Every year the week after the Royal Winter Fair, it seems like everyone ends up with “The Royal Flu.” Now doctors might try to explain it away as the result of being in and out of cold environments, or poor diet combined with lack of sleep, lots of drinking and poor air quality, but I think there is something else to it. I think the Royal Flu is more likely the result of our bodies mourning the end of what was another amazing show season.
There is no question that for those passionate breeders who love to take cattle out to all the spring, summer and fall shows the grind that it puts on their bodies is insane. And that does not even factor in the amount of work it takes back home at the farm to have these amazing cattle in show shape. However, for those of us who appreciate and have been fortunate to attend most of these major shows this year, I want to say thanks to all the breeders and exhibitors who have made this year’s show season so exciting.
Spring show fever
Every year starts with the excitement and promise of what could be. And while in the heifer and young cow classes this is true, this year we saw RF Goldwyn Hailey, last year’s Supreme Champion at World Dairy Expo and The Royal looking probably the best she has ever looked. This was especially true at the NY Spring Carousel, the “Expo” of the spring shows. Hailey looked absolutely amazing! (Read more: RF Goldwyn Hailey Rides to the Top Spot at NY Spring Carousel).
It was also at NY Spring show that we started to see Charwill Attic Marcy start to step out of the shadow of R-E-W Happy Go Lucky and show her dominance in the Senior 2 year old class. Every time I had the opportunity to see Marcy she looked better and better culminating in her dominating wins at both Expo and The Royal. (Read more: Canadian National Holstein Show Results) I certainly am excited at the prospect of the two great young cows calving again and going head to head to see just who has the potential to be the next great one.
Then of course there is always the excitement that builds around which heifers will ring the bell. And while early winners like Ontario Spring Show Junior Champion Winright Sid Elegance managed to contend all year long, others seemed to peak early and fall off the radar as the year went along. (Read more: Ontario Spring Discovery – Nothing Slipped Past Judge “Crack” and Quebec Spring Holstein Show Results)
Things start to get hotter in the summer
It was in the summer that we started to see things really start to heat up. At the Quebec provincial championship we saw Roquet Jasmine Sanchez upset RF Goldwyn Hailey, though Hailey had been milking over a year at that point (Read more: Expo Provinciale Montmagny – Holstein Show 2013 and RF Goldwyn Hailey Unbeatable?). It was also at that show that I saw two fairly fresh cows – Bonaccueil Maya Goldwyn and Belfast Goldwyn Lasenza. Here were two cows that I pegged for success at that point and who would certainly make a lot of noise in the fall.
Things were also starting to get interesting in Ontario as well. Calbrett Goldwyn Layla had recently freshened and won grand at Ontario Summer Show and was followed closely behind by the very popular Valleyville Rae Lynn, who had won one of the greatest senior three-year-old classes I have ever seen in my life. (Read more: Ontario Summer Show Holstein Results). Layla would sell just a few days later for $125,000 to Comestar Holsteins and Ponderosa Holsteins at the Cormdale Summer Sale. (Read more: Cormdale Summer Sale 2013 Results)
It was also at the Summer Show that we got our first glimpses of Futurecrest Aftershock Tahlia the very impressive Aftershock daughter from the All Canadian Salem Goldwyn Theresa EX-94, who would go on to win at the Autumn Opportunity Show (Read more: Autumn Opportunity 2013 Holstein Show) as well as become the 2nd highest seller at the Sale of Stars. (Read more: Sale of Stars Averages $19,344).
It was also late summer/early fall that we saw another great senior three year old class, with Cowtown Durham Grasshopper upsetting the 2012 All-American and All-Canadian Butz-Butler Gold Barbara at Harrisburg (Read more: 2013 All American Black and White Holstein Show).
It was also at Harrisburg that Cameron Ridge Atwood Beauty earned her second of what would be three top show Junior Champion awards for her new owners Chris & Jennifer Hill & Gene Iager, who purchased Beauty in that International Intrigue sale for $62,000. Beauty would go on to be named Junior Champion at Expo. (Read more: International Intrigue at Ferme Blondin Sale Results 2013).
The stars shine bright in the fall
While the spring and summer shows are nice, what really matters are the fall shows. More specifically Expo and The Royal. This year we decided to add a little extra excitement to these two big shows with the introduction of our Fantasy Exhibitor Contests. (Read more: Fantasy Exhibitor – World Dairy Expo 2013 Edition – The Results! and Royal Winter Fair Fantasy Exhibitor – The Results) The response to this competition was amazing. Expect some new exciting features for 2014. While Fantasy Exhibitor was great, it could not compare to the shows themselves. Having been to so many of the spring and fall shows, our expectations were certainly high coming into Expo and as usual the show did not disappoint. From the outstanding success of the KHW Regiment Apple-Red Family to seeing the living legend Oold Mill E Snickerdoodle OCS, Expo put on a show like none other. (Read more: KHW Regiment Apple-Red – Beauty, performance, and even more record accomplishments, History Made At the 2013 International Red & White Show and The 12 Greatest North American Colored Breed Show Cattle of All-Time)
The memory that will certainly last a lifetime for me is when Judge Justin Burdette named Bonaccueil Maya Goldwyn as Grand Champion. (Read more: World Dairy Expo 2013 – Memories to last a Lifetime and World Dairy Expo 2013 Holstein Show Results) That wasn’t just because we had predicted that she would win (Read more: World Dairy Expo 2013 Holstein Show Preview – Everything You Need To Know To Get Ready For the Show). Having known the Jacobs family for many years, and having always been amazed by their great cattle and extreme passion for the business, it was great to see them win such an honor. (Read more: FERME JACOBS: SUCCESS IS ALL IN THE FAMILY!)
The stars start to fall
As we started to enter the home stretch, with only two major shows left, you could certainly start to feel the flu bug starting to set in. Maybe it was the thousands of miles travelled and the hours of hard work, but the winds of change where blowing. In what would be a foreshadowing of the Royal, Judge Adam Little made MS Goldwyn Alana his Grand Champion followed by Robrook Goldwyn Cameron and Maya having to settle for HM Grand Champion honors (Read more: Expo Internationale Holstein Québec Results).
Also foreshadowing the Royal were the Intermediate Champion Aingers Advent Bambi, the impressive 3rd calf senior 3 year old and HM Intermediate Champion Charwill Attic Marcy as well as the Junior Champion Fanico Reginald Marty and Reserve Junior Champion Comestar Larion Goldwyn.
With change being the major theme, Judge John Crowley certain kept the momentum going at The Royal. While the Royal results were not that different than those of Quebec, there was certainly one major change, in that Maya did not only not win Grand, she was also defeated in her own class by Calbrett Goldwyn Layla. That meant two major upsets this year (Rae Lynn at Summer Show, and Maya at the Royal) by this Goldwyn daughter of the great Lylehaven Lila Z, a cow who in her own right stirred much discussion when she sold for $1.15 million. (Read more: Lylehaven Lila Z: Was She Really Worth $1.15 Million?).
Also generating a lot of discussion at the Royal was the naming of Cookview Goldwyn Monique Reserve Grand Champion. While she certainly did not start the show looking her best, she did come on strong and looked impressive by the time Grand Champion was named. Her rear udder looked fuller and she moved with great ease. While some would not have even had her in their final parade, by the time it came to name Grand Champion, most at ringside felt that there was no doubt that it would be the two 4 year olds. Monique earned Reserve and the class winner Robrook Goldwyn Cameron was named Grand Champion.
Seeing Tom and Kelli Cull embrace after Cameron was named grand champion certainly epitomizes what is great about the show ring. Tom and Kelli are great examples of passionate dairy enthusiasts, they show, board and sell great cattle. They so love the show ring and their passion and dedication is 2nd to none. Their success is truly a result of having the show “bug” and it was wonderful for them to achieve this amazing honor.
The Bottom Line
Yes, there remains the excitement of the All-Canadian and All-American Awards. And don’t forget the Breeders Choice Awards which is the only major award where you the dairy enthusiast get to decide who was the best from the past year. However, the actual shows for the 2013 season are over.
The memories are great and, of course, we will always have the pictures. There is no question that we feel the letdown as we put away the show halters, boxes and whites for another year. There is a part of me that once again is suffering from the “Royal Flu” at the end of another exciting show year. Thanks to all the Breeders, Exhibitors and to you our readers for helping to make this year so exceptional. . Of course spring shows are just around the corner.