Family continues breeding legacy

The Hasty River bloodline has again proved superior, taking the top two titles at the Taranaki Purebred Jersey Breeders' Club show early this month.

The RD1 champion cow was Hasty River Lynn Moment, bred by the Johnson Partnership at Mangatoki, and the reserve champion, Hasty River Hi Radium sold by Graeme Johnson to Kapuni's Vanner family six years ago.

Graeme featured in the Stratford Press at the end of last year when Lynn Moment took the Royal event title at the Stratford A&P; Show.

"The Johnsons have sold a very nice core of animals that year, which has done very well. We are quite honoured to have got what we have," says Paul Vanner.

For the future, he says they aim to maintain what they have achieved and to "just enjoy all aspects of breeding".

"The spoils are all very well, but for us it is just to take part and represent a pure breed association. We are more than satisfied with what we have achieved thus far."

Hi Radium in 2011 won supreme champion all breeds as well as in-milk cows at the Hawera A&P; Show, and at this year's Purebreed Jersey show the Vanners also won heifer reserve with Loch Raven Charlie Laurie.

Paul's father, Jim, started the stud, but they let it drop for a few years before Paul and his wife, Christine, decided to pick it up again seven years ago.

"It is something we always wanted to do. I was brought up with it. We had a fair bit of success with school calves and were asked to join the association. It is important to maintain the pure lines. Once we lose it, we can never get it back."

For the Vanners it is a family affair, with daughter Kelsey (a student at Sacred Heart in New Plymouth ) and son Mitchell (an apprentice at a steel fabricator in New Plymouth) doing their share of the hard work.

They run a 180-strong herd on their 60-hectare farm, and mainly uses artificial insemination, breeding from strong families, as well as one self-bred bull and two bought-in bulls.

The Vanners consider themselves still novices when it comes to breeding, saying they are "still learning, experimenting".

They bought Hi Radium as a heifer and started showing her as a two-year-old. Paul says he followed his instinct, and it had paid off. "And she is not even our dearest cow."

- Stratford Press

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