The Dubliner who started breeding pedigree cattle 50 years ago and continues to turn out the winners
Half a century of pedigree breeding is continuing on a winning way for the 'Baldonnel' Holstein Herd in the shadow of the airport lights in Co Dublin.
Six-time winners of the prestigious Baileys All Ireland Dairy Cow Championship, and the holders of the 2018 Balmoral Ruas Supreme Interbreed Championship, Cyril and John Dowling added the top honours from Emerald Expo 2019 at Virginia Show Centre, Co Cavan on Saturday.
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Five-year-old Baldonnel FM Sunshine EX90 was crowned Supreme Champion, and the Glanbia Exhibitor Bred Champion, from a superb line-out from the leading herds in the country at the IHFA first dairy show of 2019, after winning her class in a challenging entry.
"This is a line-out of cows that I really like to see," said show judge Helen Herd, before tapping forward Sunshine for the championship and describing her as a "fantastic cow".
The chartered accountant and mother-of-two, Ms Herd, who adjudicated on the entry with impressive decisiveness and competence throughout, helps to run a Yorkshire Dales Holstein herd of 50 cows with her husband, Gavin.
She commended the exhibitors and told them that the senior classes were among "the best I have ever seen" and assured them that their entries could hold their place with the best in the UK.
The official opening of the show was performed by Mairead McGuinness, MEP and vice-president of the European Parliament, and the excellent facilities at the spacious show centre proved a superb venue, but the attendance was disappointing given the calibre of the event and superb quality of the stock on show.
Both sire and dam of the Supreme Champion of the Show were home bred on the Kingswood Farm at Baldonnel. The champion is out of Baldonnel Jasper Sunshine ET and by the sire Baldonnel Flashmatic.