Excellent ET sisters: True Blue Damion Jodette-ET EX-90-2E, True Blue Damion Jolene-ET EX-90-2E & True Blue Damion Jodie-ET EX-90-2E. Photograph: Kelsie Hore
It is an exciting moment for any breeder when their cow scores Excellent 90. For North West Victorian breeders Tim and Maddi Somerville, True Blue Holsteins, it was even more exciting when they had three ET sisters achieve this elusive classification score.
Holstein classifier Rob Marshall admits he is still in awe whenever he sees an Excellent cow. “Whenever I see them, I just think ‘wow’ – they are the cows that are built to work and built to last,” he said. “It’s a score that recognises the great cows, that when you break them down, there’s nothing really wrong with them. They are that wedgy, balanced type of dairy cow that everyone wants.”
Rob says the Excellent classification score recognises those individuals that have a proven performance. “When I’m classifying, I often see a great 2-year-old that has that potential to make an Excellent cow – but they’re not there yet. They still need to prove themselves with at least another few calves.”
Achieving the Excellent score is pretty special for an individual, but for three ET sisters to achieve this at once is pretty rare.
True Blue Damion Jodette-ET EX-90-2E, True Blue Damion Jolene-ET EX-90-2E and A True Blue Excellent achievement True Blue Damion Jodie-ET EX-90-2E are granddaughters of the famous red and white Canadian Champion, Fradon R Mark Jodie-R EX-91-2E.
Tim Somerville purchased their dam, Ponderosa Shottle Jodie VG87 9* STP with friend Brad Allot at the Blue Ribbon Sale II at Bluechip in 2011.
“The Shottle has been a great cow and a great cow to work with,” Tim said. “We were pretty happy when the Damions all went Excellent. I really like them.”
Tim said he hasn’t flushed any of the Damions at this stage, instead focusing on the Shottle cow while she’s still active. Of the sisters, Tim said he doesn’t really have a favourite, but if he had to choose, he would pick Jolene. “They’re all pretty good, but Jolene has that great frame that I really like.
Jolene already has a granddaughter, True Blue Absolute Jolene VG85, who scored VG on her first lactation, and Tim is confident with the strength of the cow family behind them, the other sisters will breed on too.