Laurelelm Daffy 2, bred from a multi-award winning cow family in Cork, was judged Supreme Champion of the Show at the 44th Annual IHFA Bull Show and Sale at Nenagh.
The 17-month-old bull was the choice of Kilkenny-based show judge Tom Murphy for the top award presented to Rickey Barrett, The Elms, Adamstown, Ballinhassig, Co Cork.
"He is a big strong open bull, a lovely dairy bull with good legs and feet, and a good top line," was the judge's verdict.
Behind the winner's looks lie generations of breeding success. Laurelelm Daffy 2 is bred from five generations of excellent dams with proteins of over 3.5pc in both dam and grand dam.
He is out of the herd dam Laurelelm Gold Daffodil 3 EX and by the sire Muckruss Cashcoin Faith.
His fourth dam was Reserve Champion at the National Dairy Show in 1989, Reserve Champion at the RDS Show in 1990, Champion Cork Show, Champion Charleville Show 1990, and Senior Cow winner at the National Dairy Show, Millstreet 1996.
The Daffy breed line has won the Best Cow Family in the Cork Region four times, with progeny sold on to herds in most areas of the country. Yields of almost 13,000kg of milk at 4.90 butterfat and 3.45 protein have been produced by the 'Daffodil' cows in the herd.
Under the hammer of auctioneer Richard Ryan, the latest prodigy from the herd sold for €3,500 and moves the short distance to his new home at Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.
Reserve Champion was the November 2017-born Lisnalty Harry, bred by Paul Hannan, Friarstown, Crecora. It completed a double for the Limerick herd which also had an Honourable Mention Award for the September 2017 born Lisnalty Silver.
"I really liked this bull with his strong top line," said Tom Murphy of the Reserve Champion. The reserve champion sold for €4,000 with the Honourable Mention winner finding a new home at €2,000.
The Lisnalty Herd, which has a long tradition of award winners, hosted the IHFA National Open Day a few years ago, attracting an attendance of nearly 5,000 people.
The herd was originally established by Paul's late father Jimmy and his wife Marie after they moved from the business world to full-time dairy farming.
John O'Callaghan, Farnivane, Bandon, who had an excellent day at Kilkenny the previous week, produced another first prizewinner for the show in Mountfarna Alexa.
He is a 14-month-old bull out of Mountfarna Eight Ruth that has produced over 12,000kg, and sold for €3,000.
Philip and Linda Jones, of the 'Hollow' Herd that has swept the boards with national winners in recent years, received €3,000 for Hollow Sol Twizzle out of their superb cow, Hollow Advent Twizzle 3 and sire Walnutlawn Solomen.
The dam, from the herd based in Holstein View, Killowen, Gorey, Co Wexford, is a Bailey's Champion, Emerald Expo Champion and Reserve RUAS Champion, and the producer of over 15,000kg at 7.4bf and 3.6pr.
Ten of the bulls on show sold for €3,100-€4,600, with the overall average of €3,022 for a clearance of 55pc.
Radney winner heads for northern pastures
A 15-month-old 'Radney' herd-bred bull attracted a flurry of bidding as he became the price-topper at the 44th Annual Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) Bull Show and Sale at Nenagh Mart.
Radney Figo was bred by Henry O'Keeffe in his 100 cow-plus herd at Knockilla, Freemount, outside Charleville in North Cork and purchased by Ian McEnroe, Virginia, Co Cavan for €4,600.
The December 2017-born bull has an EBI of €178 to which milk and fertility has contributed €83 and €53 respectively, with calving adding €33.
He was bred from the Odetta cow family, which has been a leader among the four-cow families that have had huge influence on the development of the herd over the decades, breeding followers that have become widely respected in AI centres and among breeders countrywide.
The dam, Radney Qur Odetta EX 93, has earned the supreme title of 'Queen' of the herd as a 13-year-old cow, with five daughters now milking in the herd. She hit a yield of almost 11,600kg at 3.88bf and 3.75pr in 2013 and 11,000kg at 4.71bf and 3.88pr in 2015.
Each of her daughters are high in yields and good solids, with her progeny consistently attracting huge interest in the sales rings.
Her son is by the sire Olcastletown Ronaldo, which has an EBI of €296.
The 'Radney' herd was named Spring Calving Herd of the Year for the Cork region in 2017 and will become the focus of interest for breeders from all over the country as the host farm for the IHFA National Open Day, which is scheduled to be held on the farm on June 27.
Two other bulls from the herd, Radney Browne ET, by the same dam and sire, and Radney Nut, by the dam Radney 908 Odetta, and sire, Radney Steve ET, sold for €3,800 and €2,300 respectively.
There was a 55pc clearance at an average of €3,022 compared to a 60pc clearance at an average of €2,730 and top price of €4,000 at the sale in 2018.
IHFA chief executive Charles Gallagher said that dairy breeders appear to be more selective in their choice of bulls this year and they are taking on board the criticism of the quality of some of the calves being offered for sale.
Tom Kelly and his son James recorded the highest herd average at the sale, selling their entry of four bulls from their Monamore Herd at Ballymakenny Road, Drogheda, Co Louth for €14,400.
Their leading price was €3,700 for Monamore Tremor, a November 2017-born bull with an EBI of €161 of which milk contributed €89. He was bred from the dam Monamore Torch and by the sire Boldi V Armour.
Two bulls from the herd, Monamore Gandolf (EBI €179), and Monamore Franko (EBI €275) sold for €3,600 each and Monamore Gingersnap (EBI €121) sold for €3,500.
Gandolf and Franko received the EBI awards in their respective classes.