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RF Goldwyn Hailey – One of the Greatest of All Time?

There are certain cows that are known by one name only.  Charity, Beauty and Frosty are three  that come to mind quickly.  With her win at the 2014 International Holstein Show, RF Goldwyn Hailey EX-97 3E 2* has now entered that illustrious stratosphere. (Read more: The 2014 International Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo)


While there have been many cows that have been able to win Grand Champion honors once at World Dairy Expo, very few have been able to repeat that achievement.  That short  list includes: Wind Drift Countess Nora (70, 72), Brookview Tony Charity (82, 84, 85, 87), Merkley Starbuck Whitney (92, 93), Rainyridge Tony Beauty (95, 99), Vandyk-K Integrity Paradise (00, 02) and Harvue Roy Frosty (09, 10).  With her win this past week, Hailey now joins this celebrated group.


The question now becomes, “Does Hailey deserve to be among the greatest Holstein Show Cows of all time?” (Read more: The 8 Greatest North American Show Cows of All-Time).  On the merits of her two wins at Expo ’12 and  ‘14 and Grand Champion honors at the Royal in 2012, Hailey now enters the top 8 and stands in the league of #6 on our list MERKLEY STARBUCK WHITNEY EX-CAN EX-96-5YR-USA 3*, and #5, HARVUE ROY FROSTY EX-97-2E-USA,.   It’s interesting that she now enters the league of Frosty as it was her battle with  fellow EX-97 legend that first catapulted her to this stardom at the 2012 World Dairy Expo. That was  a battle Hailey ultimately won.

Often described as Incredible Perfection, Brookview Tony Charity holds the record for most wins at Expo by a Holstein. Those four wins are a record that may never be surpassed.  For her time, Charity was in a league entirely of her own.  Even looking back now, it’s hard to believe how correct Charity looks some 30 years later.  But the ideal cow has changed over the years. One could argue that at her best today, Hailey exactly fits the mold for the modern perfect cow.

Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to see Hailey many, many times.  At the 2013 NY International Spring Show, Hailey was as close to perfection as I have ever seen a cow in my life.  (Read more: RF Goldwyn Hailey Rides to the Top Spot at NY Spring Carousel) That occasion is  now  rivaled by this year’s appearance at World Dairy Expo.    While Hailey looked great during the Holstein Show at Expo this year, a few hours later just before she entered the Supreme Parade, she rivaled her appearance at  the 2012 NY show, as she had  made her already high and wide rear udder even more spectacular.


While there is often repeated discussion about her extreme balance, width and power, one point that I think does not get enough publication is her extremely strong udder cleft.  Some cows, as they get older, start to lose the strength of udder cleft.  Hailey at eight  years of age and after 4 calvings and almost 100,000 lbs. of lifetime production has an udder cleft that is almost two hands deep.  What an incredible testament to the greatness of this cow.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There is no question that, if you stood Hailey side by side with  Charity, you would give the edge to Hailey based on what is the modern ideal cow.  She would be much longer of her neck, wider of her chest, moves more correctly on her feet and legs and possesses more ideal udder texture.   But the question remains, “Will Hailey compare well in thirty years?” One thing is certain.  If she  achieves at least one more victory at either Expo or The Royal, Hailey will  confirm her well-deserved position beside the top 5  show cows in the history of the Holstein breed. She will definitely be in the  league with THRULANE JAMES ROSE EX-97-2E-CAN 2*, ACME STAR LILY EX-2E-CAN EX-94-4YR-USA 8*, RAINYRIDGE TONY BEAUTY EX-5E-CAN 9* and the greatest of all time, BROOKVIEW TONY CHARITY EX-CAN EX-97-5YR-USA DOM 13*.  A legend in the making …..Hailey.


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