Champion of all champions

By Country News

Jersey cow Shirlinn Icy Eve was retired two years ago but the Wilson family brought her back just one last time for IDW 2016 — and the decision paid off.

Shirlinn Icy Eve won the Grand Champion Jersey and best udder in the Jersey competition, and was also the RASV Interbreed Champion, presented for the first time as part of International Dairy Week.

The nine-and-a-half-year-old cow, which has had seven calves, is part of the Wilson family’s Shirlinn Jersey Stud Tamworth in NSW.

Shirley Wilson started the stud with husband Lindsay and said she was very proud of the results.

‘‘You don’t win them very often so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime for us,’’ Mrs Wilson said.

Brian Wilson, Shirley’s son, showed Shirlinn Icy Eve in the Jersey competition and said she was the highest classified Jersey in Australia.

‘‘She just loves it — she’s the first cow on the truck (when we go to shows),’’ Mr Wilson said.

The Wilson family has competed in four IDWs and the success at this year’s event marked the family’s first big win.

While they did not participate at last year’s IDW, a 13-hour trip did not stop four generations of the Wilson family attending the 2016 event — with a string of 18 cattle in tow.

‘‘We had a big sale in 2014 and sold about 60 cows so we were down on numbers.

‘‘Our plan was to get back to dairy week with a full team in 2016,’’ Mr Wilson said.

Shirlinn Icy Eve has had previous success at IDW, including Best Udder two years ago, and has won Supreme Champion Dairy Cow at the Sydney Royal Show, a feat Todd said had not been achieved by any other cow.

Brian and Todd Wilson said Shirlinn Icy Eve was likely to go into a flush program now and be officially retired (again), although Todd was not quite ready to make a final call on her showing future.