Throughout her reign, Hailey has faced some stiff competition and came out on top. From the likes of the living legend, Harvue Roy Frosty (Read more: Who’s Next? World Dairy Expo Holstein Show Preview and World Dairy Expo 2012 Holstein Show – A Battle for the Ages), to the fan favorite Ebyholme Goldwyn Marcia (Read more: The 2012 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show – One of the greatest stories ever told), Hailey has faced the best. Each time Hailey rose to the challenge and came out victorious. This weekend she was coming into a battle with some more greats, namely, Jacobs Goldwyn Britany and Bonaccueil Maya Goldwyn. (For complete show results click here and click here for more photos)
Given the fact that Hailey has been milking for 15 months and recently injured her non show hip, many wondered if she could do it. When I first heard that Hailey had been hurt and that she was at the show, I wondered if she had bitten off more than she could chew. Both Britany and Maya are fresh again and are looking amazing. Hailey was sure to have her toughest battle yet.
As I watched Hailey over the 24 hours prior to the show, there was no doubt that she would come out looking great for a cow milking 15 months! But would that be enough? Maya and Britany were tied side by side in the Ferme Jacobs string (Read more: Ferme Jacobs: Success Is All In The Family! ) and it is there that I started to realize that Maya was in top form. Her width and power throughout and her udder was the best I have ever seen it. I started to wonder. Could this be the day? Could it really happen?
As Hailey walked to the show ring, I realized that her injury had not in any way affected her mobility and would not be a factor in the results. Then it came down to Judge Melanie Boulet’s preference. Both Hay and Maya looked great and you could give reasons either way. Certainly a tough decision. One that reminded me of the 1997 Royal. When Acme Star Lily faced off against Rainyridge Tony Beauty. Judge Marc Comtois had to choose between two amazing cows. It came down to preference and style. (Note: Comestar was not at this show as Marc was judging in South America. Also absent from the show was Ferme Boulet and Pierre Boulet, as their sister was judging and Ferme Blondin, yet the show still had a great turn out).
Judge Boulet had done a very good job all day. Now the Mature Class would be her toughest decision of the day. Giving it lots of thought, Judge Boulet went with Hailey. A decision that got mixed reviews. But, until you are in that position, it’s easy to be a ringside judge. While I would have gone with Maya, who for me now becomes the mature cow to beat for the upcoming World Dairy Expo and Royal Winter fair, I do respect Judge Boulet’s choice.
After the mature cow class, everyone, including myself, thought that it would be smooth sailing to Grand for Hailey. But on this day that was not to be. As Judge Boulet was about to name the much anticipated but expected Grand Champion, I had my camera focused on Hailey. Thinking that I would get that perfect moment when the judge does the Grand slap. Then as Judge Boulet was walking around the Intermediate Champions, and I am taking a moment to rest my hands, thinking that she is just adding drama to an already inevitable decision, Judge Boulet slaps Roquet Jasmine Sanchez, also owned by Gen-Com Holsteins, as her Grand Champion.
To say I was shocked would have been an understatement. While Jasmine certainly had a very impressive mammary system and loads of dairy strength for a Jr. 3 yr old, I did not see her contending for Grand. I actually thought she should have been Reserve Intermediate Champion, behind the winning Jr. 2yr old, Belfast Goldwyn Lasenza, a young cow with a great future. Two former classifiers at ringside commented that Lasenza should be used as the True Type Model for what a Junior 2yr old should look like. A special thanks to Gilbert Valois for the great visit to Ferme Boulet and Pierre Boulet’s operations, where I saw the great Kendra…..looking amazing at 13 years of age. My father first hired Gilbert many years ago as a classifier at Holstein Canada and the two share many stories.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
I always say that as long as you get the correct group in the parade of champions, the judge has done a great job. On this day, Judge Boulet did just that. She moved through the heifer classes with relative ease naming Jacobs Windbrook Bally, Junior Champion. Here is a heifer that should be able to contend at WDE. And then she went with Jasmine and Lasenza as her Intermediate Champions. Again two cows that will be contending at WDE. Although Judge Boulet caught at least me by surprise by going with Jasmine as her Grand, I certainly do appreciate the added drama that her selection brought to this amazing show. For the Gen-Com team, there is a silver lining. If Goldwyn Hailey is going to be beaten, it`s certainly a good thing when it`s done by one of your own cows.