Brookleigh crosses golden milestone

Brookleigh crosses golden milestone

Dairy
Joyce and Lyndon Cleggett, Glencoe, celebrate 50 years of Brookleigh Guernseys in the showring at Adelaide.

Joyce and Lyndon Cleggett, Glencoe, celebrate 50 years of Brookleigh Guernseys in the showring at Adelaide.

Aa

GUERNSEY stud Brookleigh celebrated its 50th year of consecutive showing at the Royal Adelaide Show.

Aa

GUERNSEY stud Brookleigh celebrated its 50th year of consecutive showing at the Royal Adelaide Show.

It was set-up at Williamstown in 1964 by Gil and Enid Cleggett and now operated by their son Lyndon and his wife Joyce Cleggett, Glencoe.

Brookleigh began exhibiting in Adelaide in 1966. It won the senior cow ribbon in 1972 with Brookleigh Estelle, six years after it began showing.

It was judged equal most successful Guernsey exhibitor in 1970, and outright most successful in 1971.

In the past, the Stock Journal trophy - a luxurious leather chair and foot rest - was open to all livestock exhibitors for the most successful.

Brookleigh was the first dairyfarm to win the award, in 1973, which sparked off a spree of dairy exhibitors claiming the title.

The stud has had a few standout cows.

In 1983, Brookleigh TCF Becky followed up her junior champion win of 1981 with a senior champion ribbon - the first Brookleigh animal to win the two awards.

Lyndon said Becky was "still a favourite" of his.

"She was a cow that was really almost ahead of her time," he said.

"It was about that time we, as a breed, really starting seeing a lot of change and progressing.

"It was the influence of overseas genetics."

Another memorable cow was Brookleigh Belinda, who won the intermediate and senior cow title at Adelaide, and in 1987 went on to win the interbreed competition title.

"It was a real pinnacle up to that period," Lyndon said.

In 1990, the stud won supreme interbreed cow in a unanimous decision with Brookleigh GH Bronte.

Lyndon said the 1995 competition was another proud moment.

The Cleggetts made the decision in 1993 to sell their top 40 cows to pay for infrastructure on their farm, then based at Langhorne Creek.

"We had to rebuild the herd and came back and won the intermediate champion in 1995," Lyndon said.

Lyndon said there were a lot of things that kept them returning to the show every year.

He said at 15, he had wanted to own a farm and own one of the top herds in the country.

He said showing was part of that desire, describing it as almost a "disease".

"Showing is a bit like a goldrush, the excitement, once you've got that in your blood," Lyndon said.

He said that rush had eased but he could feel that passion in the next generation, particularly his daughter Amy.

"In our early days I was driven trying to dominate, now I'm just trying to do well and enjoy it," Lyndon said.

But the drive to get a champion remains.

"There is no question that the thing you like to do is breed champion cows," Lyndon said.

"Getting a champion cow, it doesn't matter when, it really does mean something.

"You always hope to have a good cow and come down and be competitive for the champion."

He said another thing that kept him coming back to the Royal Adelaide Show was the "family feel" of it.

"The RAS in the dairy section is just a family show," Lyndon said.

"People come and see you that have been friends for years.

"I think that's why RAS does so well in the dairy section.

"It's part of a big family show.

"It's also having the right people on the dairy committee to drive things and make it happen."

The story Brookleigh crosses golden milestone first appeared on Farm Online.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by