Age no barrier for Illawarra champion at IDW 2022

By Alastair Dowie
Updated January 28 2022 - 12:06am, first published January 19 2022 - 5:00am

A senior cow with seven calves to its name showed age was no barrier when named the Illawarra senior and grand champion exhibit at the 2022 International Dairy Week.

Judge John Gardiner, Cardinia, Victoria, couldn't go past the proven breeder - Llandovery JR Joan 982 shown by Gorbro Holsteins and Craig Rapley, Cohuna, Vic.

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Mr Gardiner said the cow had stood the test of time and still displayed all the attributes she had when she was a young cow.

"When you consider that for every 25 litres a cow produces 10,000 litres of oxygenated blood is pumping through this cow," he said.

"Look at her, beautiful wedge shape, open rib.

"It's not just the number of calves, she is an amazing cow with the width and frame she has got as well as an outstanding mammary."

He said the grand champion was a "very productive sort of cow".

Mr Gardiner said it was a wonderful show and a credit to exhibitors who prepared the cattle knowing that the show could be called off at any time.

Part owner of the cow Glen Gordon said they had bought the cow as a three-year-old and she was now a 10-year-old.

He said the cow had previously been champion at International Dairy Week three or four years ago.

"She was in calf ready for IDW last year, before it was cancelled," Mr Gordon said.

"She calved last September and hasn't missed a beat. It's a real credit to the Hayes family who bred her."

The cow had scored 95 points three weeks ago, one of only two cows in the breed to do so.

The cow is owned by Mr Gordon and his brother Drew and Craig Rapley, a partner in New Zealand, and runs with a herd of 600 Holstein cows at Cohuna.

"We love good cows no matter what breed and we've got a soft spot for these really good Illawarra cows," Mr Gordon said.

"She holds her own - she has to."

The cow had been "short bred" to try to get her back to IDW in 2023.

The Hayes family, Girgarre, Vic, showed both the intermediate cow and junior champion heifer on the way to winning the premier breeder award.

Zoe Hayes said the junior heifer was the granddaughter of a "special" cow - Llandovery JR Jane - that had been champion cow previously.

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"We knew she was pretty special the first time we saw her and it's great to see that she's developed," Ms Hayes said.

Ms Hayes said the intermediate champion, Llandovery Gus Freda, had been judged junior champion at IDW two years ago.

She said the cow's dam was Llandovery Visions Freda and its grandmother was Llandovery Empires Freda.

"It's a pretty special and exciting family," she said.

Mr Gardiner said that shows such as International Dairy Week "should not be taken for granted".

ILLAWARRA HONOUR ROLL

Grand champion: Llandovery JR Joan 982, Gorbro Holsteins and C Rapley, Cohuna, Vic.

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Senior champion: Llandovery JR Joan 982.

Reserve: Illinga Handsomes Homerun, Coburn Family, Paaratte, Vic.

Best udder: Llandovery JR Joan 982.

Intermediate champion: Llandovery Gus Freda, Hayes Family, Girgarre, Vic.

Reserve: Riversleigh Blush Tulip 26, Tuhan Family Trust, Tatura East, Vic.

Junior champion: Llandovery Josh's Joan, Hayes Family.

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Reserve: Riversleigh Beemer Tulip 30, Tuhan Family Trust.

Premier breeder: Llandovery Illawarra, Girgarre, Vic.

Premier exhibitor: Tuhan Family Trust.

Check out our complete International Dairy Week coverage:

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