Q&A - Patrick Rüttimann - The National Holstein Show Judge 2019

Holstein UK welcomes Patrick Rüttimann to judge The National Holstein Show taking place at UK Dairy Day on Wednesday 11th September.

Since 2010, Patrick has managed the family business in Switzerland, Ruegruet Holsteins, with his brother.  The main focus of the farm is on the breeding and marketing of Holstein genetics.  In 2013, the farm was selected as a Master Breeder, a special recognition of the Swiss Holstein Association.  Patrick and the business have had around 30 years’ involvement with the Swiss Holstein Association and youth organisation and Patrick has worked for over 10 years as a classifier at Holstein Switzerland. 

Patrick has judged competitions all over Europe, as well as competing himself in the show ring at prestigious events.  His judging repertoire includes DHV Junior Show Germany, Schau der Besten Verden Masterrind Germany, Open Junior Show Cremona Italy, YMA National Calf Show Ireland, Muurikki Show Finland, Holstein Junior Show Austria, All Britain All Breeds Calf Show, Expo Holstein Gruyère Bulle Switzerland, Expo Holstein Sarine Bulle Switzerland and Expo Holstein Glâne-Veveyse Bulle Switzerland.

What have been the highlights for your breeding programme at home? 

There were several highlights that pleased us, to name a few: Junior Champion Swiss Expo 1999 & 2014; Junior Champion Bulle 1999; HM Grand Champion National Expo Bulle 1999, 2002 and 2018; Udder Grand Champion National Expo Bulle 2002. Also, the breeding of bulls Ruegruet QUESTO, Ruegruet MICOS & Ruegruet MISTRAL which were completely sold out in the second use. Our biggest honour was receiving the Master Breeder award in 2013.            

What is your type of cow in the show ring? 

I try to select for a balanced dairy cow with a good udder and legs.

What order of preference do you place on production/health/ type? 

That is a difficult question to answer. A good type cow with enough milk and good fertility and good Somatic Cell Score

What is the first thing you look at when you select an AI sire? 

We are looking for bulls with high GPTAT, high milk production above 3rd lactation and good fertility and good Somatic Cell Score from good proven cow families.

Which is the cow, in Europe, that you have admired the most? 

Clearly Decrausaz Iron O’KALIBRA. I was very fortunate to accompany and co-prepare this cow throughout her entire career and she now has a special place in my heart.

What are the three key tips you would give to the next generation entering the showing world?

Work with colleagues in a team, this allows you to take better and easier care of your animals (Team spirit).  Enjoy winning a show but learn also to lose it and to congratulate the winner. Believe in your work and keep it consistent and remember to persevere even if you have any regressions.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years – are there any plans to change breeding regimes? 

In the next years we try to continue to have balanced breeding on our farm with high PTAT, high milk production (above 3rd lactation) and good fertility and good Somatic Cell Score from good cow families which are already proven.