DeKalb Junction, New York
Written by: Chelsea Jones
In 2016, one Summer Yearling Guernsey took the show ring by storm; her name is Gold Top Ice Lutton and she is owned by Bailey Wright of DeKalb Junction, New York. Lutton and Bailey’s show winnings include Junior Champion at the All-American Dairy Show, Junior Champion at the New York State Fair, and Junior Champion of the Junior Show at the New York Spring Dairy Carousel. She was recently named Honorable Mention All-American Summer Yearling in both the Open and Junior divisions. There is no question that Lutton is a heifer that catches the judge’s eye, but it is her story that will capture your heart.
Lutton was bred by John and Sally Ploehn of Gold Top Dairy located in Hammond, New York where their philosophy is, “treat every girl like a lady”. One day, Sally called Bailey’s dad, John Wright, to come breed a cow. Before this, John had caught Bailey looking at the Guernsey advertisements in Cowsmopolitan when she turned to him and said, “Dad, I want a Guernsey”. John didn’t really think much of it at the time, but days and weeks would pass and she would keep mentioning her desire to own a Guernsey to him. When John got the call from Sally to come breed one of her Guernsey cows, he decided to bring Bailey along with him. As they walked through the barn, Bailey lit up with excitement and fell in love with the Guernsey calves. At this moment, Sally was automatically drawn to Bailey.
While John was breeding her cow, Sally asked if he would take a calf to the St. Lawrence County Fair for her as a part of his show string. John agreed and the calf ended up winning her class. Sally asked John, “What do I owe you for taking care of the calf? We want to offer you our best calf, we feel we have to do this for Bailey”. John was taken back by this offer, but Sally insisted that Bailey had to have a Guernsey and they wanted to do this favor for her. She told them that she had a nice calf she felt could do okay in the show ring and she would like them to come take a look at her, so John and his wife Nicole agreed. When John and Nicole walked in the barn, one calf caught Nicole’s eye and she turned to John and said, “I hope that is the calf”. Sure enough, the calf she noticed was Lutton. After talking for a bit, John and Nicole agreed to give the calf to Bailey to start her own Guernsey herd. Sally told them that once the show season was over that they could pick Lutton up and the rest is history.
Sally and Bailey have a special bond now because of their mutual love of Guernsey’s, most specifically because of their love for Lutton. Sally comes to all the shows that she can to cheer Bailey and Lutton on. When asked why she felt compelled to gift Lutton to Bailey, Sally simply said, “This girl is so passionate about Guernsey’s, I felt it was a shame that she didn’t have one”. Bailey and her family were welcomed into the Guernsey community immediately and Bailey is ecstatic to be a part of the breed as her love for Lutton is not because of her winnings, but because Lutton is simply her very own Guernsey.
Today, Lutton finds Wright-Way Farm her forever home. Wright-Way is owned by John, Nicole, also known as “Nikki”, and their daughters, Madisyn, Bailey, and Peyton. John and Nikki are not color-blind when it comes to their herd as they own and show every breed of dairy cow. They are partners with their best friends, Jason and Emily Monnat, and run the Skeleton Crew show string at shows throughout New York as well as the All-American Dairy Show, NAILE in Louisville, and the World Dairy Expo. John and Nikki are not only great cow people, but fierce friends who treat you like family. They have made dreams come true for countless people and their influence on young people’s lives in the dairy industry is immeasurable.
John and Nikki would like to say, “Thank You” to John and Sally Ploehn for this once in a lifetime experience but most importantly for making Bailey’s dream of owning a Guernsey a reality. Look for Bailey and Lutton at shows in 2017!