By Tom Collins
METCALFE — She may have been acting up in the ring but she was an easy pick for the judge. Vinbert Kingboy Birdy was crowned as the grand champion at the Eastern Ontario-Western Quebec Championship Show.
Birdy was tough to control at the Oct. 17 show in Metcalfe, constantly getting out of line and trying to escape from her leadsman, Barclay Phoenix. However, judge Dominic Fortier, from Saint-Christophe-d’Arthabaska, Que., said her temperament never downplayed her attributes.
“She has a smoking udder, and good feet and legs,” he said. “For me, she was an easy champion.”
Part-owner Adam Hunt, of Trekili Holsteins at Elginburg, north of Kingston, said watching Birdy’s temperamental act was a little nerve-wracking but he was confident that Phoenix, from Durham Region, would make sure the judge could get a good look at her.
“I was really happy with the way she looked,” said Hunt. “She’s a tremendous milk machine. She’s extremely long in her body, and is one of the best-uddered cows, if not the best-uddered cow, that I’ve ever been a part of.”
Hunt, along with Mary Pearson of Lilyking Farm, also at Elginburg, was at the Maxville show in 2018 when they first spotted Birdy. “We both looked at each other when we first saw her, and said ‘That’s an amazing cow’,” Hunt said. “She won her class, only three weeks fresh after having twins. That really impressed me.”
Pearson and Hunt approached then-owner Vinbert Farms about buying the cow, but Vinbert had already been approached by Kingsway Farms at Hastings. The four farms came to an agreement where they would each own a quarter of Birdy.
The cow is now kept at Kingsway, where she is on a show feed program that isn’t as reliant on fermented feeds like TMR. Instead, she gets more of a dry hay diet. “That way when she goes to a show, it’s not such a big transition,” said Hunt. “Consistency and routine are key.”
Here are some of the results from this year’s East-West show.
Grand champion: Vinbert Kingboy Birdy, bred by Ferme Vinbert Inc. at Acton Vale, Que., and owned by Ferme Vinbert, Gord, Pauline, Morgan, Emma, and Ethan McMillan of Kingsway Farms at Hastings, Ont., Mary Pearson, Adam Hunt and Jessica Brown of Lilyking Farm at Elginburg, Ont. and Adam Hunt of Trekili Holsteins at Elginburg, Ont.
Reserve: Kings-Ransom Canteloupes, bred by Jonathan King at Schuylerville, N.Y., owned by Kingsway Farms, Ronald H. Millen of Millen Farms at Omemee, Ont. and Jesse Bradley of JPB Holsteins at Brownsburg-Chatham, Que.
Honourable mention: Jacobs Doorman Bomba, bred by Ferme Jacobs Inc. at Cap Sante, Que., owned by Michel Guay and Linda Latulipe of Ferme Lolisee at Chatham, Que.
Premier breeder: Ferme Lolisee
Runner-up: Herbert Henderson of Hendercroft Holsteins at Ashton, Ont.
Premier exhibitor: Ferme Lolisee
Runner-up: Herbert Henderson
Junior champion: Reyncrest Avalnche Lusha-ET, bred by Andrew Reynolds at Corfu, N.Y., owned by Bert, Ann, Paul and Steven Velthuis of Velthuis Farms Ltd. at Osgoode, Ont.
Reserve: Sun-Made Larions Crayon, bred by Dr. Chris Keim at Whitewater, Wis., owned by Brian Joseph Enright of Jaquemet Holsteins at Winchester, Ont., Allison Bossel of Liberty Genetics at Kemptville, Ont., Frank and Diane Borba at Modesto, Calif., and Brandon Almeida at Hilmar, Calif.
Honourable mention: Ms Solomon Skittles-ET, bred by A. Stuewe, W. Hoen and Schnapsberg Holsteins at Hamburg, Minn., owned by Sillsway Farms at Roslin, Ont.
Breeder’s herd (junior): Brian Joseph Enright
Junior premier breeder: Kevin Johnston and Tammy Van Der Linden of Cherry Crest Holsteins at Martintown, Ont.
Runner-up: John, Karen and Justin Velthuis of Riverdown Holsteins at Metcalfe, Ont.
Junior premier exhibitor: Cherry Crest Holsteins
EASTERN ONTARIO: Temperamental cow wins East-West Holstein show
By Tom Collins