Waikato dairy farming couple take home two prestigious titles

A Waikato dairy farming couple have proven they’re at the top their game taking out two prestigious titles at New Zealand’s largest cattle showing event.

Tom and Francesca Bennett, from Te Hau Holsteins, had both the best Holstein Friesian cow at New Zealand Dairy Event and Tom also took out the World Wide Sires, All Breeds Junior Judging Competition. The family was also named Premier Holstein Friesian Exhibitor.

“It was awesome, I did the Pitcairns Trophy judging competition at the Waikato Show and came second, but Dairy Event was my first really big judging competition to win,” says Tom.

Cattle judges undergo rigorous training to ensure they can not only pick a good animal but that can also justify their reasonings behind it. Tom says that was the most challenging aspect of the competition.

“You have all these senior judges around the ring, and I have never been one for public speaking. I know in myself what I think is a good cow but articulating that can be difficult.”

The Bennett’s obviously know the winning formula for a good animal however, as their six-year-old cow won both the Supreme Holstein Friesian Championship and the All Breeds Senior In-Milk Reserve Champion.
Francesca says Te Hau Windbrook Cleo EX was 10 years in the making.
“We weren’t even sure if she was going to make Dairy Event after she calved in April with a large set of twins that knocked her back a bit.”

Francesca was given Cleo’s dam, Tronnoco Talent Carla-ET EX2, as a 21st present by her mother Linda.

“Mum bought Carla at the Canterbury Collection sale, we showed her a bit, and she did really well,” says Francesca.

Francesca wanted to breed from her and really liked the look of Semex’s Gillette Windbrook after winning the Holstein Friesian NZ/Semex Exchange Trip to Canada and attending the Semex Walk of Fame where she was helping look after a Windbrook cow that she particularly liked.

“I managed to persuade mum to use him but after three years and three attempts Carla had only produced bull calves.”

“We decided the only way to get a heifer was to flush her, out of the six embryos she produced, we got one heifer, which was Cleo.”

Francesca says she wasn’t much as a calf but as she has developed, she’s become truly special.

“We took her to NZ Dairy Event as a two-year-old and got Reserve Intermediate Holstein Friesian Champion and Reserve Intermediate All Breeds Champion. She also won the national Semex On Farm final and photo competition that year. That’s when we thought we’re on to a real winner. That was incredible for us,” says Francesca.

“She has just got better and better since then.”

Cleo’s best production was in the 2020/21 season with 641kg/MS over 260 days in milk.

NZ Dairy Event Results:

Judge: Peter Sherriff

Junior Holstein Friesian Champion
Charbelle Tatoo Pix S3F, Charbelle Farms

Junior Holstein Friesian Reserve Champion
Flathills Kix Lara, H Verwaayen

Junior Holstein Friesian Honourable Mention
Nova Dorothy Rose-ET, Nova Genetics

Intermediate In-Milk Holstein Friesian Champion
Larkspur Beemer Libby-ET VG87, R Baker

Intermediate In-Milk Holstein Friesian Reserve Champion
Snowfed Unix Nelda VG87, Gilbert Family

Intermediate In-Milk Holstein Friesian Honourable Mention &
Best Udder
Charbelle MWB Prancer S2F VG88, Charbelle Farms Ltd

Senior In-Milk Holstein Friesian Champion & Best Udder
Te Hau Windbrook Cleo EX, Te Hau Holsteins

Senior In-Milk Holstein Friesian Reserve Champion
Tahora Aftershk Tootsie EX, Hukaview Holsteins

Senior In-Milk Holstein Friesian Honourable Mention
Joyclas Sammy Moo S1F EX, Joyclas Friesians 

Holstein Friesian Supreme Champion
Te Hau Windbrook Cleo EX, Te Hau Holsteins

Te Hau Windbrook Cleo EX, Tom Bennett, LInda Deane with Fearne Bennett and Francesca Bennett with Harrison Bennett.
Tom Bennett - WWS Winner 27.01.2021
Dyanne Osbourne (World WIde WIres) and Tom Bennett.

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment