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Dairy cows on 11 Canterbury farms were put through their paces during judging for last week’s Canterbury A&P Association On-Farm Dairy Competition.
Organiser Peter Gilbert was pleased with the support for the competition, which was held instead of the New Zealand Agricultural Show, which was cancelled due to Covid-19, with 92 cattle from 11 farms entered.
"When we first came up with the idea, I hoped we would get 100 entries and we’ve got 92, so I’m really pleased.
"Over the last couple of years we’ve had 50 to 60 dairy cattle entries, but it’s been a little bit difficult with Mycoplasma bovis.
"We’ve got two people who have never shown at Canterbury before and a couple of others who haven’t shown for a long time."
Being judged on-farm was easier for the farmers, as it was cheaper and once judging was finished they could return the cows to the paddock, Mr Gilbert said.
"But it’s still quite a lot work. They still have to be prepared and clipped as they would for the show. But I think most exhibitors would prefer to be at the show."
The breed winners and the supreme champion dairy cattle winners were announced at a barbecue on Friday evening, providing a much needed social get-together, but it wasn’t the same as being at the show, Mr Gilbert said.
Otorohanga farmer Corey Ferguson came down to judge the dairy cattle and was impressed with what he saw.
"We just came out of a pretty strong show at Waikato and from what I’ve seen here so far, the quality is on par," Mr Ferguson said.
Judging on-farm provided its challenges, as the judge was unable to see the top cows standing in the ring together.
But Mr Ferguson said he was taking plenty of notes and he was accompanied by two photographers to help him remember the top cows.
Another guest was Duncan Pipe, from Waikato, who had organised on-farm dairy cattle competition for the Waikato A&P Show in 2018 and 2019.
Day one had judging at five North Canterbury entrant farms, Peter and Claire Hansen, of Rangiora, Peter and Rhonda Sherriff, of Ohoka, brothers John and Robbie Wakelin, of Springbank, near Rangiora, Graham and Nicky Stewart, of Waikuku, and Ainsley Kreger-Price, of Rangiora.
Thursday had judging in Ellesmere at Cheryl Ford’s Leeston property, David Ackerman, of Leeston, Ainsley Kreger-Price, of Springston and Clyde McIntosh, of Springston, and finishing with Michael Gilbert, of Rakaia, in the afternoon, and Nick Gilbert, of Ashburton, on Friday morning.
RESULTSCanterbury A&P 2020 dairy cattle section results:
Grand Champion Holstein: Sherraine Gold Charm-ET – Sherraine Holsteins (Peter &
Rhonda Sherriff, Ohoka, near Rangiora).
Grand Champion Jersey: Premier Tequila Sweet – Gilbert Family (Ashburton).
Grand Champion Combined Breeds: Stormrose CDNC Violet S3B – Stormrose Holsteins (Springston, near Christchurch).
Junior Champion All Breeds: Cresslands B52 Peggy – Cresslands Farms (Graham & Nicky Stewart, Waikuku, near Woodend).
Intermediate Champion All Breeds: Sherraine Gold Charm-ET – Sherraine Holsteins.
Senior Champion All Breeds: Pukekaraka Elle Delilah – Gilbert Family.
Supreme Champion All Breeds: Sherraine Gold Charm-ET – Sherraine Holsteins.