Homebred dairy cows top the board at the Dairy Show

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A passion for home-breeding paid off for exhibitors at the Dairy Show, with several of the championship winners coming from long and beloved family bloodlines.

Scooping the prestigious interbreed championship was a home-bred Jersey cow exhibited by Emily Davis. Rivermead Minx Candy VG89 had her third calf just three weeks ago and is already yielding 33 litres/day. Sired by Stonyrun Aus Tbone Minx, she was riding on a tide of success, having won her class at UK Dairy Day in 2022 and been placed as champion Jersey at Dairy Expo earlier this year.

“Jerseys are our passion, and to reach the top is amazing,” said Emily. “It’s the first time we’ve won at this show, and it’s just fantastic.” Emily was celebrating her birthday on the day of the event (4 October) and also had success with the family’s other home-bred entrants, winning the National Jersey Championship, reserve champion and reserve honourable mention.

The Davis family milk 230 cows near Tiverton, Devon, and all share the Jersey passion, including Emily, her brothers, sisters and parents.

Taking the reserve interbreed title was Thuborough Farms’ Holstein senior cow, shown by Roland Ley. Another homebred, by Stantons Adorable, Thuborough Freda 610 is rated EX95 and is yielding 48 litres after having her fourth calf in March. Despite a string of previous successes, Roland has never previously won the breed championship at the Dairy Show. “So to get breed champion and reserve interbreed is a great result.”

The family milk 270 Holsteins near Holsworthy, Devon, with an average yield of 11,000 litres. Before her success at the Dairy Show, Freda won the breed and interbreed championship at the Devon County Show and was breed champion and reserve interbreed champion at the Royal Cornwall Show. “She’s got a really good udder and is very youthful despite being a fourth-calver,” said Roland. “She has a lovely balance and moves really well.”

The Dairy Show was also host to the Guernsey National Show, which was won by the Greenslade family’s Greensfield Dandy Dan Butterfly. “It means a lot to us,” said exhibitor Emma Greenslade. “We work quite hard with our breeding, and we bred both her and the sire behind her – Greensfield Dandy Dan. His dam won at UK Dairy Day and here, and now we’ve done the double again.”

UK Dairy Day and the Dairy Show were Butterfly’s first two shows, and she claimed the breed championship at both. “She’d never been shown before – I dragged her out of the shed a week before Dairy Day. She’s just so quiet,” said Emma.

The family milk 100 cows near Cullompton, Devon, and this second-calver; who calved in August, is giving 25 litres/day. “She’s small but mighty, and very correct,” said Emma. “You can’t fault her, and she’s very clean through the rump.”

Emma – who has her own catering business but hopes to return to the family farm full-time in the future – grew up with many of the other championship winners at the Dairy Show. “Many of us were in the same Young Farmers’ Club, so it’s great to all win here today.”

The other breed champions were: Ayrshire Rosehill Madison Jelly VG87, Dairy Shorthorn Churchroyd Bronte Wildeyes 63, and British Friesian Greenway Solo Billie Jo.

For more information visit www.bathandwest.com/the-dairy-show.