Blythbridge herd claims Holstein Dairy Expo Crown

Illens Atwood Australia from Blythbridge Holsteins impressed US judge Michael Heath

Illens Atwood Australia from Blythbridge Holsteins impressed US judge Michael Heath taking the Grand Champion title

The fifth UK Dairy Expo welcomed over 400 entries over two days to impress a “buzzing” crowd at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, with US judge Michael Heath describing the event as a “class act” of showing.

A Swiss-bred Holstein triumphed on the day in front of six thousand attendees to take the Holstein Grand Champion title north of the border for the Laird family.

Standing out among eleven cows in its class, Illens Atwood Australia from Blythbridge Holsteins, West Linton, Peebleshire, caught the eye of Mr Heath, who also deemed it worthy of the interbreed title.

The five year old was bought by Alister and Colin Laird in May 2015 from Swiss herd Illens Holsteins, Fribourg. She calved in October and gave 63 litres a day in lactation three and is classified VG89 with a PLI of £77.

She is out of Illens Lheros Nancy and is by Maple Downs-I GW Atwood and will head to the French European Holsteins Championships in June.

Mr Heath, Maryland, USA, said the interbreed champion had everything.

“Picking the champion was easy but it was a pretty close run thing after that,” said Mr Heath, a Jersey and Holstein breeder himself. “We had quite a group out here, I hope there’s a lot of pictures being taken because these are the cows I like and the kind of cows breeders like. They have good feet and legs, good udders and everything that will keep them in the herd for a long time and importantly they have the dairy style, all four of them have that.”

Judge Mr Heath said the Holstein class had cows with good feet and legs and good udders, all with dairy style

Judge Mr Heath said the Holstein class had cows with good feet and legs and good udders, all with dairy style

Taking the reserve title was Milliedale Dusk Rhapsody from the Peak herd, Buxton, Derbyshire. This February 2011 born cow was classified EX92. She is out of Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody, classified EX96, boasting a PLI of £331 and owned by Millie Wardle and bred by Jasmin Bradbury.

No stranger to success, Milliedale Dusk Rhapsody came third at UK Dairy Day last year and achieved first place the year before at Telford and Agriscot. She last calved on 1 July peaking at 40kg per day.

Breeder Jasmin Bradbury said: “I thought there were some excellent cows out there. I didn’t have a good feeling and I was pleasantly surprised with the result.”

No stranger to success, Milliedale Dusk Rhapsody came third at UK Dairy Day last year and achieved first place the year before at Telford and Agriscot. She last calved on 1 July peaking at 40kg per day.

Mrs Bradbury said the Scientific SS Dusk daughter could appear on the Yorkshire show ring and at one or two other events in 2016.

Brown Swiss

A notably strong showing from the Brown Swiss class saw Scottish breeders T Lochhead and sons, Dumfries, come out on top with both the grand champion and reserve titles.

Champion went to Old Mill Wonderment Sunset. Sired by Top Acres Wonderment out of Old Mill E Snickerdoodle classified as PLI£38, this senior cow was by embryo transfer from the world famous Snickerdoodle.

She stood apart with her head and the length and leanness of her neck, according to Mr Heath who said she had “cleanness and style all the way through.”

Classified as VG 89 and with a PLI of £84, the September 2011 born cow excelled in the senior class.

The Reserve went to Kedar Rhapsody, an August 2013 born daughter of Kedar TD Reia, rated EX93 with a PLI of £223 and by Vetsch’s Nesta Calvin.

Red and White

Fife breeders B Weatherup and Partners sealed Champion and best udder for Red and Whites with Parkend Director Scarlet Red who is by Scientific Director-Red and out of Lesmay Jordan Starlet Red. Classified as VG88, the second calver is giving 50 litres back home in the Weatherup’s milk herd of 180 cows.  No stranger to Borderway, Parkend Director Scarlet Red was a champion in 2014 and has been a red ticket winner at UK Dairy Day and Agriscot.

Reserve went to three year old Sterndale Alchemy Noel Red from WJ Nadin and Co, Buxton, Derbyshire. Justifying his decision, Mr Stephen said the Champion was a “shade longer, leaner and tidier, high and wide rump, little more spring in the rib that the cow in second.”