With some sound advice, a well executed plan and a little bit of magic, Analise Stover of Carlisle, PA, will surely never forget this year’s World Dairy Expo. Not only is this her first time attending Expo, but she walked the colored shavings with Julie-Ann Tequila Asia, who captured a blue ribbon in the Jersey Milking Yearling class, and was also selected as Intermediate Champion of the Junior Show.
“She has always been a really special cow,” said Analise. The connection between Analise and Asia is truly something amazing, and one that was evident not only in the showring, but on a day-to-day basis.
“This has been a wild ride,” commented Amy Brickner, “and we’re going to ride it to the end!” Amy is Analise’s cousin and show mom, and the one who started Analise and Asia on this amazing journey.
“I always wanted a brown cow,” smirked Amy, “but our farm was strictly Holsteins, and there weren’t even any reds in the herd.” When Analise was 6-years-old and her love of animals became evident, Amy contacted Waverly Farms, Clear Brook, VA, in search of a Jersey. She purchased a fall calf in 2010, WF Motion Alaska, who hails from the Giprat Renn Anastasia (EX-95) family that has produced numerous show winners.
Alaska calved in as a milking yearling and they knew the family had potential. She was flushed, resulting in three Fire heifers and two Reagans. “There was one heifer, Arizona, who we knew was special from the moment she was born,” commented Amy. Despite the fact that she was born blind in one eye, they kept Arizona because they could see potential and knew the family could produce a great one.
“Arizona freshened and her calf was out of this world,” said Amy. “She was special from day one.” Sired by Tequila, Asia was shown locally as a fall calf and started to build her resume. She made the trip to Harrisburg for the All-American Dairy Show and despite an accident on the way to the show that caused her to limp, she placed 8th in the Junior Show and 6th in the Open Show a few days later.
They made the decision to exhibit at Louisville for the first time and Amy said there were several people impressed with her and saw potential. She placed 10th in the Junior Show. “We still didn’t know how to raise Jerseys though,” remarked Amy.
The following spring, Amy talked to her good friend Jack Lomeo and the decision was made to take Asia to the NY Spring Show. This is when Amy was first introduced to Kevin Ziemba, who cared for Asia that week. Analise led Asia to a HM Junior Champion of the Junior Show finish.
Asia calved in June, and Amy said she looked incredible from the start. “She’s a TMR cow who runs with 150 Holsteins,” Amy said. “And they are big Holsteins!”
Her show season started in Shippensburg, PA, at their summer show. After an unfortunate run in with a formaldehyde foot bath a week before, Asia did need some extra attention, but still walked away with Intermediate Champion.
Analise had a full dance card for the Premier National Junior Shows in Harrisburg this year, having numerous animals of different breeds to show. “Analise is the only one that could show her Holstein, and of course, she went in the ring at the same time as Asia,” recalled Amy. Asia won her class, but wasn’t pulled out for Intermediate Champion. Amy led Asia to a first place finish in the Open Show and was pulled out for Intermediate Champion. “We were on top of the world!”
After her success in Harrisburg, Amy once again called up Jack and the decision was made to send Asia to Retso Holsteins, owned by Brian Oster in New York, for the 10 days leading up to Expo. Brian classified Jerseys the day after she arrived, and she scored VG-89.
While Amy had attended Expo before, this was Analise’s first trip to Madison. “We came with no expectations,” commented Amy.
When show morning arrived, Amy and Analise were both nervous. “Our fitter, Trent Jones, told Analise ‘it was just another 4-H show’ to calm her down!” When Asia was pulled first in her class, Amy immediately called her mom and they both started crying. “We couldn’t control our emotions,” joked Amy.
The waterworks really started after Asia was selected as Intermediate Champion of the Junior Show. “I’ve been here before and had friends do well, but for us to actually be the ones to win, it’s just remarkable,” said Amy.
“If it weren’t for the people at home, none of this would have been possible,” Amy said. “My mom and Analise’s mom would have loved to be here, but they are holding down the fort at home.”
Amy also know that this week might not have been so memorable if it weren’t for Kevin and Barb Ziemba. “Kevin executed the plan perfectly,” Amy commented, “and we are so thankful for the care and detail he has given Asia the last few weeks. Our win is their win, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Lots of tears have been shed this week, but that doesn’t bother Amy nor Analise. “This has been a wild ride and something we never could have dreamed of.” And, they aren’t planning on it ending any time soon. She is going back to Brian’s after the show with the goal to get her pregnant and do IVF after that.
“We’ve had people ask for a price, and we just can’t do that. She is so special to us, and we want to continue to build her family for Analise and my two boys,” said Amy.
While most show cow enthusiasts can probably remember their first time to Expo, this trip will truly be the trip of a lifetime for Analise. “I couldn’t have imagined this at all,” Analise said. “She is just so special to me!”
Congratulations to Analise, Amy and the entire ZBW crew who helped bring Asia into the spotlight on the colored shavings!