Winning the supreme championship at the Victorian Winter Fair at Bendigo on July 6 was a bittersweet moment for the northern Victorian Dee family.
The win was the biggest for their Clydebank Holsteins but it came in a year when they lost the family matriarch Cheryl Dee to multiple sclerosis.
Adam Dee, who picked out the champion Hullabaloo Bolton Sundae as an in-calf heifer at the Holstein Australia north-west sub-branch sale in 2013, said Sundae stood out when it walked up on the stage at the sale.
"We've always admired her cow family, the Sunspots, which is a deep Australian line," he said.
Sundae was by a good bull in Bolton, had a nice frame and square rump and was confirmed pregnant.
It has since gone on to perform extremely well in their 320-cow herd at Marcoona, Vic.
Sundae, on its third lactation and classified EX90, was the highest production index cow in the herd, producing more than 12,000 litres a year.
Mr Dee said the family had never had a win a big as the winter fair supreme championship but had performed well at local shows, picking up numerous awards over the years.
"It is hard to believe, it is just fantastic," Mr Dee said.
The family was also thrilled when their heifer was selected by the winner of the north-west sub-branch Knock Out Heifer Raffle. The raffle offered the winner the choice of five heifers from northern Victorian Holstein studs. All proceeds from the raffle went to the MS Society in memory of Cheryl Dee.
The reserve champion was Glenunga Wind Butterbrook, exhibited by JH & CJ Gardiner, Cardinia, Vic, and the Honourable Mention
was Woodlawn Spirte Coconut, exhibited by Woodlawn Holsteins, Finley, NSW.
Judge Gerald Coughlin Jnr, from Canada, said the three top cows had quality all the way through.
"They're dairy, they've got strength, they've got terrific mammary systems, and they walk on a good set of feet and legs," he said.
But he said the champion, which calved in November, stood out for its length and frame and for its terrific mammary system, which he also awarded supreme champion udder.
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