Dairy strength and capacity vital to win Irish champion cow title

MORE than 20 top holstein friesians from all over Ireland are expected to be shortlisted to compete for the Baileys Irish Champion Cow title at Virginia Show in Co Cavan on July 31.

Superior milk production is a must for shortlisting but the final judgment by Michael Gould, who owns the Woodmarsh Holstein herd, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, will be on the overall beauty of the cows presented in the parade ring.

“I will be looking for a cow with dairy strength and capacity that has great mobility as well as a top class udder,” said Michael, as breeders north and south prepare for the competition which carries an €8,000 prize fund.

The cow chosen for the title will join an elite group from the holstein friesian breed in Ireland ranging from the first winner entered by the Crawford Brothers in Co Fermanagh in 1983 to Cyril Dowling’s Baldonnel herd that has won the competition a record six times. Farming brothers John and Tim Kirby, Derrindaffe, Duagh, Co Kerry, won the title last year with Smearlaview Forbidden Vixan. The reserve prize went to Kilwarden Gibson Vixan, a distant family relative of the winner and owned by Brochan Cocoman in Kill, Co Kildare. The breeder of the Baileys Irish Champion will receive a cheque for €2,000 along with a perpetual trophy, while €650 will go to the breeder of the reserve champion. Other awards will also be presented.

Stephen O’Kelly, R and A Bailey and Company, which sponsors the competition with its cream supplier, Glanbia Ingredients, said the competition demonstrates world class standards in milk production on the island of Ireland and underpins the quality of the cream in Baileys.


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