Blonde d'Aquitaine cow crowned champion of champions
Blonde d'Aquitaine breeder, Sean Harpur admits to being one of the most "surprised" in the Irish pedigree breeding fraternity when informed that there was a "Champion of Champions" in his small herd.
"I am only a very small Blonde breeder, with a few pedigree cows," says Sean, who keeps a mainly commercial suckler Limousin cross herd on his farm at Bannow, Co Wexford. He spends most of his time doing contract work for other farmers in the area.
However, he has been pleasantly "surprised" that he is to receive the RDS Champion of Champions award for Scaughmolin D90494, one of the four pedigree Blonde d'Aquitaine cows in the herd, after the seven-year-old was chosen by the ICBF for this year's Replacement index (Eurostar) award.
Sean's cow, Scaughmolin D90494, has a Euro value of €140, making her the highest replacement index HerdPlus Blonde d'Aquitaine cow in the country.
This means that she has a Eurostar rating of 5 stars within the Blonde d'Aquitaine breed and 5 stars across all beef breeds. She has an average calving interval of 378 days and is currently in her fifth lactation. She is sired by Blackwater Solvit.
Bred in the Scaughmolin Blonde d'Aquitaine herd of Dessie Green, Murrinstown, Co Wexford, she was purchased by Sean as a heifer.
"I like the Blondes because I find there is no trouble with calving. With the contracting it is rarely that I am on the farm for a calving and they are never any trouble - we rarely use the calving jack now. We haven't used it at all this year," he says.