State over-judging: Victoria and South-Eastern South Australia
Judge: Murray Polson, Oxley Island, NSW
Entries: 1285 (2016 - 1616)
Farms: 187 (2016 - 203) For the first time in the 16-year history of the Semex-Holstein Australia final for Victoria and South-Eastern South Australia, a Supreme Champion has been awarded.
Historically, the competition celebrates Champions in their respective age classes, but it has never before taken the step of singling out an individual cow for overall glory in the biggest and arguably most competitive state of the nationwide competition. It was announced during an annual luncheon for the owners of the finalists at the Witchmount Estate winery at Melton, Vic, recently.
Announced by Holstein Australia’s chief executive officer Graeme Gillan, the award slightly wrong-footed Semex’s Jim Conroy because it has been named after him – and his team had worked hard to hide it from him.
Mr Conroy has – so far – given 47 years to the industry, and he was the first to back the On-Farm movement.
This year’s Supreme was awarded to the five-year-old winner Sleepy Hollow Jasper Posey-ET, owned by the Oakwood partnership at Tocumwal, just over the NSW border.
Judge Murray Polson, from Oxley Island, in NSW, was the man in the hot seat and, for him, it came down to two cows.
Posey is part-owned and managed by the Flanagan family at Wood Lawn Holsteins.
The Oakwood partnership includes investor Graeme Turner, of Australasian Global Exports (among a number of other businesses).
Posey’s journey started in South Australia with her breeder, David Peglar.
It was sold through the Bluechip Genetics sale as a calf in Victoria for $5600 to the Oakwood partnership and they have developed the cow.
Posey won the senior three-year-old class and Honourable Mention Intermediate Champion at International Dairy Week (IDW) in 2015.
Now in-form on another calf, it has 2017 IDW firmly in its sights.
It is now a name everyone will be watching for – because it heads into the danger class where Champions are often found.
The Wilcoxview Jasper daughter is out of Pooley Bridge Damion Posey 4-Imp-ET EX90-1E x Windy-Knoll-View Posey-ET EX90-1E x Windy-Knoll-View Ultimate Pala EX94-3E.
“One thing’s for sure, I know it’s nicer to accept this award in a winery over a great lunch, than it is to be standing in the middle of the ring at IDW in 35-degree heat with the flies all over you,” Oakwood partnership’s representative Nick Flanagan said.
“I was just sort of hoping to finish in the top five, I guess. She’s a tremendous cow, and we’ve had a lot of fun with her.
"She does just about everything right. She makes embryos, she does seem to have bull calves herself, but her embryos seem to be heifers.
"She goes to shows and wins, and it’s unique to have a really good two-year-old go on – and as she matures – be able to compete with the best cows in the South-East of Australia.”
Mr Flanagan said Graeme Turner had made it possible for Wood Lawn to invest in some exciting individuals.
Judge Mr Polson said he had sat on the Supreme decision for a day and a half.
It came down to Posey and his mature Champion, Grasslands Lou Lois (x Jenny-Lou Marshall), who was represented at the luncheon by her overwhelmed owner Jen Van Rijthoven, Grasslands Holsteins, Mt Gambier, SA.
Mrs Van Rijthoven is better known for her Brown Swiss.
Judge Murray said the mature class was incredible.
He said it could have gone either way for Supreme. However, for him, it was the five-year-old that ticked all the boxes.
“There’s very little between these two cows,” he said.
“But the five-year-old puts it all together for me. She has so much presence and so much size and length right throughout. I’m giving her the advantage in breed character through the head, and the way she tracks on her feet and legs – and that probably sounds picky, but that’s what this came down to.
“I love competitions like this that can make a cow’s career, or unearth a cow that hasn’t been seen before – and the Supreme award has done both.”
The two-year-old Champion went to Cardina breeders Avonlea Holsteins with Budgeree McCutchen Angelina-ET.
The three-year-old Champion Luccombe Fulton Lady was from the herd of well-recognised Finley, NSW, farmers Robin and Lowis White. The VG85 second-calved homebred entry is backed by its Shottle dam x VG85 Silky Cousteau x EX90-1E BossIron.
Robin White said he was “truly honoured” to win the class.
Judge Mr Polson said the talent in the three-year-old class was deep.
The four-year-old Champion came with a personal story for Maree Deenen, of Leongatha, Voc.
Carisma Demolish Victory is a VG87 Budjon-Nitzy Demolish daughter out of Murribrook Goldwyn Victory VG86 x the 2008 IDW Intermediate Champion – Strongbark Linjet Victory EX90-1E.
Mrs Deenen said, that together with her parents, Trevor and Rosalie Zanders, they had bought the four-year Champion’s dam, Murribrook Goldwyn Victory. They later split the partnership by taking pick-for-pick on the calves.
“She was my pick,” Mrs Deenen said with a huge smile.
Mr Polson was excited to see her. “She put it together for me,” he said.
“She had so much width and openness of chest, and you look at her side profile, and she has that beautiful sharp shoulder; she’s so wide in her pins and she tracks so nicely on those feet and legs."
The five-year-old was to be Murray’s favourite cow of the competition, so it was no surprise he had plenty to say about it in its class.
“The top three cows in the five-year-old class are all great individuals in their own right,” he said.
“The cow in Reserve [Avonlea Braedale Bettine] had been milking 11 months, the cow in Honourable Mention was fresh, but what three outstanding quality cows.
“My Champion commands a fair bit of attention, and she certainly gets my motor running. She’s a cow that has that beautiful wide, open muzzle and a big long head.
"She’s one of those cows that ticks the boxes. She’s hard-topped, and she has tremendous length right throughout. She maxed out a lot of my scores in the frame component of the competition. She also has a tremendous set of feet and legs, and she excels in her udder too.”
Two year old 1st: Budgeree McCutchen Angelina-ET, JH & CJ Gardiner, Avonlea Holsteins, Cardina, Vic
2nd: Brindabella Goldchip Natalie, J & S Sieben, Brindabella Holsteins, Torrumbarry, Vic.
Three year old 1st: Luccombe Fulton Lady, R & L White, Luccombe Holsteins, NSW.
2nd: Harklaje Boliv Japonica, TJ & JE Clark, Harklaje Holsteins, Nerrena, Vic.
Four year old 1st: Carisma Demolish Victory, J & M Deenen, Carisma Holsteins, Leongatha, Vic.
2nd: Gunwilla Park Freida Medallion, RL Gundry, Gunwilla Park Holsteins, Gunbower, Vic.
Five year old 1st: Sleepy Hollow Jasper Posey-ET, Oakwood Partnership, Oakwood Holsteins, Tocumwal, NSW.
2nd: Avonlea Braedale Bettine, JH & CJ Gardiner, Avonlea Holsteins, Cardinia, Vic.
Mature 1st: Grasslands Lou Lois, AH & JA Van Rijthoven, Grasslands Holsteins, Mt Gambier, SA.
2nd: Fairvale Baxter Josie 64-ET, Fairvale Holsteins & Sun Vale Holsteins, Yarroweyah, Vic.
Supreme champion Sleepy Hollow Jasper Posey-ET, Oakwood Partnership, Oakwood Holsteins, Tocumwal, NSW.