Tuesday, 09 July 2024 11:55

Breeders rewarded for top black and white cows

Written by  Anne Boswell

Rangiora's Belbrook Farming Ltd should have been used to standing by the end of the 2024 HFNZ-Semex On-Farm Competition last month after having its name called not once, but six times throughout the awards ceremony.

The awards night, held at Distinction Hotel in Hamilton as part of the 2024 Holstein Friesian NZ AGM & Conference, saw champions announced in six categories, including the Comestar Leader - three-year-old cow category, in which Belbrook Impress Eruption and Belbrook Impression Ashlyn placed first and second respectively (Belbrook Farming Ltd, John and Robbie Wakelin).

The annual competition aims to promote the Holstein Friesian breed by judging individual Holstein Friesian cows on type at their home property in natural conditions, without being fitted or halter led.

This year, 739 Holstein Friesian cows from 90 herds were judged across eight regions, evaluated for their inherent structural correctness using specially developed linear scoring.

The top two regional place getters in each of the six classes qualified for the national final, which was judged by Jamie Taylor (Taranaki).

Of the six champion cows in 2024, four were from the South Island: Rangiora, Timaru and Wallacetown; and two from the North Island: Stratford and Palmerston North.

The Parkes family had a positive competition with three animals owned by Parkes Brothers Farming Ltd (Picton) and Johnson & Parkes Partnership (Hawera) placing in three classes in the national competition.

Schnuriger Family Trust (P & S Schnuriger, Rotorua) had four animals place in four classes, and Ferdon Genetics (Otorohanga) and Ferdon-Barron Partnership also had four animals place in the top six, over three classes.

Semex NZ’s Ryan Lett said the HFNZ-Semex On-Farm Competition is always one to look forward to.

“For 21 years now Semex has been running this competition with Holstein Friesian NZ,” Ryan said.

“This is a tremendous effort, not only for the length of time it’s been running, but for how successful the competition is, from the involvement of all the HFNZ members to the size of the competition.

“And the competition continues go from strength to strength: this year we saw a big increase in the number of cows entered across the country, which was awesome.”

National Judge Jamie Taylor said the opportunity to judge the national competition was huge.

“It certainly was a privilege to be asked to judge this competition.”

Promoting the Breed

Over 100 Holstein Friesian breeders, sponsors and supporters gathered at Distinction Hotel to see awards presented to breeders whose animals excelled in production, performance, progeny, components, youth, showing and photography categories.

The 2024 Valden Cow of the Year was awarded to Royson Oman Cybil EX2 11* ET, bred by Eddie and Kath Lambert of Whakatane (Royson Farms Ltd).

Chosen from six finalists, 2008-born Cybil was deemed to be the cow that had contributed the most to the Holstein Friesian breed on a continual basis.

“We’re not only tremendously proud, but exceptionally humbled to be in the company of such successful breeders, particularly in the Valden Cow of the Year,” Eddie Lambert says.

The Lamberts were also the recipients of the 2024 Mahoe Trophy for Royson MG Currency S3F, with 517 points.

Henley Farming Company Ltd (Nathan and Amanda Bayne, Oamaru) was again the convincing winner of the 2024 Holstein Friesian NZ Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Senior and Junior Progeny Competitions with San Ray FM Beamer-ET S2F (455 points) and Lightburn Blade Gusto (320 points) teams respectively.

These awards are presented to the Junior and Senior Progeny teams with the highest points for classification based on the 2023/24 seasons inspections, scores for udder overall and final score, production worth and protein BV.

Lakeside Dairies Ltd (David and Carrie Johnson, Putaruru) was the overall winner of the 2024 Nutritech Performance Awards with $6,317.41. This prize is awarded to the herd owner with the highest dollar earning herd average for their region based on the Fonterra A+B-C payment system for the 2022-23 season.

In the Black & White Youth Awards, Jacoba Gread of Ohinewai won the Kingsland Trophy, awarded to the Senior Black & White Youth Member who earned the most points in the 2024 All NZ Calf Class Competition. Jacoba was also the overall winner of the 2024 All NZ Black & White Youth Calf Class Competition, and the winner of the 2024 Frank Pfister Award, awarded to the highest scoring youth member at an official Holstein Friesian NZ Judging School.

In the 2024 Black & White Youth Photo Competition, Hayley Ferrier placed first in the Junior section and Jacoba Gread placed first in the Senior section. The winners were judged on calf conformation, background, presentation of animal and presentation of handler by 2024 judges John Wakelin and Karl Wood.

There was also several special awards presented at the awards dinner, including a Distinguished Award to Dave Mitchell (Penistone Holstein Friesians) and two Honorary Life Memberships to Wayne Taylor (Muritai Holsteins) and Doug Courtman (Carse-O-Fern Holstein Friesians).

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