For the second year in a row the best dairy cow at the Sydney Royal Easter Show has come from the Shoalhaven.
Justin Walsh, from the Waljasper Stud as Jaspers Brush along with his parents Col and Sue, took out supreme interbreed dairy champion with Holstein Avonlea Fever Suzette-ET.
Suzette’s win is even more meritorious as she has gone back-to-back in taking out the top award.
It was a splitting of hairs judging decision that eventually sashed the rising six-year-old Holstein as the overall champion.
In the end Lindsay Moxey, Newington Holsteins, Singleton, was called into the cattle ring to choose between Berry Show supreme senior champion and last year’s interbreed intermediate champion, Kathleigh Gun Grace, exhibited by Cherrylock Cattle Co and bred by Kathleigh Jerseys, Forbes, led by another former Shoalhaven resident Brad Gavenlock.
Under the scrutiny of all the dairy cattle breeding judges at this year’s show, both cows were on equal points, amassing seven each. Each also had the same number of first placings (three) which normally decides the race.
Mr Moxey eventually gave the Holstein the win.
Mr Walsh said there had been a lot of hard work over a number of years to get Suzette to this stage.
“She’s really come together well and thanks to the fantastic team of helpers we’ve had, we certainly couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.
“And even the people at home who aren’t here today as well. It’s been a fantastic effort for a long time to get this cow like this.
“She is the best cow we’ve ever had. You always have good cows in your herd but every once and again you get a cow that’s in a different league. And she is. It’s so good, you don’t always get a cow that good.
“She is not just a show cow. She’s perfect to work with at home, gives a lot of milk, breeds well and has good daughters.”
The last time a Holstein went back-to-back in the supreme cow was in 1999-2000, although a Jersey has won it three times in a row, something no other cow has managed to achieve.
“Lots of cows have won supreme twice but to do it back-to-back is rare, it takes a lot of work to achieve,” Mr Walsh said.
But he doesn’t believe Suzette will make it a three peat next year.
“We will be looking to do a flushing program with her and get a few more progeny,” he said.
“She will then have a break and we will set her for the State Show at Nowra later in the year.
“And then try and recalve her for the following year.”
For the past two years Suzette has been supreme champion at Berry and best uddered before backing it up to take out supreme cow at the Sydney Royal, albeit it two close finishes, something Mr Walsh said was special.
“We really appreciate the kind thoughts and comments we’ve had on this cow throughout the week,” he said.
“Congrats to Brad and Jess on their Jersey, I think she’s a fantastic Jersey as well. Congrats to all the exhibitors.”
It proved to be a successful time for Shoalhaven exhibitors with Tom and Kyleigh Cochrane, of Kangawarra Illawarras and Blissful Holstein and Brown Swiss at Pyree claiming senior champion Brown Swiss with Kevindale Zeus Rosina.
Alexz Crawford, of Mayfair Holsteins and Brown Swiss, at Brundee also claimed intermediate champion with Miss Goldwyn Honeycombe.
Former Shoalhaven locals Brad and Jessica Gavenlock, claimed junior interbreed champion with Illawarra Panorama Angeline 48th, exhibited by Cherrylock Cattle Company, Tallygaroopna, Victoria owned in partnership with breeders Kathleigh Farming, Forbes.