Borderway UK Dairy Expo enjoyed its best two-day event to date, with a record breaking line-up of cattle from seven dairy breeds displayed to an international crowd from as far afield as Quebec, Guatemala, Finland, Spain and The Netherlands.

In all, some 368 animals were put through their paces, with the overall champion of champion honours eventually presented to the Holstein supreme, Sahara -Sanchez Ambrosia 3, from the Cheshire-based duo, Mark and Sue Nutsford and Michael and Barbara Hollins.

“The Holstein is the most mature, has had the most calves and boasts the best udder,” said Molly Sloan, Wisconsin, one of the three inter-breed judges.

“She has real dairy quality with good open rib and an excellent mammary system with height and width throughout to the rear udder.”

It was a point echoed by the American Holstein judge, Carl Saucier from Champlain, Quebec, who was most impressed by his top line-up of cows.

“You have a fantastic show of cows here with the fore end showing real dairy strength and quality being able to walk freely with excellent mammary systems.

“Selecting an overall winner is like a beauty contest, you have to select the prettiest one and the champion for me was an easy contest.

“It is all about the mammary system and the champion has the levelness in front and the height of the rear udder while also having the dairy strength and frame and good open rib,” said Mr Saucier.

Taking centre stage to win the grand champion of champions, Sahara-Sanchez Ambrosia 3 was originally bought at the New Abbey dispersal at Carlisle, in 2014 for 5800gns by Michael and Barbara Hollins for their Barmick herd. It was however the following year when the Nutsfords who own the Riverdane herd, bought a share, that her show career took off.

With Mark Nutsford at the helm, this big girl by Gen-Mark Stmatic Sanchez, out of Smiddie Toystory Ambrosia, has been placed at the European Holstein show in Colmore in 2016. Last year, she was stood inter-breed champion at Nantwich, first at UK Dairy Day and at AgriScot she lifted the prestigious SuperCow award.

Not just a pretty face either, she calved 11months ago and is still giving 60kg of milk having already produced 73 tonnes of milk. Classified Ex94, Ambrosia 3 would also have been forward for the European Holstein Show in Brussels next month, if it was not for the fact that Mr Nutsford ¬– who was winning his third Holstein championship at the Expo and second supreme overall here ¬- is in fact judging the event.

While there is no award for the reserve, the judges selected the Ayrshire supreme, as second best. This was Sandyford Prime Heather Honey VG89-3yr, which was described by the judge, Molly Sloan, as a “beautiful cow,” from Blaise and Deborah Tomlinson and daughters Evie, Millie and Annebell, Leicestershire and Beth Granvill, Wales.

Their show stopper, which was bred by the Tomlinsons, is by the Canadian sire, De La Plaine Prime, and out of the Ex93 Sandyford Burdette Heather, that stood first in her class here last year. First in her class at Cheshire Show, last year, this big red cow calved in December and is giving 45kg per day.

It was a cracking day for the Tomlinsons as they also scooped the reserve and honourable mention in the Ayrshires with home-bred cows from the 230-cow herd from Charnwood Forest Farm, Loughborough. Taking the blue and white sash was the third calver, Sandyford Lucky Florrie Ex90. Another former show winner having stood champion at the Royal Welsh and inter-breed exhibitor bred champion at Cheshire, last year, this Sandyford Lucky Charm daughter out of the Ex90 Sandyford Reality Florrie, was paraded giving 47kg per day having calved three weeks previous.

There were celebrations north of the Border too, when Dumfriesshire-based Jonathan Lochhead and his partner, Jessica Miller, scored a hat-trick in the Brown Swiss lines, winning a third consecutive supreme championship with Kedar Rhapsody, a fourth calver on her first outing since last year’s big event. Bred from another top show cow in the shape of Kedar TD Reia Ex93 which was a former champion winner here on two previous occasions and numerous other events, she is sired by Vetschs Nesta Calvin. A big milker too, she produced 8500kg of organic milk in her third and since calving a month ago is yielding 48kg.

The couple from Beyond The Burn, Mouswald, who have scooped the breed honours here six times in the event’s eight-year history, also picked up the reserve honours with the seventh calver, Kedar Vigor Heike Ex94, which lifted the same award in 2018. She is by the American sire, Sun Made Vigor, out of Kedar Becks Heike and was parading giving 45kg of organic milk having calved six weeks previous.

Robbie and Margo Scott, who run the Nethervalley herd at Shacklehill, Ayrshire, also enjoyed their best year at the Expo, going one step better than their reserve win in the Jersey lines last year to win the supreme with Clifton Vanahlem Clover VG87. This third calver bred by the Bland family, is by Pannoo Abe Vanahlem, out of Clifton Julian Clover and stood reserve at Ayr last year. She was bought at Carlisle two years ago for 1350gns and since calving in November is now giving 44kg per day. The Scotts also won honourable mention in the Jerseys.

Alison Hunter, who lives with her boyfriend, Kevin Lawrie at Myremill, Maybole, also had due cause for celebrations, when she won the overall showmanship competition on the Friday and on the Saturday lifted the reserve Jersey honours. Her top winner, Clydevalley Excitation Magic, bred at the family farm at West Tarbrax, Shotts, is a second calver by Bridon Excitation, out of the Ex90 Clydevalley Governor Magic Ex90. She classified VG86 as a heifer and since calving on Christmas Eve, is giving 36kg per day.

The reserve honours in both the British Friesian and Red and White Holstein classes also came North. The former was won by Basil and Adam Lawson’s Adams Laura 6, a previously unshown heifer in milk from the father and son team’s herd from North Cassingray, Largoward, Fife.

The British Friesian section which had it’s National Show here, saw the blue and white sash presented to a daughter of Raby Jazzman, a former stockbull bought at the Raby dispersal, out of Adams Laura 3, an Ex91 classified high yielding previous show cow. Laura calved at 25months of age and is giving 32kg per day at 10 days calved.

The champion in that section went to last year’s winner, Oakalby Quadrant Cathy 50, a third calver from brother and sister duo, David Burroughs and Margaret Vale, Suffolk. Their top winner from the 400-cow unit that boasts a herd average of 7900kg at 4.0%BF and 3.3%P, is by Deangate Quandrant, out of Oakalby Windermere Cathy 42, and was paraded by herdsman Robert Ives.

Caroline Gilmour and Sheila Yates’ Eastford Atomium Kiwi Red VG88, continued on her winning ways too, to lift the runner-up sash in the Red and Whites, for the duo from Monkton, and Castle Douglas, respectively. All Britain intermediate heifer in milk 2018 and AgriScot Superheifer 2017, this second calver shown by Michael Yates is by Gen I Beq Atomium Red and out of the privately purchased Coton End Secure Kiwi Red. She is giving 52kg having calved mid November.

Standing in front of her was Worcs -based Richard Bown’s Richaven Absolute Stocking Red VG88, a previously unshown three-year-old giving 49kg at eight weeks calved. She is bred from Crockers Rock Stocking Red, a former reserve winner at AgriScot and by Apples Absolute Red.

For full report and pictures see this week’s Scottish Farmer