Cream of the herds head for Virginia
The country's top dairy breeders will vie for €10,000 and top honours in Virginia
The cream of the country's top dairy herds will go on parade in the judging ring in Virginia, Co Cavan tomorrow (Wednesday) for the country's most prestigious dairy cow award - the €10,000 Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Cow Championship.
Last year's overall winner, the superb multi-award winner, Laurelmore Duplex Impala EX 96 from the herd of five-times Baileys Champion Cow winner, John Barrett, Togher, Cork will not be in contention for the top honours.
But well known Co. Dublin breeder, Cyril Dowling, whose Baldonnell herd has won the title a record six times in 33 years, will be there in a bid to further extend his successful run. Cyril took Reserve Champion title last year.
Over 20 cows from 13 counties in the Republic and Northern Ireland will vie for the top award which will be decided by Cumbrian judge, Kevin Wilson, who is said to be on the look-out for a cow that combines conformation with good performance .
Minister Heather Humphreys will present the top prizes to the winning farmers, alongside representatives from Diageo who sponsor the competition in conjunction with its cream supplier Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd.
The two companies have been backing the competition for the past 33 years.
Head of Corporate Relations for Diageo Ireland, Hazel Chu, said both companies were delighted to reward dairy breeding excellence.The event in Virginia "helped underpin the quality and provenance of the indigenous cream supply for its world-leading liqueur brand Baileys," she said.
Competition director Brendan Smyth said: "The calibre of the pedigree cows on show is always high and visitors who attend on Wednesday can be assured of a great spectacle.