Event report: Supreme Junior Champion at NZ Dairy Event


Toby Whytock and his cow, Glenidol Lambda Cookie, took home Holstein Junior Champion and Supreme Junior Champion at the NZ Dairy Event

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There was plenty hair flying in the team youth challenge competition that included clipping, parading, and judging

The Supreme Junior Champion came with a great story for her 14-year-old owner, Toby Whytock. 

Eighteen months ago, Toby and his parents, Newlands Whytock and Lee Morris (an equine vet who specialises in equine embryos through her business, EquibreedArt) decided to shift their focus on their 40-hectare (100-acre) farm from horses to cows.

They not only won Holstein Junior Champion and Supreme Junior Champion with Glenidol Lambda Cookie but they also had two animals finish in the top two of the six Holstein classes that peaked at 26-head in one class. It was a punchy start in the registered industry at the country’s premier show for this tight-knit family, which supplies Open Country Dairy.

"We’ve got a small farm, and we thought if we can have only a small number of cows we’ll have 50 really nice cows," Lee says. 

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Team Youth Challenge winners Annabel Jeyes, Thomas Jeyes, Hilary Vanner, and Sienna Bourke

Lee adds they had secured foundation cows from the Barclay family (Okawa Holsteins) and later from Tahora Holsteins’ Party at the Pub sale in Canterbury in April 2022. One of those cows, sired by High Octane — Tahora Octane Cookie — bred them Cookie. It’s worth noting that Tahora Holsteins had a quiet hand in two of the three Supreme Champions of
the show.

"We bought seven amazing animals, and her mother was one of them," Lee says. Newlands says he had always followed the production awards in the Dairy Exporter and had always been impressed by Tahora’s results.

"Now we’re buying some of their animals," he says.

They both said — as Toby rushed straight from the win to join his team in the youth challenge — that it was an incredible feeling not just to show cattle but to show cattle together.

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Youth Show Supreme Champion reserve Emma McLaughlin and winner Thomas Jeyes with judge Kate Cummings

"Because it’s such a family thing…kind of ‘united we stand’," Lee says.

The Youth Show was judged by Southlander Kate Cummings. She says the results give her significant confidence in the direction of the industry.

"The quality of the stock was so good they made my job harder as a judge, which means the breeders are doing the right thing," she says. "There were great numbers, given that the milk price is flatter this year and there have been seasonal challenges in a number of areas. It’s really nice to see the passion in the show community, and it’s a great excuse to get off the farm to come to the NZDE, even if they bring their cows with them.

"My champion was a whole lot of heifer, but when you break her down, there was a whole lot to like. No matter what angle you looked at her, there was so much dairyness and it made me fall in love with her. She was just so balanced from side to side and from top to tail. All the exhibitors should be really proud."

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