Northern Victorian cows excel in Great Australian Challenge

Cows from northern Victoria have excelled in the Jersey Australia-Semex Great Australian challenge, winning three of the five classes, including the top honour.

The region’s success was spearheaded by mature class winner and Supreme Champion MELDAN VANAHLEM VIOLET presented by Ben Pedretti from Froglands Jerseys at Tallygaroopna near Shepparton.

The 2-Year-Old class was won by WARRAIN VALENTINO EMPRESS 1 owned by John and Margaret Cockerell from Numurkah.

The 3-Year-Old winner was LOXLEIGH VALENTINO EMPRESS 5940 owned by Geoff and Natalie Akers, also from the Goulburn Murray Jersey Club.

JIREH ARES SUMBEAM owned by Chis and Pam MacKenzie at Cooriemungle in western Victoria won the 4-Year-Old class.

The 5-Year-Old class was won by LANGDALE VALENTINO MADGE owned by Darien and Alex Mathews from south Gippsland.

Mr Pedretti sold MELDAN VANAHLEM VIOLET at IDW to Ian Anderson from King’s View Jerseys at Nar Nar Goon, but he doesn’t regret the sale.

“Deciding to sell her was a tough decision because she was a pretty good cow, but the people who bought her really love her and were so excited about the win, which makes it special,” he said.

She was judged before being sold by Ben.

“They always carry that status with them. It’s nice to have found a cow that developed to the same level as previous winners who have gone on to great things,” he said.

Ben bought MELDAN VANAHLEM VIOLET as a four-year-old from Anthony Glennon. She was bred by Brendan Scott who bought her Dam from Luke Wallace in Gippsland.

“When I saw her, I fell in love with her,” Ben said. “We got her for a pretty good price and she kept getting better as she got older.

“She’s a nice cow and she’s had a really good year. She’s very balanced and a real powerhouse cow. She has a real youthful mammary system for her age and she’s a very fertile cow.”

The awards were presented on Wednesday July 15 via zoom.

The Jersey Australia-Semex Great Australian Challenge is recognised as Australia’s premier on-farm challenge.

The champions first won local club on-farm challenges and then either the Great Southern Challenge or Great Northern Challenge which were held last December.

While typically Great Southern Challenge winners dominate the Australian final, it is unusual for all five class winners from the southern region.

The Great Southern Challenge covers Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia and the Great Northern Challenge includes clubs from New South Wales and Queensland.
The northern and southern winners were judged via video by a panel of three judges, Hayley Menzies, David Anderson and Darren Gravett.
Ms Menzies said the quality of cows was very high in both northern and southern challenges.

“The classes were very close, it wasn’t a walk in the park for any of the winners,” she said, adding that some of the northern winners had been advanced in their lactation which impacted on their competitiveness.

Ms Menzies described the Supreme Champion as a flat-boned youthful-appearing mature cow with depth of body and great udder that attached very well.

Source: Jersey Australia

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