“I’m not sure there are enough adjectives in the English language to describe how amazing this show was,” says Chairman Murray Reissner. “You make us proud.”
This year’s TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic was a special one and youth from across Canada knew it. They came from far and wide to compete and left nothing on the line while showcasing their animals at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair during the Classic’s 40th Anniversary Show. A total of 336 4-H’ers came from Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to take part in the 3-day event, which was held from Sunday, November 3 to November 5, 2019. Teams arrived and began to move in early Sunday morning to set up their displays and settle in their calves. Over the course of the prestigious competition, 4-H members competed individually in both showmanship and conformation, and vied as teams for Best Exhibit, Best Group of Three Calves and Premier County.
Led by two Toronto Mounted Police on horses, representatives from each of the 50 teams competing opened the show on November 4, carrying signs displaying their team’s name. Sisters Molly and Lauren Sayers from Chatham-Kent wowed the audience with a duet of O Canada and the show quickly got underway in the brightly lit Semex Ring of Excellence. Steve Fraser of Fergus, Ont. had the difficult task of evaluating 4-H’ers on their showmanship skills on Monday. Dominic Fortier of St-Christophe d’Arthabaska, QC was his capable Associate Judge. Over the course of the high-caliber competition, Steve competently selected top showman from several heats of Junior, Intermediate and Senior show people and chose champions from each respective group.
Winners in each group were as follows:
Junior Showperson: Porter Weeks, PEI
Reserve: Tyler Gingrich, Waterloo
Honourable Mention: Lily Beckett, York
Intermediate Showperson: Dani Karn, Oxford
Reserve: Denise Sayles, Brant
Honourable Mention: Lily Bullock, Peterborough
Senior Showperson: Mariah Beckett, Durham West
Reserve: Matt Lange, South Simcoe
Honourable Mention: Tyler Canning, Dufferin
The main event in Showmanship culminated just after 10 p.m., when Mariah Beckett was named Grand Champion Showperson. Matt Lange was Reserve and Dani Karn was Honourable Mention.
On Tuesday November 5, show announcers Gary West and Christina Crowley-Arklie welcomed guests and the conformation classes began. Conformation Judge Jamie Black made the trip from Brushton, NY to place the many heats and classes of top 4-H Holsteins, Jerseys, Ayrshires and other coloured breeds from across the country. He chose his first-place Intermediate calf, Duckett Sidekick Ollie-ET, shown by Jasmine Uhr of Stormont County, as Grand Champion Calf. Reserve went to the first-place Junior Yearling, Weeberlac Jacoby Pandora, shown by Hayley Cox of Nova Scotia. Honourable Mention was the first-place Holstein Summer Yearling, Garden-State Airlift Expose, shown by Kyle Bouma of Prince Edward Island.
The Best Exhibit is one of the most sought-after titles at the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic. On Monday and Tuesday, the exhibits were judged for cleanliness, interaction with members of the public, signage and the overall display. Several teams relived Classics from year’s past by creatively incorporating old photos and memorabilia. Middlesex was the overall winners of this award and team members received beautifully handcrafted halters from Jensen Halters, who has sponsored this award every year for the past 40 years. Team members from Dufferin were the proud exhibitors of this year’s Best Group of Three. Oxford won the “Bill Edelstein Bowl” for Premier County. As a county, they accumulated the most points in Showmanship, Conformation and Best Exhibit. The lucky winner of the showbox (handcrafted by Chairman Murray Reissner) was Zoe Ducheck from York.
This year’s “Breeder of Distinction” was Avonlea Genetics Inc. of Brighton, Ont. Jennifer Vander Meulen along with her daughter, Taylor and son, Will, were on hand to bring greetings to participants and generously present five embryos from Paullyn Iatola Virginia EX-93-3E. The winner of this year’s embryos was Courtney Orser of Frontenac.
Two award presentations took place during this year’s show. The Stewart family and 4-H Ontario was on hand on Monday to present the Bertram and Hazel Stewart 4-H Dairy Youth Education Award and Bursary. This award and conditional bursary of $1,000 is presented annually to an eligible 4-H Ontario Dairy Club member to support post-secondary education. This year’s deserving recipient was Dougie Robinson of Stormont. The Parish family presented the Justin Parish Memorial Bursary on Tuesday in honour of their late son. Justin’s dream was to one day make it to the Royal and his dream lives on through this award that is presented to a first-time competitor at the Classic each year. This year’s deserving winner was Ashley Fisher of Temiskaming.
In recognition of the 40th show, the first ever Showmanship and Conformation winners attended as guests of honour. Norm McNaughton, the 1980 Showmanship winner, and Mark Smith, the 1980 Conformation winner, were on hand to bring greetings, display their 40-year-old banners, and present awards. Another special guest included the Hon. Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who brought greetings to participants and shared her experiences growing up in rural Saskatchewan and participating in 4-H. Accompanying her honour was Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s President and Chairman of the Board Robert Flack and Vice President Shelley Peterson, both of whom spoke at the opening ceremonies.
At the end of the show, Melyssa Sargent of Durham East thanked sponsors, parents and chaperones, as well as the Classic committee, on behalf of all 4-H’ers. Sarah Doyle of Frontenac sang a beautiful rendition of O Canada to close the show.
The Classic would not be possible without the commitment to youth from our major sponsors, TD Bank, Semex and Holstein Canada in the form of generous donations. Thank you also to the many supporting sponsors for their contributions. The organizing committee and all of the 4-H members attending are truly grateful for their support. Many 4-H members would not be able to make it the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic without the support of many local sponsors at home, parents, leaders and other volunteers. They deserve a huge thank you as well. The 40th Anniversary Show was a huge success and we look forward to another forty years of Classic memories to come!
Full results can be found on the Royal webpage HERE
Results & Photos for the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic Showmanship can be found on Cowsmo HERE
Results & Photos for the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic Conformation can be found on Cowsmo HERE
Provided by Holstein Ontario