Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 23 May 2017

€9,000 prize up for grabs for Champion Dairy Cow

The biggest ever prize fund is on offer for the popular Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow Competition this year.

Long-standing sponsors Baileys Irish Cream and Glanbia Ingredients have renewed their commitment to the competition, with €9,000 on offer this year.

The winning cow will join the upper echelons of the Holstein Friesian breed in Ireland, alongside well-known winners such as Dublin breeder Cyril Dowling's Baldonnel Herd and the Vixan cow family, owned by Kerrymen Tim and John Kirby.

The winning breeder will receive a cheque for €2,000 and the coveted Virginia Milk Products Cup, while the breeder of the reserve champion will receive €650.

The rest of the prize fund will be distributed across numerous other dairy classes, including awards for Highest Protein Content, Best EBI, Best Exhibitor-bred Cow and Best Heifer in Milk.

The competition starts at 3.30pm in the main parade ring, where this year's international judge, Welshman Iwan Morgan, will be on the lookout for a "balanced dairy cow with that extra bit of breeding excellence".

Along with his father, Mr Morgan milks 120 Holsteins and 50 Jerseys at his 250ac farm in south Wales. Mr Morgan is a member of Holstein UK and has been judging and showing cattle for many years.

Extreme

He is a seven-time winner at the Royal Welsh Show. Having judged in Europe and Great Britain, he is also no stranger to these shores. Recent trips to Ireland have included the Young Members Association National Calf Show in Kilkenny last year and the Tullamore Show, where extreme weather conditions twice prevented him from performing his role there.

However, whatever the weather, some great examples of the Holstein Friesian breed are expected to be on show for him in Virginia.

"I'll be looking for a very correct cow with that extra bit of breeding excellence," he said.

The competition is confined to pedigree Holstein/Friesian cows, who have produced a recorded 500kg of fat and protein in a 305-day lactation, that started on or after July 30, 2009.

The Heifer in Milk Awards are confined to Holstein/ Friesian heifers in their first year of lactation, having calved once. Having achieved the qualifying production standard of 500kg of fat and protein, the cows will be judged on appearance only in the final.

Indo Farming