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Stackyard News Apr 05

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    UK Breeding Sweeps The Board In Annual Holstein Oscars

UK-bred cows and heifers swept the board in the 2004 All-Britain Holstein Awards that formed the finale of this year's National Holstein Show, claiming all seven of the UK dairy breeding world's annual Oscars in a great show of strength.

Sponsored jointly by Igenity and Eprinex, the awards pitted entrants in all the leading 2004 shows against one another on the basis of their show ring performance over the year and submitted pictures.

From over 100 entries, 42 animals (six in each of seven classes) from more than 25 herds were put forward by Holstein UK's nominating committee for separate confidential judging by every one of the 50 judges on the national Holstein judging panel; allowing animals turned out for different shows at different times of the year to be compared as fairly as possible in a highly effective show of shows.

"Competition for the coveted titles was fierce again this year," explained All-Britains organiser, John Gribbon. "The sheer calibre of entries, indeed, meant that the winners from many shows didn't even make the final nominations.

"This year's winners were more unanimous than last year," he added. "But many of the placings were very close. And one position was only decided by the last judge's vote."

The Maiden Heifer class was a clash of last year's two major show champions - the junior champion from the 2004 Holstein Show against the All Britain Calf Show champion.

Calf Show champion, Riverdane RJ Rose - by Ridge-Star Journalist out of Hyclass Jolt Rose - prevailed to carry off the crown for 16 year-old Andrew Kennedy of the Mainview herd from Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Making his debut in the competition and quite a mark on the show circuit, Andrew astutely bought Rose from breeder, Mark Nutsford as a calf, having worked for him at shows.

This year's Junior Heifer in Milk award went to another Journalist daughter, Weeton Journalist Helen VG 88, bred and exhibited by R.J. & D. Loftus of Weeton near Preston.

With class wins at both the Holstein Show and the Royal, Helen - out of Weeton Integrity Helen - gave an impressive 10,121 kg of milk at 4.44% fat, 3.09% protein in her first 305-day lactation.

Primo Jed Celeste VG89 ran out a comfortable winner in the Senior Heifer in Milk competition for the Smiddiehill Holstein team from Albrighton, Shropshire led by manager, David Bostock.

Although only starting her show season with fourth place at the 2004 Holstein Show, Celeste proved unbeatable for the rest of the year, taking the heifer championships at both the Royal and Royal Welsh. By Juniper Rotate Jed out of Primo Shen Val Celeste, she recorded a 305-day yield of 10,935 kg milk at 3.97% fat 3.23% protein in her heifer lactation.

Having been crowned All Britain Senior Heifer in 2003, Shaneal Gelpro Melody EX90 made it two years in a row for the partnership of T.H Cope & Sons and R. Lancaster & Sons by taking the 2004 Junior Second Calver Award.

With a class win at the Royal and the AgriScot 2004 Supreme Championship under her belt, Melody beat Dairy Event supreme champion Joylan Durham Glora into reserve place. A Gelpro daughter out of Shanael Rudolph Melody, she produced an exceptional 14,059 kg of milk at 4.32% fat, 3.56% protein in her second 305-day lactation.

Going one better than Melody, 2004 Holstein Show winner Copywood Integrity Sara EX90 crowned another excellent year with her third All Britain Award on the trot.

Jointly owned by the Nutsfords and her breeder, Belinda Fox, six year-old Sara by Robthom Integrity out of Tocunn Lindy Sara - still going strong at 16 years of age - took the Senior Second Calver crown. She produced 16,904 kg milk at 4.04% fat in her most recent lactation.

Runner-up in the Intermediate Cow class last year, Holmland Storm Flo EX93(2) triumphed this time around, winning the Third Calver Award for H. Wright & Son of Berryholme, Helsington near Kendal in Cumbria.

After a class win at the Royal Show as well as victory in the prestigious Burke Trophy pair competition, Flo scored her first All-Britain in emphatic style. By Maughlin Storm out of Holmland Prelude Flo, she also clocked up a 305 day lactation of 16,532 kg at 4.47% fat, 3.11% protein.

Another Storm daughter, Dalesend Storm Maud EX95(3) took the Mature Cow award for A.H.Wilson of Tregibby Farm, Cardigan, scoring her second All-Britain title in a class of the highest calibre.

Unbeaten in the show ring in 2004, Royal Show supreme champion, seven year-old Maud - out of Fradon Tab Maude - also proved the value of maturity by turning-in the most impressive 2004 production record of all this year's winners. In her fourth lactation she produced a total of 18,322 kg milk at 5.14% fat, 3.39% protein.

"The tremendous quality of dairy animals again competing for the All-Britains can do nothing but enhance the reputation of UK-bred Holsteins as we look forward to the year in which we may well see the resumption of live exports.

"Nor can anyone be in any doubt over the commercial milk production value of the stock we are breeding. Together, indeed, the six in-milk winners produced nearly 87,000 kg of milk and over 3800 kg of butterfat in their most recent lactations. That's a very handsome 305-day cow and heifer average of 14,479 kg at 4.4% fat."

"For us it's also a matter of great pride that no less than three of this year's All Britain winners have been acquired at the annual Holstein UK Elite Sale," John Gribbon concluded. "This event is certainly establishing itself as a place to find the champions of the future. And its reputation can only be enhanced by the awesome array of entries we have for sale on June 8th this year."

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