MORE than 20 cows have been entered in the 27th Baileys Irish Champion Cow competition at Virginia Show in Co Cavan this Saturday.
The competition, considered the most prestigious dairy livestock event in the land, is judged on good conformation and proven excellence in milk production.
Contending for the 2010 title will be cows as far afield as Donegal and Cork as well as the more locally based counties of Meath and Cavan.
Glanbia is co-sponsor of the competition, which carries an €8,000 prize fund and attracts entries from the country’s top dairy herds.
Competition director Brendan Smyth said: “Once again we’ve had a tremendous response from breeders. We expect a keen contest between the counties on Saturday.”
Strong spectator participation is also anticipated at the show, which for the first time takes place on a bank holiday weekend.
The Baileys competition begins in the main parade ring at 3.30pm under the scrutiny of international judge Michael Gould. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith will present the Virginia Milk Products cup to the winner.
Virginia Show was traditionally held on the first Wednesday in September. Some years ago it moved to an August date prior to the schools opening. This year, it was decided to hold it next Saturday following discussion within the organising society and with exhibitors, trade stand exhibitors and patrons.
Show press officer Kathleen Duffy said the move was contemplated for many years.
“Because of changes to work practices in rural Ireland we found that people who wished to attend the show as exhibitors or as patrons could no longer get the day off work,” said Ms Duffy.
Saturday’s show will have over 450 classes and a € 50,000 total prize fund.
* Weather conditions favouring the spread of potato blight will persist in the west and north-west for a time on Tuesday.
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