THERE WOULDN’T be too many cows in the show ring that can lay claim to attending an annual event multiple times but come this January, Tandara Etvei Heidi will walk out into the International Dairy Week show ring incredibly for her 10th time.
The 11-year old Brown Swiss calved in autumn and is looking pretty good, according to her owner Ben Govett.
Ben describes her as a super dairy cow, trouble free with a pretty good udder.
“She is not the easiest cow to work with but she is looking good for her age so I thought I would give her a run again this year,” Ben said.
Heidi didn’t make the cut in last year’s more youthful team.
In her nine previous shows, she has never placed lower than second in her class and she has gone on to win reserve intermediate champion, reserve champion and best udder of show.
She has also had a trip to Royal Melbourne where she took home reserve champion and best udder.
Longevity runs in Heidi’s family.
Her mum has taken over the crown as the oldest cow in the herd at 15 years of age so there could be a few IDW’s left for Heidi yet.
She has also thrown some pretty handy offspring including a daughter that won her class as a dry heifer and came second in her milk class.
Ben is unsure about numbers for his team this year.
“I think we will probably end up with around 15 in milk cows. We have shown more before, but I think that is a pretty good number for us this year.”
That mix of milkers will include Brown Swiss, two Holsteins including a mature red cow, some mature Illawarras and an Ayrshire.
“Last year we had a lot of good young cows while this year our team consists of more mature cows.”
Ben said he was very happy with last year’s IDW — he had ties with every winner.
“The junior champion was a cow I sold, the intermediate was owned and bred by me and senior champion was a cow I bought in partnership.”
While this year will be all about preparing and showing the Tandara team, Ben will take some time out of his busy schedule to judge the handlers competition.
“That should be some good fun. Sherri Martin used to be a mentor of mine and it will be really good to judge the competition in honour of her memory, it’s a privilege actually,” he said.