A three year old Hol-stein Friesian cow owned by father and son Sam and John McCormick, who are from just outside Bangor in County Down, has been crowned the 2022 Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow.
Hilltara Undenied Apple ‘stole the show’ at the pres-
tigious dairy cow competit-ion, which took place in Virginia, County Cavan. It was contested by Holstein Friesian breeders from all over the island of Ireland and is sponsored by Diageo Ireland and its cream supplier Glanbia Ireland to reward dairy breeding excellence.
The McCormicks’ cow also
won the ‘Junior Cow’ cat-egory.
This is not the first time that Sam McCormick has taken the trophy back to County Down, having clinched the top title in 2017. He now becomes the first-ever North-ern Irish entrant to win the top title more than once in the competition’s 39-year history.
Twenty-one cows were in the finale, which took place at the Virginia Show. Sam and John were presented with their trophy and a cheque for €2,500 from Guest of Honour Mairead McGuiness, the EU Commissioner, John Murphy, Chairman of Glanbia Ireland, and Robert Murphy, Head of Baileys Operations.
The event is regarded as the most prestigious competition of its kind on the island of Ireland. It rewards strength and good body conformation as well as proven excellence in quality milk production.
Commenting on this year’s winning cow, who also won the Best Junior Cow, the judge, David Booth from York-
shire, said: “Hilltara Undenied Apple absolutely blew me away. She is a true model of a dairy cow, balanced, with strength.”
Hallow Atwood Twizzle, ow-
ned by Philip and Linda Jones from County Wexford, was declared Reserve Champion. Honourable Mention went to
Baldonnell Brady Hailey, own-
ed by John Dowling from County Meath.
Other prizes were awarded in specialist categories to breeders that travelled to Virginia. These included Best
Heifer in Milk, which was won by Paul and Matthew Flanagan from County Louth. Best EBI Award went to Tom Kelly from County Louth and Best Protein Award winner was Victor Jackson from County Wicklow.
Congratulating the winners, Robert Murphy, Head of Bail-
eys Operations, said: “From being the world’s first cream liqueur to becoming the world’s most loved spirit, Baileys is now a global giant of a brand.
“We are proud of the brand’s heritage and its connection back to family-owned farms on the island of Ireland. This event highlights that link between superior genetics that go into the national dairy herd and the dairy farmer-suppliers of its primary raw ingredient.”
Also speaking at the event, Glanbia Ireland Chairman John Murphy said: “Glanbia Ireland is delighted to be back at the Virginia Show. It was fantastic to see so many of the country’s foremost dairy breeders return after a two year hiatus.
“They put on a first class display for the crowds here today. Congratulations to all our winners.”
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