After a two year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic returned to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair from November 7-8, 2022. Competitors came from five different provinces to compete and left nothing on the line while showcasing their animals during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s 100th Anniversary. A total of 313 4-H’ers from Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia took part in the event. 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 three Toronto Mounted Police on horseback, representatives from each of the 49 teams competing opened the show on November 7, carrying signs displaying their team’s name. Maryn Hunter from Leeds County sang O Canada and Troy Packett, Associate Vice President Agricultural Services TD Bank, officially opened the show. Dominic Fortier of St-Christophe d’Arthabaska, QC, was tasked with evaluating 4-H’ers on their showmanship skills in the Semex Ring of Excellence on Monday, with Kyle Rivington of Carp, ON, as his Associate Judge. Over the course of the high-caliber competition, Fortier 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: Bren Zeldenrijk, Oxford Reserve: Carson Phoenix, Durham West
Intermediate Showperson: Ty Finley, Durham West Reserve: Keaton Phoenix, Durham West
Senior Showperson: Tyler Canning, Dufferin Reserve: Sarah Dean, Dufferin
The main event in Showmanship culminated just after 8 p.m. Monday night, when Tyler Canning was named Grand Champion Showperson. Ty Finley was Reserve and Keaton Phoenix was Honourable Mention. The President’s Cup, awarded each year to the Showmanship Champion, was presented by Holstein Canada Vice President Doug Peart on Monday evening to Canning.
On Tuesday November 8, Emily Leblanc opened the show with O Canada. Our show announcers, Russell Gammon and Phyllis MacMaster, welcomed guests and the conformation classes began. Conformation Judge Chad Ryan of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, placed 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 Fall Heifer, MS-Aol Realist-RED-ET, shown by Nolan Allardyce of Brant County, as Grand Champion Calf. Reserve went to the first-place Spring Yearling, Kentville Chief Bodacious, shown by Keaton Phoenix of Durham West. Bosdale Lambda Lusteria, the first-place Summer Yearling shown by Rhett Terpstra of Perth County, was Honourable Mention.
Full Results from the show can be found here: https://www.assistexpo.ca/results/rawf/20/1
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. In a repeat win from the last show held in 2019, Middlesex County was the overall winner of this award. Team members received a trophy and monetary prizes from Jensen Halters, who have generously sponsored this award every year since the start of the show. Team members from Brant were the proud exhibitors of this year’s Best Group of Three. Durham West 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 Classic showbox (handcrafted by Chairman Murray Reissner) was Eden Vis of Wentworth.
This year’s “Breeder of Distinction” was Fraeland Holsteins of Fergus, Ont. Steve Fraser and his father, Jack Fraser, were on hand to bring greetings to participants and generously donated five Stanton Alligator embryos from Fraeland Emilio Blizzard EX-90, a fourth generation Excellent from their world-renowned Bonnie family. The winner of this year’s embryos was Taylor Vandermeulen of Northumberland County.
Two award presentations took place during this year’s show. The Parish family presented the Justin Parish Memorial Bursary on Tuesday morning. 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 winner was Rhett Terpstra of Perth County. The Stewart family and 4-H Ontario attended on Tuesday afternoon 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 Addison Dwyre of Frontenac.
Several special guests were on hand during this year’s Classic. Mary Poirier was this year’s Guest of Honour. She has been an integral part of the Classic committee since the mid-1990s and her impact on the show is immeasurable. Other distinguished guests included Troy Packett of TD Bank, Paul Larmer of Semex, and Doug Peart and Sylvie Mahannah representing Holstein Canada. Ms. Shelley Peterson, President of the Royal Winter Fair, also attended to bring greetings and wish competitors well. Rene VanAkker, Dean of OAC – University of Guelph, was on hand to greet participants and noted the renewed interest he’s seeing in the Agricultural programs at the university. The Hon. Lisa Thompson, Provincial Minister of Agriculture & Rural Affairs came to share an inspirational message and commend the 4-H and youth programs available today. At the end of the show, Clarissa McCallum of Frontenac and Savannah Crack of Quebec South East thanked sponsors, parents and chaperones, as well as the Classic committee, on behalf of all 4-H’ers. Cassie MacIntosh from Glengarry County sang 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 41st TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic held during the Royal’s 100th Anniversary Show was a huge success and we look forward to many years of Classic memories to come!
Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s Classic!
Show Sponsors: TD Bank, Semex, Holstein Canada, Gay Lea, Holstein Ontario, Walker Dairy Sales Ltd., Walker Farms, Jensen Halters, DeLaval, Dominion Regalia Meal Sponsors: Semex, Gay Lea Foods Ltd., Walker Dairy Sales Ltd., DeLaval Canada, Walker Farms
Committee: Murray Reissner (Chairman), Jason French (Vice Chairman), Ron Bird, Paul Cleave, Lowell Lindsay, Brad Sayles, Brian Slaughter, Doug Wagner, Alison West, Deanna Ringelberg, Brad Eggink, Pam Charlton
Administrators: Martina Arth, Molly McMillan, Andrea Emond, Amanda Comfort, Jenna Hedden Volunteers: Shelley Barfoot-O’Neill, Doug Green, Alain Blanchette, Bev Spriel, Roger Turner, Kris MacLeod Health Checks: Dr. Tim Henshaw and Dr. Rob Swackhammer
Ribbon Presenters: Josie McNab, Cailyn Charlton
Sanitation Technicians: Josh Brander, Dean Kelly, Emily Knutt
Hair Monitors: Robert Medwell, Al McPhedran
Announcers: Russell Gammon, Phyllis MacMaster
Singers: Maryn Hunter, Elizabeth LeBlanc, Cassie MacIntosh