional occurrence that merited an exceptional decision.” EXPO Bulle, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, nevertheless confirms that this year’s show will not go ahead as planned on 24 and 25 March 2013.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
While maybe not as well known to many North American breeders, the All-European Championship is certainly one of the best exhibitions of dairy cattle in the world. With past winners who could walk on the colored shavings in North America and the potential for this year’s winner to give the great RF Goldwyn Hailey a run for her money, Fribourg 2013 is certainly going to be an event many breeders should be watching with a careful eye.
Check out the following team pre-selections:
- GERMAN PRE-SELECTION FOR EUROPEAN SHOW
- GB LINE-UP FOR THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS ANNOUNCED!
- PRE-SELECTION ITALY EUROPEAN SHOW
- SWISS PRE-SELECTIONS FOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2013
GERMAN PRE-SELECTION FOR EUROPEAN SHOW
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