A royal touch for dairy show
There will be a touch of royalty of the mooing variety at a big dairy expo that opens at Feilding today.
Dairy cows half-owned by the Queen will be featured at the New Zealand Dairy Event 2010, which starts this afternoon at the Manfeild stadium in Feilding.
"I might get the sack if she doesn't win any ribbons," said Don Ferguson, whose family jersey stud Ferdon Genetics, from Otorohanga, co-owns with the Queen two cows on display.
Mr Ferguson said he went to Britain and helped prepare the Queen's cows for showing in 1992 and he had had links with the royal herd since.
"The Queen has a jersey herd at Windsor Castle. My wife and I were her guests there in 2008 for 10 days."
The Queen's cows are among 350 at Manfeild Park for the event, competing in sections such as the best holstein friesian in-milk, the ayreshire New Zealand show and the all breeds drystock section.
Dairy Event chairman Selwyn Donald, from Wairarapa, said the first cattle arrived last Sunday.
"They had come from the South Island and were able to have several days getting over the long travel, and after getting off the truck had two to three days perking up and settling in to the stadium."
This is New Zealand's second national Dairy Expo.
Both have been held at Manfeild Park.
"I have just got back from judging the dairy event in Australia, at Shepperton in Victoria," Mr Donald said.
"There were 1150 entrants. They came from Brisbane and Tasmania. Some came 18 hours by road. But the facilities here in New Zealand are better."
The Dairy Event 2010 runs for three days at Manfeild Stadium and the public is invited to see the best dairy cows in the country, for free at any time during the competitions.
Next year's event will be in February 2011 to coincide with the World Jersey Conference.