Special Awards

The following Special Awards were presented at the recent Ayrshire New Zealand Annual Conference.

The Bell Booth Achiever Award for persons who have made some notable achievement in the Ayrshire breed was presented to Matt Robinson.  It is with much pleasure that the Bay of Plenty Ayrshire Club would like  to nominate Matt Robinson for the Bell Booth Achievers Award. Breeding pedigree dairy cattle is in the family for Matt.  He is a 4th generation dairy farmer, with the Robinson family having farmed pedigrees for over 80 years.  Matt’s passion for Ayrshires began as a youngster with his first show calf `Wishful’.  This was the start of his Showing Career.  29 years later he is still showing his Ayrshires with such  pride and enthusiasm under his own stud name “Topline Genetics“.  He has had many achievements in the showring but his highlights would be firstly  with Pukekaraka Burdette Rose taking out Champion Cow at the Royal Show 2015/16 and Reserve Intermediate Champion at the NZ Dairy Event and Waikato A&P Show.  2018 was a great year at NZ Dairy Event for Matt.  He won Intermediate Champion and Best  Udder with Pukekaraka Bdete Zippy and went on to win All Breeds Best Udder and 2nd in the All Breeds 3yr old class.  At the same show Pukekaraka Dream Diamond was awarded Reserve Senior Champion.   These 3 cows were all animals that Matt has bred.  He has attended most NZ Dairy Events since it began,  including the week he and Olivia got married. Recently Matt was very instrumental in the organising of the Ayrshire New Zealand National On-Farm Challenge competition.  It was a mammoth task and he played a huge part getting it up and running.  The Competition was a great success with 48 different farms participating.  Breeding pedigrees has remained a passion for Matt throughout  university, a teaching career and travel, always sneaking in a show or sale with his overseas holidays.  Sadly the Robinsons are selling their cows and Matt is returning to teaching but still keen to be a member of the  Ayrshire NZ Association.  He is a very active member of the Bay of Plenty Ayrshire Club and is currently holding office as the Vice Chairperson.  Matt is very eager to be invoIved in the breed and  leadership roles, ensuring there is an association to support breeders for generations to come.


The Distinguished Member Awards have been split into two categories.  Distinguished Members – Ward For members who promote Ayrshires locally by always portraying a positive attitude for the breed, and who make the time and effort for the breed, or to assist other Ayrshire members and/or Ayrshire enthusiasts throughout the region to achieve their goals; and Distinguished Member – Association For members who promote Ayrshires either nationally or locally by always portraying a positive attitude for the breed, the NZ Ayrshire Association and it’s aims, directions and objectives.

Distinguished Members – Ward awards were presented to David Feek and Dave Mitchell.

Dave M

Dave Mitchell was first introduced to Ayrshire Cattle when partner Sue Bourke added a few Ayrshire cross cows to his herd of Holstein Friesians.  He was impressed at how they competed alongside his cows and so began the purchase of some pedigree Ayrshires at Dispersal and Annual Sales from Northland, Taranaki and around the Waikato.  In 2008 he joined the Thames Valley Ayrshire Club becoming a very enthusiastic and supportive member.  He always enjoys our annual Club trips and helped when called upon to repair fences etc on the Bull Farm in Taranaki.  He has also been Club Chairman for the last 3 years and helps out as  Steward at the Morrinsville A&P Show.  Dave has been very happy with his “Red Heads” and said they have competed well  with his main breed.  This season with a change of farming policy he decided to sell his cows and employ a sharemilker.  We are sure he will continue to be part of our Ayrshire family for some years to come.

Dave F

It is with much pleasure that the Bay of Plenty Ayrshire Club would like to nominate David Feek for the Ayrshire NZ Distinguished Members Award. David was first introduced to Ayrshires as a child living next door to the  Oates Family.  Often admiring the Ayrshire cows from over the fence. He left school at the tender age of 15 and began dairy farming through a Farm Cadet Scheme.  After many twists and turns during his farmlng career, he and his wife Frances, entered into a partnership with another entity in Opotiki which meant milking both Ayrshire cows and a mixture of other breeds.  During this time it became obvious to him that Ayrshires were his preferred breed.  When the partnership was dissoIved, he began investing in ayrshires, purchasing firstly from the Lochhaven and Ardenvale dispersals and in-Calf carryovers from Pekatahi Ayrshires.  Today he  proudly owns a herd which is lOO% Ayrshire known as ’Harvest Ayrshires’.  David is a very active and enthusiastic member of three Clubs and attends as many meetings as he possibly can. He has been Vice President of the Waikato Ayrshire Club, treasurer of Bay of Plenty Ayrshire Club and is currently the President of the Bay of Plenty Ayrshire Club.  He is always happy to share any knowledge and lend a helping hand to fellow  members when needed.  At any Club sales you will find David helping, quietly working away in the background. He has a great passion for the Ayrshire breed and enjoys showing his  cows off to anyone that is interested.  Including from time to time overseas breeders who are visiting, Promoting with pride the great attributes of New Zealand Ayrshire cattle.  David and Frances are renowned for their fantastic hospitality, hosting many Ayrshire functions, events at very short notice.  David is always first to put his hand up to offer accommodation to any Ayrshire breeders, judges etc visiting this area.  As a Club, we feel David is a very worthy candidate of this prestigious award.

Distinguished Member – Association awards were presented to Peter & Raelene Allison and Stewart Riley.

Peter and Reilene

This nomination is for a couple that can be called outstanding in their field, both hard working Ayrshire breeders, working as a team for many years on farm and for the Ayrshire breed.  Being members of the Ayrshire NZ since 1963, in this time being very active Ayrshire breeders, taking their team of Ayrshires to the shows and in doing this traveling many km’s with cows and family. They have instilled the Ayrshire breed into their family right down to the grandchildren who have been in the show ring and on the front pages of the local papers.  They have both enjoyed milking and breeding Ayrshires, with attributes in the Dairy industry including:

Director of the Local Dairy Company, Senior Ayrshire Judge, T.O.P Inspector, Member of the NZ Ayrshire Board. Both have been club officers and still are club officers in their club.  Their home has always been open to Ayrshire breeders from across the country, for a talk about the Ayrshire breed, a cup of tea and if needed a bed for the night.  They are both ambassadors to younger members of the Ayrshire breed in their area and New Zealand wide.   Always at club young handlers camp.  Their Cows and Herd have achieved many awards over the years of their breeding, one of these was Bonacord Brown Lass – highest 2yr old Ayrshire in NZ in years gone by.  The Southland Otago Ayrshire Club would like to nominate Peter and Raelene Allison for the Distinguished members award for all the hard work they have done over the years for their local club, NZ Ayrshire Association and the Ayrshire breed. They are both passionate Ayrshire Breeders.

The Board of Ayrshire New Zealand have much pleasure in nominating Stewart Riley for the Distinguished Member Association Award.  During Stewarts term on the Board he has been convenor of the Ace Herd Committee, a position that he took seriously.  Nothing was too hard and always looked for the opportunities to advance the share milking position.  Stewart also filled in as finance Convenor when the need arose and again fulfilled the position in a professional manner.  Stewart has been an active and valued member of the Semayr Board for many years and has often had bulls selected for progeny testing.  Some of these bulls when proven were knocking at the door for use again as a proven sire but unfortunately to date have been edged out by slightly better sires.  Over the years numerous cows have also been selected for specialised mating’s in anticipation of a young bull for the progeny test scheme.  Stewart may not have been the most outspoken person on the Semayr Board but whenever he spoke notice was taken by all that were present.  During his time on Semayr he picked up the nickname of “the silent assassin” as given to him by the then LIC representative of whom sat in on our young bull selection committee.  As always it is important to acknowledge the support of the Riley family and particularly Stuarts wife Marice who has always supported him. It was never an easy journey for Stuart to travel from his farm in Collingwood to Board meetings in Hamilton, I have never known him to miss a meeting and only once did he arrive late with Peter Allison when they were delayed at Wellington Airport due to bad weather.  It is with much pleasure in that we award Stewart Riley the Distinguished Member award of the Association for his 18 years of dedication as a Director of the New Zealand Ayrshire Association and for his lifetime interest to the Ayrshire Breed.

Ayrshire New Zealand congratulates and thanks all Special Award recipients.

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