Around 5% of ewes in New Zealand will have problems with their udders (udder defects).
Eighteen months ago, Toby and his parents, Newlands Whytock and Lee Morris (an equine vet who specialises in equine embryos through her business, EquibreedArt) decided to shift their focus on their 40ha farm from horses to cows.
They not only won Holstein Junior Champion and Supreme Junior Champion with Glenidol Lambda Cookie – they had two animals finish in the top-two of the six Holstein classes that peaked at 26-head in one class. It was a punchy start in the registered industry at the country’s premier show for this tight knit family which supplies Open Country Dairy.
“We’ve got a small farm, and we thought if we can have only a small number of cows we’ll have 50 really nice cows,” Lee said.
Lee said they had secured foundation cows from the Barclay family (Okawa Holsteins) and later from Tahora Holsteins’ Party at the Pub sale in Canterbury in April 2022. One of the those cows, sired by High Octane – Tahora Octane Cookie – bred them Cookie. It’s worth noting that Tahora Holsteins had a quiet hand in two of the three Supreme Champions of the show.
“We bought seven amazing animals, and her mother was one of them,” Lee said.
Newlands said he had always followed the production awards and had always been impressed by Tahora’s results.
“Now we’re buying some of their animals,” he smiled.
They both said – as Toby rushed straight from the win to join his team in the youth challenge – that it was an incredible feeling not just to show cattle, but to show cattle together.
“Because it’s such a family thing… kind of ‘united we stand’,” Lee said.