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Saturday 10 December 2016

History made in Baileys event

Published 03/08/2010 | 05:00

Denis O'Neill shows off the Baileys Champion Cow, Smearlaview Storm Vixen, alongside Baileys' Andrew Furley, Glanbia's Liam Herlihy and Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith
Denis O'Neill shows off the Baileys Champion Cow, Smearlaview Storm Vixen, alongside Baileys' Andrew Furley, Glanbia's Liam Herlihy and Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith

A MOTHER and daughter made history at Virginia Show on Saturday by coming first and fourth in the Baileys Champion Cow Competition.

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Smearlaview Storm Vixen, a seven-year-old cow owned by John and Tim Kirby from Duagh, Listowel, Co Kerry, won the prestigious prize for the second time, having also won the Baileys title in 2007.

On a day when Kerry's footballers' hopes were dashed, the Kirby brothers managed to pull off the coveted two-in-a-row.

The dairy farmers and breeders also won the competition last year, making Saturday's success all the more sweeter.

"All our winners have been of the Vixen family but it's very rare that you'd get someone who produced three champions," said a delighted John Kirby.

The champion cow is in her fourth lactation and produces, on average, 3,000ga per lactation.

"Her daughter was placed fourth overall and again, we're very proud of that.

"It's a unique thing to have a mother and daughter competing, but to get both into the top four is something really special and we're very proud of that," Mr Kirby added.

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Securing a Baileys title is reputed to boost the value of a cow by as much as €50,000.

Baileys Cow Competition judge and Shropshire farmer Mick Gould doesn't dispute this estimation.

"A cow with the kind of looks to win this competition, if it has a pedigree to match, is a very valuable animal," he said.

The reserve champion was Croagh Fran 26, owned by Mervyn and Philip Jones from Gorey, Co Wexford.

The €8,000-prized contest is sponsored by Baileys Irish Cream and its cream supplier, Glanbia Ingredients.

As to the fortunes of their county men in Croke Park on the same day, Mr Kirby shrugged his shoulders and said: "You can't win them all."

Irish Independent



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