At the Dairy Show, which will take place at the Bath & West Showground on the 5th of October, visitors will see some of the finest cattle from the Jersey and Guernsey Cattle Societies.
Jersey cattle will be inspected by Herefordshire-based judge, Duncan Hunter, while the Guernseys will be judged by Devon-based Lynden Bustard.
Mr Hunter has experience both as a judge and as a competitor, the latter with his Haresfoot Ayrshire herd which was dispersed in 2011. During this time he took Interbreed Supreme Champion at the Dairy Show in 2010.
One of his biggest accolades to the Jersey breed was on the Channel Island itself. “I was very honoured to be asked to judge the Jerseys at the Royal Jersey Agricultural Show in 2017,” he said. “So to be invited to judge the JCS National Show at this year’s Dairy Show is a privilege.
“I appreciate all breeds, but I particularly like the functional structure of the Jersey,” he added. “They are smaller but have the ability to very efficiently convert forage into milk with high constituents, which makes for a versatile commodity.
“I’ll be looking for excellent functional traits and overall balance,” he said. “She needs a well attached udder; strong attachment in the fore and high and wide in the rear. I want to see straight, free movement in locomotion. The whole cow needs to fit together well with her correctness indicative of her potential to milk well for a good number of years.”
The senior cow class is a favourite for Mr Hunter: “Because what you see is what you’ve got. She’s matured and generally proven herself – but it still all comes down to functional traits.”
Mr Bustard hails from a dairying family in Ontario, Canada and has more than 25 years of judging experience under his belt. He has worked extensivly across Canada, the United States, South America and across Europe. Coming to the UK in 1986, he took on work preparing cattle for show, before becoming a classifier at Holstein UK in 1996.
“The coloured breeds are well represented in the South West so I am in no doubt that the best will be in attendance,” he said.
“The breed gives a lot of milk with good levels of butterfat and protein. Cows need good functional udders to support their levels of production; and I will want to see them well attached with good teat placement,” he added.
“I’ll be looking for a correct rump, good width of chest and depth of body – and I want to see a presence in the ring,” he said.
Mr Bustard is also looking forward to seeing old and new faces. “It’ll be a great opportunity to meet up with people I don’t often see – and it’ll be great to see some new faces too.”
Jess Chiplen, head of shows, said: “We look forward to hosting both the Jersey and Guernsey Societies’ national shows at this year’s Dairy Show and welcoming the exhibitors that represent these iconic Channel Island breeds.”