Absolutely great trip to Denver and the NWSS this year. We had nasty driving coming out of Indiana, but after that clear sailing to Denver and the return trip was picture perfect the entire way. Always nice to come home with some winners as well. The heifer calf entries all did better than I imagined possible. LEA Jamie Lee, a striking dun daughter of LEA Heremon out of LEA Hedy, took a first in her class of babies; then LEA Livvy, gorgeous yellow daughter of Skye High X-Axis out of Skye High Uganda, surprised everyone, I think with a first in the May Heifer Calf class. I really never gave Livvy another thought for a win; I just know that I think she is tremendous, but size wise she is considerable smaller than most of the others in her class (and one of the oldest heifers in the class too.) Her name means Elf Army. This judge was not overly concerned with size however; he wanted good cattle and if they were good, they went to the top of the class. Livvy not only took a first, but went on to beat her herdmate Jamie Lee for the Division Championship. Jamie Lee took a Reserve and we were thrilled with a tremendous start for the show.
The Junior Heifer Calves encompass a huge set of animals divided into 4 classes covering January through April, 2015 animals. April heifer LEA Lyric, a near picture perfect daughter of Sunset Rebel Yell, out of LEA Holyoke, took a first in a big class, as did March born LEA Lydie, another LEA Heremon daughter out of LEA Flash. Lydie thrilled us with a Reserve Division, losing the Championship to a nice February heifer from Star Lake.
Out of 10 entries, only two heifers were out of the ribbons, quite a hallmark for us. LEA Kassidy took a 5th , LEA Lesley a 3rd and LEA Jordyn a 2nd. Even LEA Kyrie, who came in 7th in an excellent class of yearling heifers, drew praises from the judge. These were big, good classes with quality running deep. But the pinnacle of the show for us was watching LEA Hedy take to the ring after a 3 year hiatus, calf Jamie Lee at side, to be awarded Grand Champion Cow/Calf. It is a shame that a show as prestigious as the National Western does not attract more entries in this division. To me, Cow/calf is the absolute top honor any female can receive, and to bring the 2013 Grand Champion Heifer back into the ring as a cow and win going away is the greatest accomplishment that our breeding program could aspire to. Granted, not many entries, but Hedy defeated veteran contenders who have previously won Cow/Calf Grand Champion at numerous shows, including a cow with a 3 years of previous wins as the cow/calf Grand Champion at the NWSS, and another cleaning up this year in many of the eastern shows. The judge’s comments again hit home: she beat good cows because overall, Hedy’s high quality was matched in her calf as well. You can’t beat that for a remark.
It was also great to see Sunset Rebel Yell offspring working well for others. LEA Jaime, bred by us and owned by Cobblestone Farm, was Reserve Senior Heifer Champion, and BRF Bernie, an AI and ET son of Rebel bred and owned by Bull Run Farm took Grand Champion Bull over a number of fine examples of the breed, including some who might have considered his win a bit of an upset. Get of Sire was awarded to yet another Rebel son, HSC Rebel’s Jack, bred by us and owned by Cobblestone Farm. Rebel has surpassed any possible expectations that we may have had from him. I only wish I had asked Bull Run Farm and Cobblestone Farm to borrow their Rebel offspring, to take the Grand Champion Bull, the Grand Champion Cow and the Reserve Senior Heifer into the ring as Get of Sire. Rebel just might have given his well-deserving son a run for his money.
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