Some things get better with age, turns out prize-winning, Holstein cows are one of them. As of last weekend, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s Grand Champion and Supreme Champion is RF Goldwyn Hailey, who at 6 years old, is considered the best in the world of Holstein competition.
Having won best udder and Reserve Grand Champion at the Royal Agricultural Fair last year in 2011, Hailey hit her peak in 2012, claiming the “triple crown” of Holstein competitions – Grand Champion & Supreme Champion at World Dairy Expo on October 6th in Madison, Wisconsin; Grand Champion at the Quebec International Fall Show in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec on November 3; and Grand Champion and Supreme Champion at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto on November 9.
So how does a cow win top title at the royal? It’s not all about beauty – though the looks help – it’s also about talent. “Hailey is a fine tuned cow, that can turn large amounts of forages (food) into large volumes of high-quality milk—and all the while looking great,” explains Glen McNeil, President of Holstein Canada. That’s not to say Hailey didn’t face fierce competition at the Royal. In fact her toughest competition came from fellow Canadian – Ebyholme Goldwyn Marcia, from Ayr Ontario. The judges themselves were almost at a loss to declare a winner, declaring both spectacular cows.
Owned by Gen-Com Holstein Ltd of Notre Dame Du Bon Conseil, Hailey’s is treated like any other diva. She is washed everyday of the year and when she travels her tour bus rivals that of any modern celebrity, including plush surroundings and unlimited food and water at her disposal. Within the last 2 months alone, Hailey was travelled more than 4,100 km.
And like other top stars, Hailey has to maintain maintaining a precise diet. This discipline has allowed Hailey to maintain in top competition form, even after giving birth to four calves. This, Glen explains, “is the equivalent of a supermodel returning to the runway after giving birth.”
As to what makes Hailey special, Glen says it’s simple, “She is the most complete Holstein cow living in the world today.”