The State's best Brown Swiss dairy cow is living in Dollys Flat just outside of Wingham.
Her name is Cooltah Thunder Excel, otherwise known as 'Excel' at home. "Or now - Excellent Excel!" Natasha Yarrington, owner and dairy farmer laughs.
Excel was named Champion Senior Cow in the NSW Brown Swiss On Farm Challenge at the 2019 Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The On Farm Challenge is a competition held by many dairy cattle breed associations.
"All members can enter and the judge travels around each of our individual farms." Natasha explains.
"We literally just pull them out of the paddock and present them. They're not show ready, they're not clipped, they're not led, they're just standing in the paddock. It's the same as if they were judged in the show ring, it's just that they're not prepared the way they would be in the show ring."
On Farm Challenges recognise the difficulties dairy farmers encounter in having to leave the farm and day-in day-out work schedule to show their cattle.
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"It just means that it's more accessible for us as farmers to display our animals and for our animals to be entered into competition against other animals without having to leave our farm, without having to endure those high costs of showing and those sorts of things. It's a great concept," Natasha says.
"This is the third time that we've entered the on farm challenge and this is the first year that we've got first and certainly the first year we've got champion. So we were really stoked with that."
The top prize was not the only placing they scooped up in the Challenge. The Yarringtons had eight entries, with six in the top four - two firsts, two thirds and two fourths.
We literally just pull them out of the paddock and present them. They're not show ready, they're not clipped, they're not led, they're just standing in the paddock.Natasha Yarrington
The On Farm Challenge was not the only reason the family travelled down to the show.
"We just took one animal down that we own, and we helped out another local Jersey stud with her animals. With our animal we got second in the Brown Swiss classes, and she got third in the All Breeds Youth Show," Natasha says.
And to top off the outing to Sydney, two of Natasha's daughters brought home ribbons of their own.
Alexis, 11 and Rylee, 10, entered the Paraders Class and placed fourth and eighth.
"Obviously for them parading at Sydney Royal is a pretty prestigious thing for them to do, so to walk away with a placing and a ribbon they were pretty stoked," Natasha says.
The victories at the Sydney Royal Easter Show give the family a confidence boost after what has been a hard year for dairy farmers, due to drought and milk pricing issues.
"It just makes all those early mornings and long days and all the hard times worth it. It feels good," Natasha says.
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