Morrinsville’s Te Hau Holsteins has something to crow about.
Only the third stud in the history of the HFNZ-Semex NZ Ltd On-Farm Competition to place first and second in the same class, Te Hau Windbrook Cleo-ET EX2 and Locknee Cup Gertrude S0F EX2 won the Champion and Reserve Champion titles respectively in the Conant-Acres JY Broker – Mature Cow category.
Tom Bennett of Te Hau Holsteins says to have both Cleo and ‘Gerty’ place in the same class was “pretty awesome.”
Now in its 19th year, 717 Holstein Friesian cows from 92 herds were judged on structural correctness in the 2022 HFNZ-Semex NZ Ltd On-Farm Competition.
Both Cleo and Gerty – owned by Te Hau’s Tom and Fran Bennett and Linda and Geoffrey Deane – are not only prolific producers but are proving their dominance in the show ring, too.
2014-born Cleo won Senior In-Milk Holstein Friesian Reserve Champion at the 2022 NZDE; Supreme Holstein Friesian Champion and All Breeds Senior In-Milk Reserve Champion at the 2021 NZDE, and Reserve Intermediate Holstein Friesian Champion and Reserve Intermediate All Breeds Champion at the 2017 NZDE.
In addition to the 2022 Semex On Farm title, Cleo has also won the 2017 and 2018 titles in her age group, winning every year she has been entered. She also won the 2017 All NZ Photo Competition Class 3, with judges commenting that she was a “very balanced cow, with strength, dairyness and refinement.”
She was also 2020 Royal NZ Champion Holstein Friesian, and second ever winner of the Beledene Trophy.
Cleo’s dam is Tronnoco Talent Carla-ET EX2, given to Fran as a 21st birthday present. Carla was flushed and the resulting six embryos produced one heifer – Cleo, who was sired by Gillette Windbrook. Carla is 14 this year and may take a break from retired life on Geoff and Linda’s farm this spring when she is potentially flushed again.
Cleo, who has produced 720kgMS, has three ET Oh-River-Syc Crushabull-ET two-year-olds: one is on Tom and Fran’s
farm, one is on Geoff and Linda’s farm and the third was sold in the Autumn Harvest sale. She also has an ET Walnutlawn Sidekick heifer calf and will be back on a flush programme this spring.
Cleo is still milking but will be retiring from the show ring.
“We believe she’s done what she needs to do, so she can spend the rest of her days being a normal herd cow,” Fran says.
Gerty was purchased from the Locknee dispersal sale in 2017 as a freshly calved four-year-old.
“We liked the look of her – she was a tidy, balanced cow,” Tom says. “She spent two-three years in the herd, working diligently in her no-nonsense way.”
Gerty is also a production superstar: she produced 750kgMS with 5% fat and 3.85% protein.
At six-seven years old she caught Tom and Fran’s eyes and in 2021, they put a halter on her for the first time.
She attended 2022 NZDE and placed third in the Holstein class and fifth in the All Breeds class, an excellent result for her first show.
“Everything going well, Gerty will be back in the show ring this season,” Fran says.
Gerty has a Monument Impression-ET daughter milking well, and a Woodcrest King Doc heifer in the shed.
2022 HFNZ-Semex NZ Ltd On-Farm Competition results:
Judge: Graham Stewart, Rangiora
Maughlin Storm Two-year-old Cow
Champion: Charbelle Tatoo Pix S3F VG87, Charbelle Farms, Hamilton
Reserve Champion: Belbrook Crushbul Sara VG87, Belbrook Farming Ltd, Rangiora
Comestar Leader Three-year-old Cow
Champion: Belbrook Bardo Plum VG89, Belbrook Farming Ltd, Rangiora
Reserve Champion: Tahora Octane Love VG87, J, J & D Geddes, Christchurch
Townson Lindy Four-year-old Cow
Champion: Rockhaven Byway Lustre, Rockhaven Farms Ltd, Leeston
Reserve Champion: Charbelle MWB Prancer S2F EX, Charbelle Farms Ltd, Hamilton
Hanoverhill Raider Five-year-old Cow
Champion: Joyclas Sammy Moo S3F EX, Joyclas Friesians, Palmerston North
Reserve Champion: Uhuru Alonzo Dove EX, G Fullerton, Cambridge
Conant-Acres JY Broker Mature Cow
Champion: Te Hau Windbrook Cleo-ET EX2, Te Hau Holsteins, Morrinsville
Reserve Champion: Locknee Cup Gertrude S0F EX2, Te Hau Holsteins, Morrinsville
Comestar Laurie Sheik Veteran Cow
Champion: Mokoia Danillo Ribena-ET EX2, Mokoia Holsteins, Woodville
Reserve Champion: Tronnoco Talent Jasalyn EX4, Tronnoco Farming Co Ltd, Timaru