The Victorian Winter Fair, which gets underway on Tuesday, has cemented itself as one of Australia's leading dairy shows, offering an opportunity for autumn-calved cows to be shown at their peak.
It also provides the chance for Red Holsteins to be recognised with separate ribbons for Red animals in all classes.
The event, now in its fourth year, will be held from Tuesday, July 4, to Thursday, July 6, at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre at the Prince of Wales showgrounds at Bendigo, Vic.
One of the event's organisers Clare Modra said the fair had struck a chord with people for a number of reasons.
The timing was ideal for autumn calvers but it also meant the cows were being shown in cool conditions, which suited them better.
The Bendigo facility was first class and allowed all the animals to be housed and shown under the same roof.
It had excellent facilities for exhibitors including powered van sites and laundry, toilet and shower facilities.
The centre also had a heated dining/bar area that looked out across the show-ring, allowing spectators to watch and hear the show in comfort.
Bendigo was central for everyone in Victoria, and reasonably accessible for people from South Australia and New South Wales. "We had one NSW exhibitor tell us it was cheaper for them to show here than at the Sydney Royal," Mrs Modra said.
Another key to its success had been that the fair was organised by a dedicated group of dairyfarmers.
"So we understand what people want; we keep costs down; we are very approachable - we sort out problems when people approach us about them," Mrs Modra said.
The fair also has a strong focus on young people.
It was held during the Victorian school holidays, allowing families to attend and young people to be involved in the youth show, Mrs Modra said.
A new event has been added this year for young people.
A Junior Judging Competition will be held on the Tuesday, allowing aspiring judges to compete against each other under the watchful eye of the main show's associate judge, Nicola Paulger, from Kenilworth, Qld.
Mrs Modra said there had already been a lot of interest in the show and she and the other organisers were expecting up to 200 entries for the event.
Judges Judges for this year's Victorian Winter Fair are Gerald Coughlin Jr and Nicola Paulger.
Gerald Coughlin Jr will preside over the judging arena this year. Mr Coughlin lives at Peterborough, Ontario, Canada where he and his family own and operate Trent Valley Holsteins and Jersey, farming 100 hectares and milking 30 cows.
Winner of the 1994 Klussendorf-Mackenzie Award presented at World Dairy Expo, and the Curtis Clark Award, presented at the Royal Winter Fair, Mr Coughlin shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for dairy cattle with youth as a 4-H leader.
He has bred and owned a number of All-American and All-Canadian cattle. He has also owned, in partnership, two World Dairy Expo Grand Champion Holsteins.
Mr Coughlin has an impressive judging resume including serving as the official judge for the 2011 International Holstein Show and as associate judge for both the 2000 and 2007 International Holstein Show at World Dairy Expo.
Nicola Paulger has been selected as the associate judge for 2017. Born and raised on the family dairy farm Adadale Jerseys and Holsteins at Kenilworth Queensland, Ms Paulger works alongside her parents on their third-generation family operation milking 400 cows on 285ha on the Mary River flats.
Before returning to the family farm, Ms Paulger completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness and a Bachelor of Animal Science from the University of Queensland.
Adadale has enjoyed many years of success in the show-ring notably holding the Most Successful Exhibitor award for more than 30 consecutive years at the Brisbane Royal.
Ms Paulger has been fortunate to work with some of the highest profile animals in Australia and has also travelled to New Zealand, North America and Canada where she has formed strong bonds and works alongside some influential studs in the industry.
She has judged numerous showmanship, youth and regional shows throughout Australia and is looking forward to this opportunity.
Sale This year the concept for the sale held in conjunction with the event has been refreshed.
Elders will host the Winter Warm Up sale on the evening of Wednesday, July 5. The sale will consist of 35 head of quality Holsteins.
Contact: Clare Modra, phone (03) 5487 1127, mobile 0419 200 981 or email .