Veteran Lulu shows she's still cream of the crop
THE rebel county might have lost out on the Liam McCarthy cup this year, but they proved they still have skills on the field as a bovine raised in Co Cork won a top plaudit.
Up to 15,000 people attended the 31st annual Virginia Show in Co Cavan yesterday where 14 cows and nine heifers competed to be crowned the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow for a top prize worth €2,500.
But it was nine-year-old cow Dalevalley OTI J Lulu, who also won the competition in 2011, that was crowned the winner.
Her owner, Sean Murphy from Waterfall, near Bishopstown in Co Cork, said she was by far the most mature cow in competition.
"This is the forth time in a row exhibiting the same cow," he said.
"In 2011, she was champion. In 2012, she got runner-up. And last year, she got an honourable mention.
"I was hoping the spell would continue and it did, she came out on top yet again," he said.
Mr Murphy believes the cow won because of her longevity and durability. "She's produced an average of 12,500kg of milk for every calving, which is about double the national average."
Mr Murphy said he milks 80 cows all year round on his farm, but the cow gets special treatment at the farm due to her success.
"She's probably the best one in the herd, and she probably gets treated like that."
Judge and 400-acre farm owner Brian Miller from Somerset in England explained to the Irish Independent why he crowned the Co Cork cow as winner of the €2,500 prize.
"She's had seven calvings, but the normal would be about four or five, and then they're past their best. But she's still going strong ."