Ayrshire

First time Royal Highland Show exhibitors Mungo and Fiona Bryson, sons, Alistair and Callum and daughter Lauren, had a field day in 2017, when they won the tri-colour amongst the Ayrshires with their fifth calver, Changue Martha 49 Ex95, which this year went all the way to win The Scottish Farmer’s Champion of the Decade.

Their well-known show cow from Whiteflat, Catrine – bought privately from Robert Stevenson, of the Changue herd, in 2014 – was not only a big winner at the Ingliston event, having secured the breed and reserve inter-breed honours in 2017, along with runner up titles in 2018 and 2019, she’s also a star performer at several other noted dairy shows.

A twice breed leader at the Borderway UK Dairy Expo at Carlisle, three times champion at Ayr Show, West of Scotland Dairy Show supreme, and reserve at AgriScot, she also boasts some pretty impressive milk yields having produced 11,308 litres in her fifth at 3.91% BF and 3.14% P in her fifth. To date she has given in excess of 60,000 litres.

Approaching 12 years of age and now in her eighth lactation – with March-born twin heifer calves by Brieryside Magic – this big red cow is still giving 40 litres per day, and all going well will hopefully be entered for AgriScot, if the event is able to go ahead.

Martha is a daughter of Changue Stadium, bred from a Changue cow, and boasts two daughters in the herd by Modern Reality and Ravenhill Victory, grand-daughters by Dr Foster, Attico and Absolute and two young bulls for sale by Whitecroft Furtado and Ravenhill Victory.

Judge’s comments:

Michael Howie, of the Morwick herd, Northumberland, and president of the Ayrshire Cattle Society, said: “It has been a pleasure to have been asked to judge the final three excellent cows for the Ayrshire Champion of the Decade.

“The cow I selected as champion was the 2017 winner as her extra style, mobility, bone quality and super udder gives her the slight advantage over the other two great past champions.”

Dairy Shorthorn

The 2015 breed leader, a light roan second calver from Kendal producer, James Robinson’s Strickley herd, from Old Hutton, went all the way to lift the top Champion of the Decade award amongst the Shorthorns.

Strickley Barrington Dot 21, which was providing the 120-cow organic herd it’s second breed title at the Ingliston, is by the Australian sire, Llandovery Jinnys Empire and bred from the Strickley Goldfinger daughter, Strickley Dot 17 GP80.

Still going strong and due with her seventh calf in October, she is also a former champion winner at the family’s local Westmorland Show.

One of the best performing cows in herd too, she has bred three VG daughters, two bulls and regularly produces milk yields with high butterfat and protein.

Judge’s comments:

Ian Collins, of the Churchroyd herd, Dewsbury, said: “I felt it was quite a close decision between the two roan cows, but the 2015 champion got the edge for being that bit more dairy throughout, showing more open-ness of rib. She also excelled in the udder, being very correct throughout and displaying more veination.

“Thank to The Scottish Farmer for the opportunity to judge this competition.”

Holstein

Regular breed winners, Alister and Colin Laird boast no fewer than nine Holstein championships at the Royal Highland Show, so it was fitting that the father and son duo landed The SF’s Champion of the Decade title, with, best of all, their sole home-bred winner, Blythbridge Goldwyn Rosalee.

Their Ex95-classified fourth calver which not only won the breed title in 2016 but also went on to lift the reserve inter-breed dairy honours at Ingliston, was also reserve champion at AgriScot, the same year.

A big winner for the 460-cow herd, in 2015, she was honourable mention at the Royal Highland and later that year stood champion at the Livestock Event in Birmingham. She also landed an honourable mention amongst the All Britain five-year-olds.

Backed by the best of genetics on both sides, Rosalee is by Braedale Goldwyn and bred from five successive generations of Excellent-classified cows, being out of the German import, Wiesenfield Talent Rosalee Ex92.

No slouch in the production stakes either, she gave 17,245 litres in her fourth 305-day lactation at 3.91% BF and 3.2% P and that was before the robots. Notably, she also boasts three VG daughters in the herd.

“She had tremendous depth of body, feet and legs and a great rump,” said Alister, adding that sadly, she is no longer with us.

Judge's comments: Jack Brewster of the Boclair herd from Bearsden said: "I would like to congratulate all three finalists producing some great cows in their own right. But for me, the mature cow from 2016, Blythbridge Goldwyn Rosalee, showed better balance with more depth of body, greater spring of rib. She truly has all the attributes of a great cow," he said.

Jersey

One of the biggest names in the Jersey breed went straight to the top of the podium to claim the Champions of the Decade gold, when an English bred animal, owned by three Irishmen and brought out by a Scottish family, landed the big one.

Bluegrass Vindications Harp Ex94 (2) was bred by Barry, Jenny and Claire Daw and bought at a UK Dairy Red Ribbon Sale for 12,000gns by the Fleming family, who own the Potterswalls herd, in Northern Ireland, along with John Henning and Keith Agnew. But for most of her show career, she has been residing with the Yates family from East Logan, Castle Douglas, who brought her out to bag the championship honours at the Borderway UK Dairy Expo three times, the Royal Highland twice, UK Dairy Day and at AgriScot. She was retired at AgriScot in 2018 after standing reserve SuperCow.

Now back home in Ireland amongst the Flemings’ 120 Jersey cows, which boast average daily yields of 27 litres through robot milkers, Harp has recorded a top yield of more than 10,000 litres and is carrying her sixth calf, a heifer which is due imminently to a home-bred high genomic sire.

A breeder, too, she has bred an Excellent classified Ontime daughter for James and Stephanie Whittaker a long with two VG Potterswalls heifers to include Potterswalls VIP Harp which won her class which saw 19 forward at the All Britain Calf Show, last year.

Harp has also bred heifer calves to 4400gns at the Black and White sale in 2018.

Judge’s comments:

Mark Davis, of Rivermead Jerseys, said: “I had no hesitation in making Harp the 2017 champion of the final three. For me she was much smoother through the rump and stronger through the loin, she also had more bloom through the mammary with stronger veining through the rear and fore udder. An outstanding cow with tremendous style!”