The Wensleydale area has long been renowned for its dairy farming as epitomised by the well-known cheese produced further up the dale at Hawes. That cheese and much more of the milk which is used for both it and various other uses is produced by a variety of breeds of dairy cattle in herds varying in number in this area from thirty to thirteen hundred cows.
Our classes for this virtual show have been reduced and amalgamated to just six in the dairy section to give the general public an overview of the different breeds and their various ages and capabilities along with some of the people involved with them, in particular the first two classes which entail both young animals and young people – the future not only of the various breeds but agriculture and the local rural economy.
CHAMPION OF SECTION is awarded to D4-3 – Junior Cow in Milk
Congratulations to J Pratt & Son with Studdah Fitz Rita
“My Dairy champion is the winning Junior cow in milk, from one of the strongest classes of the day, this Holstein is a cow I admired for her balance throughout, strength of topline and quality of udder. It was an honour and privilege to be asked to judge this section of The Online Wensleydale Show. The number and quality of the entries are exceptional and hopefully we will see these animals parading on the green grass next year.” (Judge Jane Steel)
D1 is for a young handler, where the judge is looking at the handler rather than the animal. This class is extremely popular across all breeds with young handlers competing throughout the year culminating in national finals and even international competitions. In contrast to normal showmanship judging where the handlers are scrutinised over their techniques in the ring, for the virtual show the judge will be looking at how the competitor has prepared the animal, the control they have in leading the animal, their ability to stop and ‘stand-up’ the animal to show it off to its best advantage and their overall stockmanship skills on display.
D2 is for a maiden heifer born on or after April 2019, where the judge will be looking for the animal which most correctly matches its own breeds character, which is well grown for it’s age, walks correctly on good feet and legs and which should develop into a desirable member of the herd after calving in and beginning to produce milk.
D3, we have the heifers in milk. These are animals that are in their first lactation after giving birth to their first calf at somewhere between two and three years of age, being some variation among breeds though it is now commonly accepted that it is preferable for both the animal and the business for this to be sooner rather than later. By far the largest proportion of dairy cows will be the black and white cattle of the predominately Holstein bloodlines with the smaller, thicker set Friesian type also seen, though not as often in the showring. Other breeds that are usually seen here at Leyburn are the Dairy Shorthorn with its coat anywhere from dark red to almost white, and a lot roan in between. The Jersey breed are the smaller usually brown cattle with their ‘doe’ eyes and black noses which usually captivate the hearts of the general public and are noted for their very rich creamy milk. We have in recent years also had representatives from the Ayrshire, Guernsey breeds and even a Swedish Red cross bred, all competing within the normal any other dairy breed classes.
D4 is for animals milking in their second or third lactations where they are beginning to show more maturity with great body depth, moving on sound feet and legs and carrying their milk high and wide in a well attached udder which runs snuggly into the body and four well placed teats.
D5- The final class is for the mature dairy cows who have had four or more calves, judged in a similar manner to the other milking classes, their udders should be well attached as many of these cows could be producing around 50 litres of milk per day at the peak of their lactations. Showing all the requirements needed to create longevity within the herd and the breed it is the mature cows which contributes the most to profitability after all its rearing costs have been met in earlier years of milk production.
Best Animal from local area not entered in other sections.
Tim Gibson dairy farm consultancy and supplies offers a combination of expert advice, supplies and equipment. Drawing from a wealth of expertise and contacts in the dairy industry over the past years we hope to offer products or advice which will make you more profitable.
Jane has been immersed in the dairy industry from an early age, being brought up on a dairy farm to her job as a Livestock Photographer. She is actively involved with the family farm near Loch Lomond, Scotland where she has her own herd of cattle there under the ‘Lomond’ prefix enjoying numerous show and sale ring success. Jane is involved with all the dairy breeds in her job as a Livestock Photographer. She has been photographing for 23 years and has travelled the world with her job. Judging Career:
Nationally: Numerous local and regional shows, 2016: Young Breeders Competitions and All Britain Calf Show (Showmanship).
Internationally: Germany, IDW Australia, All Ireland Calf Show (Calves & Showmanship) 2006, 2016, 2019 Republic of Ireland