Suard-Red Jordan Irène

Europe’s Two-time Champion now also World Champion 2016

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We have a tie! The two-time European Champion Suard-Red Jordan Irène and the two-time World Dairy Expo Champion Strans-Jen-D Tequila-Red each ended up with the same number of points in our judging system, a tie for first place. And as the tie-breaker goes the way of the popular vote, the end result sees Irène become the new Red-Holstein World Champion.


Suard-Red Jordan Irène EX-96: The reigning European Champion from Colmar is now also World Champion.

The two-time World Dairy Expo Grand Champion Strans-Jen-D Tequila-Red EX-95 was the first choice of our official judges.

Bopi Talent Lotanie EX-93 was Grand Champion from Expo Bulle and gave Switzerland a second cow in the top-3.

She’s the oldest World Champion in the history of the competition, the superuddered 12-year-old Irène. And she gives Switzerland its third World Champion in the past five years! However, her victory was anything but straight-forward with the final decision coming down to a tie-breaker. This year, readers voted in record numbers so that they would have their say in selecting the Champion, and right from the start as the votes rolled in, Irène took the lead. From all votes, 63% went to Irène. Indeed, in all six languages and from all parts of the world, Irène was a clear winner. Equally convincing was the distant second place to Tequila with 16% of the votes, while Lotanie was third with 8%. However, that’s only half the story, with the other half belonging to our two official judges.


Our official judges – Torben Melbaum from Germany and Hank Van Exel from the US – both returned judges cards with Tequila as the winner and Irène in second. While the veteran Irène was clearly a sentimental favourite for many of our readers, our judges preferred the exceptional frame of Tequila. ‘For me Tequila is one incredible cow that can compete easily with the best black & whites,’ comments Torben. ‘Her incredible udder in combination with her outstanding style and capacity makes her my World Champion. Taking nothing away from Irène, who is not the tallest cow but is very youthful and moves on an incredible set of feet and legs. For a cow of her age she also has an unbelievable udder. Lotanie was the cow at the European show that caught many eyes because of her tremendous rear udder and her femininity all the way through her neck. She is a true Red & White dairy cow.’ Behind those, Torben selected Flavia and Calli. ‘Flavia is a little bit similar to Lotanie. She is also a cow with a lot of dairy character and is very balanced all the way through her back and neck. She also carries her udder way up above her hocks and has a nice rear udder.’ ‘Calli is the power-house of the Red & White cows having enormous capacity with a lot of style and an udder that is way above her hocks.’ Torben concluded, ‘I am very honoured to have been asked to judge this contest.’


Hank Van Exel also started with Tequila and Irène, and included Lotanie in his top-5. ‘First I would like to say that this is a great class with many cows that could be considered for Champion. In saying that, I do think that I have an easy winner in Tequila. She has that unbelievable presence and frame that few cows possess. Combining that with a higher and wider rear udder makes her the Champion in my mind. For second I’m going with Irène: Again on her beautiful frame and maturity, giving that advantage over the outstanding young cow Fanny in third.’ Hank then selected All The Way for fourth place. ‘Although Fanny is a younger cow, her massive frame and her width and depth of front end that carries all the way through to her rump and rear udder gives her the advantage. In a close placing, I placed All The Way over Lotanie on her length of frame and what looks to be a higher rear udder attachment. However, I do give advantage to the style and balance of Lotanie.’


For Irène it was the second time she had appeared in the World Champion competition. She also competed in the 2013 final after winning the European Championship in Fribourg. On that occasion she was also the favourite among our readers, but did not fare so well with the official judges and ended up in second place overall. Remarkably, she improved with maturity in the intervening years and never looked as well as she did this time as a 12-year-old when she won the European Championship in Colmar. Irène is the pride and joy of the Schrago brothers, Damien and Frederic, who farm at Middes in Switzerland (their herd report appeared in HI 2/2016). They purchased her during her first lactation with a view to her becoming a potential bull dam. She was 3rd in her class at the European Championships in Cremona 2010 and over the years has accumulated numerous awards at National Shows, including the best udder title at every show she attended. The EX-96 Jordan daughter has 7 sons in AI and has produced over 95,000 kg milk. Among her daughters are an EX-92 Mr Burns daughter and an EX-93 Italia daughter. ‘Last lactation she easily completed a record of more than 15,000 kg with 4.93% fat, never rose above 50,000 somatic cell count, and readily became pregnant again,’ explains her proud owner Damien. For Tequila, it was the second year in a row that she had been a factor in the final judging, placing third in 2015 before moving up to second this year. And incredibly, she leaves the impression that she can develop into an even more formidable contender over the years ahead.

Holstein International would like to thank the sponsor of this competition, ABS Global, as well as the official judges – Torben Melbaum from Germany and Hank Van Exel from the US – for their enthusiastic cooperation. Our gratitude also goes to the many readers who helped select the new “Red-Holstein World Champion”.



  • Irène! An easy winner especially if you consider

her age! 12 years and looks like a million bucks.

Jonah Boschma, Athens, WI, USA

  • She is the best: I’m only 10 years old and I can see that the 12-year-old cow is obviously the best

Nicole Verhoef, Bowden, AB, CA

  • We used her sire several years ago; all his daughters are now VG or EX. She is breeding exceptionally well, a wonderful cow

Robin Mott, UK

  • No doubt! She is the best built cow with great capacity, and her udder reaches perfection

Juan Carlos Rodriguez Lopez, ES

  • Production-Type-Fitness: Outstanding!! With 12 years & 7 calves

Waldemar Andersson, Säffl e, SE

  • Successful in the showring and as bull dam. And so vital for her age, crazy!

Robin Bätge, Wustrow, DE

  • Lots of type, lots of production, lots of progeny, lots of supporters!

Alfred Zwahlen, Guggisberg, CH

  • Tequila is a great cow with wonderful depth of body and a fabulous udder.

Leroy Stoltzfus, Morgantown, PA, USA

  • I just love this cow, she is long, she is dairy with open rib and she stands on a great feet & legs with a super udder which is high and wide with a great veination

Morrel McCollum, Northern Ireland, UK

  • I have seen this super homogenous cow live and she would work great under any freestall conditions

Marc Vaessen, Weiler, LUX

  • Irène is complete, but Bopi Talent Lotanie as a younger cow shows tremendous future to develop. I’d say even between them but X to Lotanie now

Riikka Heiskanen, FI

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