The two Maitland brothers were the perfect example of healthy sibling rivalry, after they found themselves competing up against each other in the Championship round at Pukekawa Calf Club Day recently.
Young Alex Maitland has held the title of Champion Dairy Calf for the last four years, after being given the opportunity to raise calves from Cloverland Jersey Stud especially for this event. His hard work and dedication in rearing has seen the youngster take out the Junior Dairy Champion title, and named Champion of Champions.
A change in property circumstances saw Alex’s older brother, Luke, swap from rearing champion winning goats to beef this year, and while the boys were entered in different breed categories, they soon found themselves up against each other in the Championship round.
“It was quite funny to watch the two, as they were both competitive, but also really excited to be competing against each other,” said proud mum, Tina.
Tina explained that Alex could often be heard sharing with his older brother the winning tips on leading, and to have patience with his boisterous Galloway calf, Snowy.
“Luke and Snowy had a bit of a rough start this season, as Snowy nearly passed away twice in the lead up to calf club day. It was a little bit touch and go, with the vet also having to be called out, but once that calf regained his strength, poor Luke knew all about it,” laughed Tina.
“He is a very strong calf, and more than once Luke was dragged down the driveway while trying to practice leading.”
On Friday 20 October, complete with gravel burns on his elbows and knees, and with his younger brother by his side, Luke not only took out Champion Beef Calf, he also won Champion of all Champions.
Tina said that when Luke was announced the overall winner, there were no hard feelings between the two.
“Alex just looked at Luke with a huge smile, and they gave each other pats on the back. It was so neat to watch, and I am proud of how they worked together.”
Tina said that both brothers are ‘proud as punch’ and are incredibly humble to have this momentous achievement engraved on the trophy for future generations to aspire to.
With their family moving from Pukekawa to Waihi later this year, the boys are considering to take their champion winning calves to the Waihi A&P Show.