The 14th generation Very Highly Commended champion Hasty River Lyn Moment has scooped the title of SupremeRoyal Champion Dairy Exhibit at the Stratford A&P; Show last month, adding a first Royal title to the already impressive line-up of show ribbons and trophies of the Johnson Partnership.
"You can see the likeness of Big Hollow Golden Marie in Lyn Moment," says Graeme Johnson, third generation farmer at Mangatoki. He in 1996 carried on the family tradition of pure-breeding jerseys started by his parents, Nola and Dick, on the farm originally purchased by his grandfather, Eric.
On the female side, Lyn Moment descents from Big Hollow Golden Marie VHC, which according to the Purebred Jerseys New Zealand's March 2012 journal is considered "the most perfect cow ever bred at Big Hollow".
But, the Hasty River link starts five generations from Golden Marie, when Big Hallow Sultans Marie in 1978 was offered for purchase to the Johnson family. Nola and Dick picked her up in a car trailer and ten days later she produced a bull calf and later one heifer calf, Hasty River Hero Marie.
The six-year-old Lyn Moment is the daughter of Hasty River Roger Miracle who almost died as a calf, hence the name, and sired by Hasty River Double Lynden, son of Greenbelt Roz Linda (ST champion cow Hawera), which Graeme purchased in 1999 for $7000 - then the highest price All-breeds in New Zealand.
Graeme says for selecting champions he relies on his eyes for detecting "a sharp bone and good udder", his experience and lots of patience. "You do not know when they are born - 89 per cent of the time you have to wait and see. I do not go into all the science of it. If you have good breeding you are halfway there."
He milks 195 cows and runs around ten families on the farm, all New Zealand pure bred jerseys. He uses his own bulls for the majority of his breeding using his "eye" to match the pairs.
Farmers from across the country attend the Johnson annual sale in May for in-calf heifers and yearling bulls and Graeme says he also sells semen "when asked".
Hasty-River Lyn Moment this year also won Taranaki Cow of the Year and holds the Taranaki Purebreeders Jersey Club title for 2012.
Speaking on the future, Graeme says the challenge now is to maintain the winning momentum.