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Sunday 18 November 2018

Top cows ready to go toe-to-toe for supreme accolade

John Kirby, Director, National Dairy Show, judge Brian Carscadden from Canada, John Dowling from Balldonnell, Co Dublin with Clonpaddin Fame ET, the Overall Champion of the Show 2017, and Tadgh Burke, Laura Fitzgerald and Mervyn Eager.
John Kirby, Director, National Dairy Show, judge Brian Carscadden from Canada, John Dowling from Balldonnell, Co Dublin with Clonpaddin Fame ET, the Overall Champion of the Show 2017, and Tadgh Burke, Laura Fitzgerald and Mervyn Eager.
Rickey Barrett from Togher, Co Cork with Laurelelm Fever Brilliant, the best three-year-old heifer at the National Dairy Show 2017, with show judge Brian Carscadden from Canada and former IFA Dairy Chairman Sean O'Leary

Martin Ryan

The cream of Irish herds will go head to head at the 2018 National Dairy Show in the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet.

The largest indoor dairy event of the year is expected to attract 4,000 competitors and visitors to the Cork venue on October 20. "There will be over 140 stands in the exhibition area which has been increasing every year, and demonstrations on health and safety, hoof care as well as the innovations awards which are always a big attraction," said show director John Kirby.

The line out of dairy cows for the coveted overall award for 2018 has become a 'champions of champions' battle featuring the top Holstein-Friesian cows from the show rings throughout the year.

Defending her title is seven-year-old pedigree Holstein-Friesian cow, Clonpaddin Fame ET, exhibited by Cyril and John Dowling from Baldonnel, Co Dublin.

The champion, who has yielded in excess of 12 gallons of milk per day, defeated very strong competition in 2017 and faces stiff competition this year.

Travelling south, from her base in Co Monaghan, is the 2018 Supreme National Baileys Show Champion, Drumlina Atwood Megan. She is jointly owned by a syndicate of five; David Boyd, Sandy Moore, Denis O'Neill, Brendan Greenan and Rory Timlin.

The Champion of Balmoral Show and Reserve Champion Tullamore National Livestock Show, she was a very impressive winner at Virginia.

Also in contention will be Laurelelm Fever Brilliant, the reigning National Livestock Show (Tullamore) overall dairy champion 2018. From the well known Laurelelm herd of Rickey and John Barrett, Lehenaghmore, Togher, Co Cork, she also received the award for the Best Udder at Tullamore.

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Also in the running is the Kilwarden herd of Brochan and J Cocoman from Kill, Co Kildare, while another contender whose entry is certain to catch the eye of the judge will be that of well-known West of Ireland dairy breeders Séamus and Aiden Foody, Crossmolina, Co Mayo. However, the competition at dairy shows has now become so keen that a surprise result can never be ruled out.

The judge for this year's contenders is Edward Griffiths, who runs a Coachgate herd based at Gunthwaite Hall Farm, South Yorkshire.

He is already an experienced judge at major shows including national Holstein Shows in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Sweden and Slovenia.

He judged the Baileys Cow Championship at Virginia a couple of years ago.

Edward farms with his wife Jenny and three daughters, milking around 150 pedigree Holsteins plus a small number of Jerseys and Ayrshires which all share the Coachgate prefix.

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