EXHIBITORS, competitors and the public enjoyed their first day of the Great Yorkshire Show on Tuesday, and there was plenty of celebrations down in the dairy cattle rings for Cumbrian breeders.

One family, who can count themselves as the creme de la creme of Holstein breeders in the world today, the Wilsons from Thursby, continued their winning ways with top honours in the dairy ring with heifer Evening Sidekick Jennifer from the Stanleycup Jennifer family, who captured the Supreme Junior Championship title.

The outstanding win came followed success in the Border & Lakeland Winter Herd Classic with an outstanding display of super six females to take the overall title.

But past success in the show ring has been equally impressive with individuals winning at international, national and regional shows.

The herd icon is Riverdane Ashlyns Gold EX95 who won at the last European Show in Belgium. She descends from a classic line of the Tri-Day Ashlyn cow family. The Evening prefix has also won at Premier Breeder & Exhibitor titles at both UK Dairy Expo and the National Holstein Show.

Over the past 15 years, James and Louise Wilson, with daughters Charlotte and Emma, have developed both the Evening pedigree Holstein herd and the Evening Hill farm into something very special.

At the beginning the herd comprised of 15 quality milkers and now has grown to almost 500 with over 1,000 herd of livestock in the herd.

And on Wednesday, July 21 at Borderway Mart in Carlisle, the family will be holding an Evening Production Sale following the Border & Lakeland Show and Sale which starts at 11am.

The successful use of sexed semen has been a big factor in stock numbers rising.

Charlotte says they decided to try IVF after finding conventional flushing was not as compatible with showing.“We breed a lot of our own cows and in 2017 we bought a special cow, Riverdane Ashlyns Gold. Because she had a very good pedigree, we wanted to do a lot of breeding off her and get some money back in. IVF seemed a good way to do it.”

Encouraging results using Paragon IVF services convinced them to use IVF more.

Charlotte said: “It has made us get better pedigrees and family lines a lot quicker — we have been able to improve the herd a lot faster than you would naturally. When you can show a cow and she can keep producing, that’s a great thing.”

All the milking cows and heifers selling are classified Very Good and all have the potential to classify Excellent. They are from cow families that have formed the backbone of the Evening herd and include Baby, Wonder, Primrose, Barbara and Nina. The highlight in this super group is Evening Atwood Jessie 2 VG88 2YR (lot 206). Jessie is a nomination heifer and is in excellent form to compete for the highest honours at the National Holstein Show in September.

A powerful well grown group of in-calf heifers follow the milking animals sired by Pepper, Pharo, Diamondback, Doorman, Sidekick and Rager Red.

They carry female sexed pregnancies to Lambda, Fitz, Chief and Milano, and are bred from the Silverwings, Stella and Sunrise families. A great granddaughter of Evening Stanleycup Jennifer EX96 sells (lot 227) sired by Glamour Achieve and due in December to Chief sexed.

All the best cow families are represented in the group of young heifers that have been selected and include two daughters of the European winner Riverdane Ashlyns Gold EX95 sired by Miami & Thunder Storm (lots 246 and 247).

A Calvados daughter of the reigning Agriscot Champion Whinchat Snowy Tippy VG89 sells (Lot 248) as does another Calvados daughter from Warnelview Cup Irene EX95 who won at the Royal Highland Show in 2018 (lot 249).