Three generations build Guernsey success

Three generations build Guernsey success at International Dairy Week

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Three generations of the one family were involved in two of the champions named in the Guernsey show at International Dairy Week on Wednesday.

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Three generations of the one family were involved in two of the champions named in the Guernsey show at International Dairy Week on Wednesday.

Tyson and Mark Shea and Neville Wilkie, Bacchus Marsh, Vic, are behind a Guernsey stud operation that has enjoyed considerable success at IDW for many years.

This year they showed the grand champion Rockmar Miami Graceful and the junior champion Rockmar Pilot Madison.

The six-year-old grand champion claimed her second grand champion title, having won the award in 2018 and being runner up in 2019.

Tyson said the cow was fully home bred on both sides of its pedigree by his parents Mark and Roxanne, who own the cow.

"The Gracefuls are one of dad's original families - nearly every second cow we own is a Graceful," he said.

"They have been good cows for a long time."

The Sheas have only a small herd of about 20 milking cows and Rockmar Miami graceful is dominant in that herd.

"She's the queen, she's the boss; any cow that tries to go through the gate on her and she doesn't let them," Tyson said.

The cow had only calved on December 23 but had a great transition to be right for showing at IDW.

The junior champion was owned by all three generations after they bought her mother in partnership three years ago.

Mark said the mother was reserve IDW champion that year and the calf was the first from it.

The calf had the breeding behind her.

Mark said the secret of their success was having the right cow families and then getting the right bull to click for the breeding.

"We haven't got big numbers so we can concentrate on getting the right bull," he said.

Judge Grant Liebelt was impressed with the length of all his champions.

He said the champion was a beautiful cow, long bodied with a long rump and beautiful udder.

The intermediate champion Gilbert Sigrid 20 was picked up by its owners Darby Norris, Kyabram, Vic, and Digby Gribble, from the United Kingdom, at the IDW Guernsey sale two years ago.

The pair paid the second top price of $8700.

"I liked her frame and her body because she never had an udder on her at that time, but she had a magnificent frame and body an that continued on," Mr Norris said.

The cow is milked by the Joyce at Girgarre, Vic, for Mr Norris, who works in animal nutrition, but has a passion for the Guernsey breed, having recently stepped down as president of the Guernsey Society.

"My family been in Guernseys for four generations," he said.

Check out our complete International Dairy Week coverage:

SHOWS

SALES

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