Duncan Pipe and Robbie Wakelin with Clover-Lane Aftershock Sue-ET

Farming brothers win big

by Ann van Engelen

A Canterbury dairy cow co-owned by brothers John and Robbie Wakelin and Duncan Pipe has been named the South Island’s supreme champion Holstein Friesian.

Clover-Lane Aftershock Sue-ET took out the coveted accolade at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch. The brothers milk 300 cows at Rangiora.

“I still can’t believe it. The win is totally unexpected and topped off a pretty amazing day in the show ring. Sue takes it all in her stride. She has so much presence. She just stands there with her head up, happily chewing her cud,” said Robbie.

“I saw Sue for the first time when she was being shown here as a calf. I thought she was an amazing animal. I loved her mother, and I always knew Sue had potential. We are so happy Duncan let us become co-owners of her.”

The five-and-a-half-year-old cow produced 796 kilograms of milksolids last season and has won multiple titles at the Holstein Friesian South Island Championships, including supreme champion cow and champion best udder.

Many breeders didn’t show last year because of the threat posed by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. The Wakelin’s stud, Belbrook Holsteins, had 11 cows and heifers at the show. It was their first time competing since 2017.

They also won the champion junior Holstein Friesian heifer and the Noel R Roper champion intermediate female titles.

“Six months ago, I wasn’t sure if we would be back this year. I jokingly said when we do come back. I wanted to do it with a bang.”

Tahora Holsteins, which milk 350 cows at Tai Tapu, was one of five Holstein Friesian exhibitors at the show. Their cow, Tahora Bolton Legacy, took out reserve champion Holstein Friesian cow.

“Legacy is a really good nine-year-old cow,” said owner Dean Geddes.

“We use a lot of overseas genetics because we like bigger Holstein Friesians with exceptional udders that will last.”