The International Dairy Week interbreed championships at Tatura last Thursday were hotly contested with an independent judge brought in to make the final decision for two of the awards.
The Holstein breed dominated – taking the highly coveted Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Australian Grand Champion cow award and the Junior Interbreed Champion award.
The Illawarra exhibit was named the Intermediate Interbreed champion.
All three were tightly contested.
A tied vote in the champion cow award saw the Holstein exhibit win on countback from the Illawarra.
In the intermediate section, the tie couldn’t be separated on countback and youth show judge Brian Behnke had to be called upon to separate the champion Illawarra from the reserve Jersey.
Mr Behnke also had to separate the reserve in the junior championship.
Elmar Holsteins, Leitchville, took the grand champion award with a cow from their famous Jessica family, Elmar Goldwyn Jessica 11.
"She's just a great cow to work with, it was her day today," Steve Hore said.
Mr Hore said the show cows in his 400-cow commercial herd were treated a little differently because they wanted them in show condition.
"So they do get looked after but we try to look after all our cows because we need to produce as much milk as we can, and she's just part of that," he said.
Showing is also important to the family, with Steve and Deanne and children Kelsie, Marty and Brady involved.
"Showing is a lot of work," Steve said.
"There's a lot of stress to it, and we couldn't do it without our family support.
"There's nothing nicer than sharing it with them."
The intermediate interbreed champion Llandovery Thorpes Stella 1413th was shown by Lachlan Alwer, Invergordon.
Mr Gordon bought Stella for $6700 at the Red Revolution sale at IDW last year.
“We just fell in love with her; she had a smashing udder on her at the sale and I could see she was going to grow into something,” Mr Alwer said.
“She wasn’t the top price at the sale, but she had a great pedigree.”
Mr Alwer milks 120 stud Illawarras in a 180-cow herd.
Sun Vale Holsteins, Yarroweyah, Vic, went back to back in the junior Holstein championship, but also took the interbreed award.
This year they took the top award with Sun Vale Lotus Donna, owned in conjunction with Leah Orton.
Sisters Katie and Renee Anderson brought 30 head to the show.
Katie said it was "pretty exciting" to win the top award.
"It is nice to know our work is paying off," she said.