Illawarra takes grand prize again

27 Jan, 2019 09:56 AM
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It's probably the best two-and-half grand we've ever spent.

The first Illawarra cow to be named Australia's Grand Champion Cow at International Dairy Week has done it again.

Wallumlands Sunstorm 8, exhibited by Glen Gordon, Daniel Bacon and Ben Govett, Cohuna, Vic, first won Australia's top award in 2015 as a four-year-old, and was the grand champion Illawarra cow in 2017.

It returned this year as an eight-year-old to again take all before it and claim the top prize on Thursday.

Wallumlands Sunstorm 8 is only the second cow to twice win Australia's top interbreed award.

Mr Gordon said the win was an honour for the three friends who own the cow.

"I guess we are pretty privileged; to do it once was a dream to do it twice is ... I'm not sure what it is ... it is quite surprising," he said.

"It's great to win with a couple of mates - it's probably the best two-and-half grand we've ever spent.

"We've had a lot of fun."

Mr Gordon said Wallumlands Sunstorm 8, which runs in his herd, was "a run-of-the-mill cow who mixes it with 600 Holstein cows".

The cow was producing 48 litres of milk a day.

"She's certainly one of the best cows we have ever worked with," he said.

Mr Gordon said the win was the culmination of a two-year plan to have the cow right for IDW.

"She didn't get pregnant for last year so we made sure she calved at the right time in the right condition for this day," he said.

The trio was not sure about their plans for the cow but have bred it back in hopes it would be able to compete again next year.

"It would be nice to give her another run because she is so youthful," Mr Gordon said.

Check out our gallery from the interbreed judgings

The reserve champion was the Jersey exhibit of Alan and Janine Carson, Cairnbrae Jersey stud, Irrewillipe East, Vic.

Cairnbrae Valentino Daisy 11 is the highest rated Jersey cow in Australia, with a Balanced Perfomance Index of 387.

"She's a top-of-the-tree cow," Mr Carson said.

"I don't think ever in the history that a number one BPI cow has been named champion at dairy week."

The Jersey championship and reserve interbreed awards complete a lifetime ambition for Mr Carson.

"It's very, very exciting," he said.

"It would have been great to have won but to have come second to a great cow like that.

"There have been some tremendous comments about our cow and we are over the moon."

The Holstein exhibit took the intermediate interbreed award.

Bluechip MH Hero Marion had to overcome an illness and subsequent operation to be ready for the show.

The three-year-old cow is owned by Californians Frank and Diane Borba and Australians Declan Patten and Brad Salmon.

"The cow has ... recovered extremely well, she's a fighter and the personality of the cow is just amazing," Mr Patten said.

Mr Patten said the owners planned to bring the cow back to IDW next year.

"We think she's a cow with a big future," he said.

"We might do some IVF and make a few pregnancies but right now we are looking forward to the future.

"The cow has so many great years ahead of her."

Mr Patten said he had grown up on a dairy farm and had always been passionate about the industry.

He said his parents nurtured his passion.

"I remember reading 20 years of magazines when I was about 12 years old, there was just something in my blood and I've just been passionate about it ever since," he said.

The reserve intermediate was the Jersey exhibit Windy Ways Galaxies Dawn 7, shown by Frank Walsh, Windy Ways, Tongala, Vic.

Mr Walsh said the win was one of his life's highlights.

"I played a lot of football in my days and this is up there with it or better," he said.

"I've won premierships, I've coached premierships, and this is up there with the best."

Mr Walsh said the champion had been a standout since it was a calf.

"She's a magnificent cow - she's not a cow yet - she's only a young cow," he said.

"She's producing 30 litres of milk at the moment, which we are pretty happy with."

The junior interbreed champion was also the Holstein exhibit.

Murribrook Solomon Tambourine was shown Murribrook Holsteins, Moss Vale, NSW.

Stud principal Murray Sowter said the heifer ticked a lot of boxes.

"To win against such strong competition is always very rewarding and satisfying," he said.

"The heifer is a particularly good heifer and it is nice that other people appreciate her."

Mr Sowter said Murribrook Solomon Tambourine was joined to sexed Atwood.

The reserve interbreed junior champion went to the Illawarra exhibit Llandovery Queens Clarie 1969th, shown by Rachael Barnes, Finley, NSW.

INTERBREED HONOUR ROLL

Australia's Grand champion: Illawarra: Wallumlands Sunstorm 8th, Gordon, Bacon & Govett, Cohuna, Vic.

Reserve: Jersey: Cairnbrae Valentino Daisy 11, A&J Carson, Irrewillipe East, Vic.

Intermediate interbreed champion: Holstein: Bluechip MH Hero Marion, F&D Borba, D Patten & B Salmon, California, US.

Reserve: Jersey: Windy Ways Galaxies Dawn 7, Windy Ways Jerseys, Tongala, Vic.

Junior interbreed champion: Holstein: Murribrook Solomon Tambourine-ET, Murribrook Holsteins, Moss Vale, NSW.

Reserve: Illawarra: Llandovery Queens Clarie 1969th, Rachael Barnes, Finley, NSW.

Catch our videos of all the action from the interbreed judging.

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