Cornish family dominate Holstein Show

Only the very best were on parade at the 2009 Centenary National Holstein Show, where a Cornish family dominated proceedings.

For a milk producer running 1100 cows and 1300 followers, it’s a wonder Anthony Wills and his family find time to show cattle. But with the quality of genetics in the Wills Brothers herd, it’s no surprise they take time out to show off the well-structured dairy cows they produce.

Their trek up to Warwickshire from Cornwall proved worthwhile as they took the Supreme Champion title as well as Best Udder in Show with the sixth-calver Bassingthorpe Leader Dilys 10.

This Comestar Leader daughter is no stranger to the showing scene, with a string of successes from last year under her belt. Taking the Supreme Champion title as a fifth calver at the Royal Cornwall Show last year, she was also Reserve Champion at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show.

Dilys has only been with the Willsbro herd for a year, but she is clearly proving her worth, joining when Mr Wills and his sons bought Mark Knutsford’s Riverdane herd after he obtained her as a calf from breeder Ann Harrison, Leicestershire.

A delighted Mr Wills from Wadebridge, Cornwall, said he couldn’t believe how well Dilys is performing for her age. “We will definitely be breeding from her again. She calved at the end of November and has given 65,199kg in four lactations. We will be flushing her again, too,” he said.

Mr Wills is planning on showing her at the Royal Cornwall again this year, but will be selective as to which shows he enters her into.

Agreeing with Mr Wills’s comments was Canadian show judge Brian Carscadden. “She may not be the biggest cow in the show or the strongest cow in the show, but she is the best cow in the show and is of great quality. After six lactations she is still the best udder cow and is a cow that every dairyman can relate to,” he said.

It was Dilys’ mammary system that stole the title from Reserve Supreme Champion, Styche Lyster Sally PI. This four-year-old giving 55 litres a day is out of Styche Jolt Sally PI and was shown by Ed Seaton, Seaton Farms, Market Drayton, Shropshire.

Again this cow is not shy to showing, taking Champion Heifer title at the Royal Welsh Show 2006 and gaining an honourable mention at the 2004 All Britain Calf Show.

Mr Seaton, who milks 200 cows with his family, said he will be out showing Sally at numerous events in the coming year. This VG89 cow is definitely one to look out for, impressing the judge with her style, depth and condition.

Second to Sally throughout the show was Riverdane Outside Hazel also from the Will’s family. This Comestar Outside daughter got an Honourable mention and topped the Intermediate Cow class.

But it was a novice to the showing scene that took the Champion Heifer in Milk title for the Wills brothers with Smiddiehill Goldwyn Sharon. This daughter of Braedale Goldwyn is giving 51kg at just 2.5 years old.

Mr Carscadden said Sharon was selected because of her correct teat position “She is definitely the best udder heifer and is longer upfront through to the end.”

Reserve Heifer in Milk, also a daughter of Braedale Goldwyn, headed north to Cumbria with Berryholme Goldwyn Maud. Shown by David Wright of H Wright and Sons, Kendal, Maud was Champion at Northern Expo and was reserve at AgriScot and is giving 32kg a day.

There were plenty of animals to look out for in the calf classes and one taking the judges by storm was Sahara Damion Sara, from Sahara Holsteins, Monmouthshire. The Sahara consignments topped several of the classes including Senior Heifer with Sahara Damion Tessie and Intermediate Calf with Sahara Advent Enjoy.

Reserve Champion calf went to Richard Bown, Worcestershire, with Richaven RR Squaw 4.