By Tom Collins
SPENCERVILLE — It was a magnificent debut for Templeview Access Adele at the Eastern Ontario Invitational Show at Spencerville on Aug. 15.
The six-year-old mature cow was making her show debut, but being tapped as grand champion was a surprise for her owner, Craig Templeton, who runs Templeview Holsteins at Kemptville with his parents, John and Nora.
“Things turned out better than I hoped,” said the 29-year-old. “You don’t want to be too overconfident. If you go in thinking you’re going to win, it’s more of a letdown (if you don’t).”
Templeton said Adele has been getting better with every lactation, and she calved in in March with her fourth calf.
“She walks on a really good set of feet and legs,” he said, adding she was in peak show condition at around 160 days milking at show time. “She’s as fluid as a second calver when she walks. She’s youthful in her mammary system. She keeps her udder well above her hocks.”
The cows moved into a new single-robot, sand-bedded barn in May, 2017. Templeton said the cows can exercise every day and are milked more often, which puts less stress on the udders. The robots also make it challenging for showing cows.
“We have to turn her down to two-a-day milking (for a show),” said Templeton. “When we bag her for the show, she’s not used to having that kind of milk in her. She’s used to free access to a robot to get relief. In a tie-stall, you can delay milking two-to-four hours to see what the cow is going to look like. In the robot, it’s more difficult to do, because she’ll stand outside the robot and be like ‘why am I not being milked?’”
Templeton has shown heifers for a few years, but is just getting into showing cows in the past year as “we’re finally getting good enough cows to take to the fair to be competitive. I’ve always wanted to show cows. When you take a cow to the fair, the amount of work and effort it takes, you want to win.”