Senior show judge will be missed
Manawaru School student Zoe Kidd was awarded the MidNorthern District ribbon at the Te Aroha AP&H Show in honour of the late Jersey breeder and senior judge Rion Belfield, who passed away last month.
Judge Graham Johnson said Belfield had been judging for more than five decades and would be missed.
‘‘He had a strong character, he withstood no nonsense,’’ he said.
‘‘He made up his mind and was very confident. He didn’t hold back he knew what he was talking about and knew what he was doing.’’
Belfield had his own style in the show ring. ‘‘ He always wore shorts and shirt with a tie. He was the only fella I’ve ever seen judging in shorts,’’ he said.
Belfield developed his family farm 15 kilometres north of Matamata into a leading Jersey breeding stud.
Madeley Park Jersey Stud held its 60th annual sale last year, with buyers coming from as far as Invercargill and Kaitaia, with a top auction price of $16,000 for an in-calf heifer.
also trained up-coming show judges and was on the Thames Valley panel of judges.
Zoe was awarded the special ribbon after she won Champion Dairy Type with her calf Ginger at the Te Aroha AP&H Show on November 22.
Te Aroha District Calf Club and show convenor Dave Higgins said Zoe’s calf was a very well structured animal.
‘‘It’s a very good, well-bred calf,’’ he said.
Zoe’s mother Maria Kidd said she was pleased the ribbon was awarded to a Te Aroha person.
‘‘It’s a great honour, (Belfield) was a great man and he judged me for years,’’ she said.
Competition was fierce in the calf ring, with 38 calves competing at the show.
Belfield passed away peacefully at home on his farm in Ngarua on October 14. He is survived by his wife Trish, three children and one grandchild.