Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society was not able to hold its annual National Milking Shorthorn Show at the Lindsay Exhibition in Lindsay, Ontario in September. However, there was an interest from breeders and the Board and staff of Lindsay Exhibition to not go an entire year without an opportunity to showcase the best Milking Shorthorn genetics in the country. As a result, the Society and Lindsay Exhibition partnered to organize a Virtual National Show for 2020, where breeders submitted photos and videos of their animals as if they were headed to the fairgrounds at Lindsay. Entries were received in late September and were ably judged by Rob Kite, a Dairy Shorthorn breeder from Staffordshire in the United Kingdom.
A total of 26 entries from 10 exhibitors across three provinces were received. The number of age classes was consolidated down to six, followed by the naming of Junior and Grand Champions.
Grand Champion of the Virtual National Show was the first place animal in the First Lactation Cow class, Westside Ironman Riley. Riley is bred and owned by Westside Farms (the Snyder Family) of New Hamburg, Ontario. The Snyders have a mixed herd of Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns, and this was their first time participating in a Milking Shorthorn show! Judge Kite described his Grand Champion as having “an outstanding mammary system, snug with width and height in the rear udder and great udder texture. I love her cleanness of head and neck, length of body, quality of bone and a good set of feet and legs with depth of heel and strength of pasterns.”
Reserve Grand Champion was awarded to Oceanbrae Ironman Ginger, bred and owned by Oceanbrae Farms of Miscouche, Prince Edward Island. Ginger was previously Reserve Grand Champion of the National Show in 2015 as a Two Year Old. This year, she placed first in the Four Lactations and Greater class, calving for the fifth time in December 2019. She is currently projected to produce close to 10,000 kgs of milk at 5.0% fat and 3.9% protein in fifth lactation. Judge Kite placed her over the second place Mature Cow and Honourable Mention Grand Champion, Richford Ironman Iceland. Iceland has previously been Grand Champion of the National Show on two occasions and is bred and owned by the Richardsons of Richford Farms, St. Marys, Ontario. This made a clean sweep of the Grand Championship class by daughters of Oceanbrae Ironman-P, the #7 LPI sire marketed by Semex Alliance.
Junior Champion honours went to Kolson Bentley Legacy, the winner of the Senior Calf and Summer Yearling class. Legacy is a roan September 2019-born calf bred and owned by Stephen & Janet Edwards of Cobden, Ontario. Legacy is sired by Semex sire Oceanbrae Royal Bentley. Judge Kite remarked that she “exhibits excellent overall style, angularity, and openness of rib. Her quality of bone in both front and rear legs with flat, clean hocks and good width when on the move makes her my Junior Champion.”
For Reserve Junior Champion, Kite selected his first place from a large yearling class, Lynmark STC Fresca, bred and owned by Lynmark Farms of Norwood, Ontario. Tim Shearer and Irene Vietinghoff of Lynmark Farms are no strangers to success in the show ring with their Milking Shorthorns and Fresca is an impressive roan heifer sired by homebred sire Lynmark St Clare, the #1 Active LPI sire marketed by Semex. She placed over the Hon. Mention Junior Champion, Oceanbrae Lass Ballerina, the first place Junior/Intermediate Calf bred and owned by Oceanbrae Farms of Prince Edward Island.
The Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society would like to thank the Board and staff of Lindsay Exhibition, particularly Shanice Sproule, for their assistance in coordinating this first attempt at a virtual National Show. The Society would also like to thank the sponsors, which enabled the Society to offer some prize money to exhibitors, including a special cash prize to the six 4-H members who exhibited heifers in the virtual show.
Press release and photos provided by the Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society