The AGM and judging day this year was kindly hosted by the Collins family, Church Farm West Yorkshire, home to the Churchroyd Dairy Shorthorns. It was clear to see from the turnout of breeders from the four corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland how well respected the Churchroyd herd is.
We were greeted with Pimms and lemonade, I wonder who’s idea that was! It was time for the AGM, standing room only here, as we reviewed the previous years business, followed by questions put forward for the council for further debate, it’s very encouraging for the breed to see so many passionate breeders all having an input.
After a very nice lunch basking in glorious sunshine it was time to judge some cows, I for one was very excited to see the cows on offer.
First off we were joined by the very knowledgeable and respected cattle breeder Mick Gould of Woodmarsh Holsteins, one of the best judges in the UK, he certainly was the right man for the job. Two cows were then presented to Mick, who gave a informative talk on what he is looking for in a cow and asking us what we wanted in a modern Dairy Shorthorn.
The Collins family had two classes of cows, first six heifers, followed by six super cows. After very good reason giving over the microphone, Mr Gould talked us through his placing of these high and wide uddered heifers. Leading this class was Churchroyd Butterbur 16th sired by Churchroyd King Willie, a really powerful heifer with great capacity and venation in the udder, a comfortable winner in the class.
On to the second class of cows, what a treat, again after discussion on the microphone Mick picked his winner, this time it was a little closer between the top two both sired by homebred bulls. Leading the line was Churchroyd Bronte Wildeyes 46th a second calved cow sired by Churchroyd Goldwin. This is certainly one we all would like in the milking parlour! With a exceptional fore and rear udder attachment a real star of the day. What a treat to listen to Mick with his reasons, I think all members learned something from him, I would like to thank him for being the master judge today.
It was a northern lockout in the judging competition, well done to Richard Baynes and Shaun Dixon.
In the junior competition Tom Morgan came out on top, well done Tom!
After the judging finished, we advanced on to the rest of the herd, this is the part I was looking forward to. It was clear to see the direction that Ian is taking his herd, really good quality uddered cows with a real will to milk, my standout cow was Churchroyd Mischief 5th by Churchroyd Duke, a very fresh calved cow showing great dairy character. There were numerous Churchroyd Victor daughters looking full of milk. Nejay Prince 4th has some very nice young cows with great futures here. After looking round the cows, a top quality barbecue was enjoyed.
I would like to thank the Collins family for their generous hospitality and letting us look round a special herd of cows, they really deserve all the success they achieve. It is great to see a family run farm with everyone involved.
It really was a great day, a herd of cows we all aspire to breed.