Thursday, November 30, 2023

Waikato Galloway earns his stripe at world championships

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Prized riggit bull zooms into Champion of the World slot – without leaving home.
Cherrybank Arapuni Pride has become Champion of the World, without leaving home in Waikato.
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Cherrybank Arapuni Pride has gone from Pukeatua in Southern Waikato to world champion without leaving home.

The three-year-old bull has been named 2022 Galloway Champion of the World at the 2023 Farmfair International in Edmonton, Canada.

Cherrybank rare breeds stud principal Beth McVerry attended the huge cattle expo in Edmonton in early November to receive the honour and meet other cattle breeders from around the world.

Arapuni Pride is a riggit Galloway, one of the original colour patterns in the historic cattle breed from Scotland, now coming back to prominence.

Riggit cattle have solid colours on the sides – black, brown, red or dun – and a distinctive white stripe down the spine. 

That dominant marking shows up well in crossing over dairy cattle, along with good fertility, easy calving and good beef characteristics.

McVerry imported straws from the United Kingdom to concentrate on riggit Galloways here in New Zealand and has 16 years of breeding Galloways.

“It took me a couple of tries and I was super excited when he hit the ground and I saw he was a riggit bull.

“He has grown out well and has a lovely temperament, along with the right breed standards.

“My riggit genetics with right Galloway conformation and attributes are now in demand worldwide, from North and South America, Australia and the UK.”

The world championship is a first for NZ cattle and for this still quite rare coat pattern, McVerry said.

The worldwide competition with virtual judging is organised by PJ Budler’s Global Cattle Solutions, an international genetics platform, followed by presentations at the subsequent annual Edmonton Farmfair.

In 2022, there were nearly 2000 entries in total from 16 breeds and 90 countries.

Cattle qualify for Champion of the World by winning their country’s premier breed show in each of their respective regions; North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Africa, which contains Australia and NZ.

In Edmonton, Cherrybank rare breeds stud principal Beth McVerry was presented with the world Galloway bull banner by Farmfair officials, including PJ Budler on the right.

Arapuni Pride was first chosen to represent NZ Galloways when he was a yearling bull in April 2022 by a UK Galloway Society judge.

He was then virtually assessed by four independent cattle judges, not Galloway breeders, to go forward as the regional winner and by a further five independent judges for the world championship.

Beth and Paul McVerry have a small Galloway cattle stud of 25 animals and are also breeders of American Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys.

Beth McVerry said Galloways are in demand as terminal sires over dairy cows, especially heifers, because of their quiet natures, easy calving and beef growth rates.

The breed is also in demand for smaller farms because cattle are medium sized and good converters of feed into beef.

Expressions of interest in Arapuni Pride semen and embryos are being taken now, McVerry said.

This year is the Galloway Cattle Society of New Zealand’s 75th jubilee year and in 2025, NZ will host the World Galloway Congress, which is a biannual event for international breeders and enthusiasts of the Galloway breed.

McVerry expects there will be considerable demand from delegates to see Cherrybank Arapuni Pride on his home turf with progeny.

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