Holstein great RF Goldwyn Hailey passes away - Cowsmo

Holstein great RF Goldwyn Hailey passes away

RF Goldwyn Hailey
Hailey was Cowsmo’s cover girl in 2012

Holstein legend, People’s Choice Winner and crowd-favorite RF Goldwyn Hailey (EX-97-5E) has passed away at 12 years old. Hailey was owned by Gen-Com Holsteins, QC, and bred by R&F Livestock Inc., SK, and Chilliwack Cattle Co., BC.

After an impressive run in the Northeast as a Junior 3yr Old in 2009, Hailey caught the attention of Mario Comtois of Gen-Com at the Excellence of Cowtown International Sale in July 2010 at just two months fresh. Mario had come to the sale two days early to preview the sale line-up, with his eye on Idee Goldwyn Lynley-ET, who was having an impressive summer show campaign. Standing next to her was 4yr Old Hailey, whose fancy, dairy legs, quality udder and aggressive eye caught Mario’s attention. Right then he knew he wanted to buy her but didn’t share that with anyone. “When I left for the sale two days later, I told my wife I was going to come home with two cows that day,” commented Mario. And that he did! That year, she was Reserve All-Quebec 4yr Old and was Grand Champion at Montmagny.

She continued her campaign in 2011, earning Reserve All-American and Reserve All-Canadian titles. She hit the big-time in 2012 though, classifying EX-97 in July and then earning her first Triple Crown win that fall – Grand & Supreme at World Dairy Expo, Grand at QC Fall International Show, and Grand & Supreme at the Royal, all within 5 weeks.

Katie Kearns who worked at Gen-Com during Hailey’s show career recalls how smart she was: “She always knew what is going on and was very aware of her surroundings. And she was certainly very aware of feeding hours and could be quite demanding if you happen to be a few minutes late,” Katie commented. “Her eyes always told the story of how she was feeling and she never stopped watching what was happening around her.”

And this aggressive and watchful nature of Hailey was evident every time the Gen-Com crew packed up and attended a show. Even though Hailey was shown three times in 2013 – twice in Canada and once in New York – she did not make the big trip to Madison that year. As the crew started to load the semi, Hailey knew something was going on. As the cows started to walk by her, she became very excited, but then soon realized she would not be loaded. Katie recalls that she quickly got agitated and was pacing in her boxstall. “I came back to check on a few last minute items and Hailey was throwing all of her bedding out of the stall with her front feet making a mess all over the front of the barn and displaying her obvious displeasure at being left home.”

Hailey would need to wait until August 2014 before hitting the tanbark again, as she attended her first show since freshening with her fifth calf in May. “She was so excited to go,” commented Mario. “She jumped up into the trailer like a young heifer!” And it was her enthusiasm for the show that made her a truly special cow to work with. Hailey was also known for her huge appetite, which only increased when at the shows.

Hailey’s last major show appearance was NY Spring Show in 2016

Hailey once again brought home the Triple Crown in 2014 – Grand & Reserve Supreme at Expo, Grand at Supreme Dairy Show and Grand & Reserve Supreme at the Royal. Throughout her impressive career, she racked up 15 Grand Champion wins. In 2016, she was only shown once in the US, a win at the NY Spring Show, and was selected as Reserve All-American Production Cow. This would be her last time she was shown.

After the Gen-Com Crown of Roses Sale in spring 2016, Hailey spent time at Madystar Holsteins, where she calved for the 7th time. A few months later, she went to Budjon Farm where she lived out her retirement. “We thank Marie-Louise and Pascal Lemire for housing Hailey after the Gen-Com facility was sold. And our special thank you to Tom & Kelli Cull for their invaluable help during Hailey’s show carrier and their care after her during her last few months,” said Mario.

Hailey’s influence is left behind by 5 Excellent and 5 Very Good daughters, all of which scored VG in their first lactation. Hailey also has a son at St Jacobs – Gen-Com Hy-Class sired by Absolute.

Without a doubt, Hailey earned her place as one of the greatest show cows in North America. “She was a cow that loved to show and everything that came with it, which for those of us who love the show just as much, made her that much more special to work with!” said Katie.

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