A trophy-winning dairy cow in the Waikato who’s nearing retirement has achieved a rare accolade.
Wentworth Talent Duchess EX4, a 13-year-old Holstein Friesian, has been classified excellent for a fourth time.
The result means she joins an elite club of bovines who’ve been recognised for their superior traits and longevity.
Duchess was bred by Campbell Walmsley.
She was born in 2006 and is a descendent of the Moneville Duchess family, which was bred by John Rennie of Mangere.
“This is the first time in my farming career that one of my Holstein Friesians has earned an EX4 classification,” said Campbell.
Campbell milks 180 cows at Waiuku and is a passionate Holstein Friesian breeder.
“Duchess comes from an amazing family. Three generations of that family have now been classified excellent or better,” he said.
Duchess’ dam Wentworth Jolt Duchess-ET EX and grand-dam Moneville BSP Duchess-ET EX both scored excellent.
Campbell jointly owns Duchess with Waikato Holstein Friesian breeder Tony Barton. She’s lived on his farm since 2010.
“Tony is a good friend. He was keen to show her, that’s how she came to be in his 250-cow herd in Waharoa,” he said.
Duchess has been a star in the show ring, winning a raft of awards during her lifetime.
In 2011, she was named the supreme champion Holstein Friesian at the NZ Royal Show in Waikato.
The mainly black cow with white stockings has been a constant feature in on-farm competitions.
She won the Waikato veteran cow category in the Semex On-Farm Competition in 2016.
The same year she took out the five years and over category in the Holstein Friesian NZ/DeLaval All New Zealand photo competition.
Duchess’ milk production peaked in 2010, when she was a four-year-old – the same season she moved farms. She produced 671 kilograms of milksolids (kgMS).
In the 2018-19 season she produced 574 kgMS, which was still significantly above the New Zealand average for Holstein Friesians.
Duchess was sired by the Australian bull Ladino Park Talent-IMP-ET and has been flushed several times, producing daughters by Gillette Stanleycup, Walnutlawn Solomon, Val-Bisson Doorman and Maple-Downs-I G W Atwood-ET.