Foundations laid for National Dairy Show champion more than 40 years ago
A pedigree, which laid the foundation for the herd more than four decades ago, has blossomed for the Laurelelm Holstein herd after it landed the coveted Supreme Champion at the 34th National Dairy Show at the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet on Saturday.
It was a case of jubilation mingled with nostalgia for Rickey Barrett, whose thoughts went back to the purchase by his late grandfather, Eddie Barrett, of the first pedigree animal to establish the herd in the early 1970s, as he lifted the Supreme Championship Award at the prestigious show.
The Championship was the cream on a basket of awards collected by Rickey and John Barrett, including Premier Breeder 2016, Exhibitor Bred Championship, Best Udder, and doubling up with a rare achievement of also showing the overall Jersey Champion and Exhibitor Bred Jersey Champion on the same day.
From a Holstein entry "as good as in any part of the world" the Supreme Championship was awarded to the six-year-old, Laurelelm Shottel Daffodil 2, winner of the Mature Cow Class at the earlier rounds of adjudication.
A relative newcomer to the show ring from the well known pedigree herd established over the decades at The Laurels, Lenaghmore, Togher, Cork, Shottel Daffodil 2 has rarely been seen on the show circuit to date and her prior successes are limited to class awards at Bandon and Cork agricultural shows as a four-year-old.
"Her pedigree goes back to Ita Murra Daffodil - the origin of the herd, the first pedigree purchased by my grandfather in the early 1970s," said Rickey.
Show judge, Meurig James, the Welsh Holstein breeder with a wealth of experience in judging rings and Head Classifier for Holstein UK, who tapped the Togher bred Holstein forward for the award, was lavish in his praise for the quality of animal competing for the honours at the show.
"I have seen some of the best cows I have seen in a long, long time here today. The cows in the south of Ireland are as good as in any part of the world for balance, strength and style, and the cows in the ring at the moment have all of those virtues. They are tremendous," he said, casting his eye over the line-out for the championship.