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Amazing sale honours a Canadian-bred timeless Jersey icon: Veronica!

Huronia Centurion Veronica EX-97%

South Mountain Voltage Spice VG-89

Once in along while, a cow comes along who captures the imagination and stirs the passions of everyone who comes in contact with her. Such is the status of a September 1999 born Jersey cow named Huronia Centurion Veronica EX-97%. Veronica arrived in this world in early September 1999 at the farm of Fred and Ruth Armstrong and family in Auburn, Ontario. She was bred by the Armstrongs and their partners in ownership of Veronica's dam, Murray and Pat Mellow of the former Kenkare Jerseys, Bolton, Ontario. Not long after Veronica's birth, the Armstrongs were accorded one of Jersey Canada's highest singular honours, the 2000 Master Breeder Award.

This extra-special cow was born with blue blood from across the North American continent flowing in her veins. Her sire Sooner Centurion, originating at the famed Cedarcrest Farms in Alabama, USA is world-renowned. For over a decade and a half he has been one of the leading lights of the strong Select Sires Jersey proven sire team. Her dam, Genesis Renaissance Vivianne, is by equally well known Jersey sire - Hollylane Renaissance, born at Hollylane Farm, Corbyville, Ontario. Vivianne was bred by Paul and Virginia Warwick of Exeter, Ontario. She descends from five generations of Excellent females bred by the Wick and Kaehli families of Swissbell Jerseys at Grand Valley, Ontario before her pedigree reverts to the United States in the mid 1950s. To substantiate the regal nature of Veronica's genes, she and her six closest dams average almost 5 Excellent progeny each and just under eight high solids lactations per cow over 7 generations! During her lifetime, Veronica also called Bridon Farms (1986 Master Breeders) at Paris, Ontario home.

With this kind of heritage as background and a lifetime total of her own accomplishments expanding almost on a daily basis, it is little wonder that such a cow would qualify as the centerpiece of an elite sale of her descendants. And so, in early July 2010, the owners of picturesque Arethusa Farm, George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis, and their top team of Farm Manager Terri Packard and Ernest Kueffner welcomed a sizable crowd of dairy industry supporters and fans of Veronica to the farm in Litchfield, in the verdant, rolling hills of north-western Connecticut. Featured in the Visions of Veronica Sale were a select grouping of just over 20 lots, with all being descendants of Veronica.

Veronica's list of credentials is virtually endless and still growing! Among the brightest jewels in her crown are two Supreme Championships at the Pennsylvania All American Dairy Show; a National Grand Championship at the All American Jersey Show; a Supreme Championship and Reserve Supreme Championship at the World Dairy Expo, three Jersey Championships at the prestigious World Dairy Expo, and Reserve National Championships in both the United States and Canada in a show ring career that stretches over a full decade from 2000 to 2010!

In addition, Veronica received the exceedingly rare score of Ex 97% in 2008, gaining admission to a club with only a handful of Jersey members in North America. Her fifteen sons that have already seen AI service, 17 Excellent daughters and over a dozen Very Good daughters are a true testament to her transmitting ability. Veronica is a well above average producer with the high component yields characteristic of the Jersey breed and has a decided ability to transmit these high solids along to succeeding generations. Veronica is obviously not "just another cow" but has earned the right to be known as a global icon, a household name in dairy circles around the world. Prior to the July sale, progeny of this cow and the cow herself had already fetched numerous hundreds of thousands of dollars at leading dairy sales and in private transactions.

It is no surprise therefore that the Visions of Veronica sale earned an average of $9565 on 20 full lots! This is one of the highest averages ever attained at a Jersey sale anywhere in the world! What a tribute to the cow, her breeders, those who have developed her and her current owners! Buyers from five US states and Ontario, Canada invested in Veronica descendants during rounds of lively bidding! Ten lots fetched $8,000 or more.

Leading the way was a lovely paternal grand daughter of Veronica named South Mountain Voltage Spice. Spice was the first Junior Two Year Old and Reserve Intermediate Champion of the New York Spring Show in April this year. She also attained a maximum score for age of 89% before sale time. She descends from three generations of Excellent dams and is herself an eighth generation Very Good or Excellent. Her sire, Elliott's Golden Voltage-ET, is a son of Veronica by Golden Boy of Ferreira. Her 92% dam by Elliott's Renaissance Deluxe is a 6.0% fat tester with high yields from a 93% dam by Canadian sire Bridon Premonition. The line traces to the Master Breeder Bri-Lin herd of Brian and Linda Raymer of Bright, Ontario and their extraordinary brood cow Bri-Lin Imperial Snow. Six lots from this very well-known and respected family were on offer. The winning bidder was young Jersey breeder Ben Sauder of River Valley Farms at Tremont, Illinois at $25,000. Voltage Spice was bred and consigned by Terri Packard and Ernie Kueffner of Maryland.

A maternal grand daughter of Veronica named Arethusa Action Dominique (born in June 2009) was the $22,000 second high selling lot. She sold to Greg Mortson of the Master Breeder Mordale herd at Oro-Medonte, Ontario. Dominique was the first place Summer Yearling at the 2010 New York Spring Show. Her sire Forest Glen Avery Action, the all time record selling Jersey sire for Select Sires. Her dam is Arethusa Veronica's Dasher, an EX-93% daughter of Veronica. Dasher has a long list of show winnings and high lactation records, and is one of eight Excellent full sisters by Alta Genetics sire Piedmont Nadine Furor. Dasher herself was the third high seller at $15,000, selling to Jon Prokop of Middleburgh, New York.

At the beginning of the torrid sale, farm co-owner Tony Yurgaitis presented a pair of the famous Manolo Blahnik shoes for audience appreciation. He noted that Arethusa was donating proceeds from the sale of the shoes to initiate a dairy scholarship for young people. The shows fetched an impressive $2500 going to Ms. Merry Rama, wife of talented sale auctioneer David Rama. The Ramas managed the sale with Arethusa Farm. The Visions of Veronica sale catalogue is now a most unusual collector's item. The early part of this catalogue featured a collection of 20 tribute letters to Veronica penned by those who had worked with the cow, judged her, bred or developed her, or admired and closely followed her throughout her long and triumphant career. Gretchen Taylor of Taylor Made Designs in Iowa and Terry Packard created the keepsake catalogue. After a brief resume of her seemingly endless accomplishments Veronica, a true continental Jersey and global dairy legend, was accorded a well-deserved prolonged standing ovation just before her descendants met with such enthusiastic bidding response!

For more information on Jerseys in Canada please visit Arethusa Farms website is at available at

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