Cow Cameo comes up 'dumps'

By John Cousins

Cameo the cash cow delivered a stellar performance at Bethlehem Primary School's cow dump gala, taking only 45 minutes to unleash her winning motion.

It was the fifth year John and Cathy Carmichael's hand-reared cow had held the attention of hundreds with her bowel movements, with people anxiously waiting to see where on the grid-patterned field she would do her business.

"Everyone waits in trepidation," Mr Carmichael said.

Unlike last year - when it took two hours - this time, Cameo delivered the pat in just 45 minutes, delivering a $2000 prize to the X-marks-the-spot lucky ticket holder, former pupil Teia Fidow. The eight numbers around the lucky spot on the grid each won $200.

Cameo's "dump" was also a cash cow for the school, as the $2 tickets returned a net profit of more than $7000.

Mr Carmichael said Cameo lived a life of luxury on their beef farm at the top of the Minden, with her life in the meadows only broken by a hand-fed treat of muesli and molasses for two weeks leading up to her starring role at the gala.

The eight-year-old jersey cow was also fed hay in the final few days so that her dump was a bit firmer when it hit the ground.

"She comes out once a year and does her thing."

Cameo's docile and friendly nature made her a children's favourite at the gala day where she never balked at countless little hands patting her.

"She loves interacting with humans," said Mr Carmichael, a Bethlehem School ex-pupil.

The gala day boasted a huge range of activities, games, raffles and stalls, from gumboot throwing and a treasure hunt to the school's "X Factor" talent quest in the hall.

The organisers extended a special thanks to Brookfield New World for donating the meat for the barbecue and sponsoring prizes.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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