WITH less than a month to go to Ireland’s top Holstein Friesian pedigree dairy contest at Virginia Show on August 22, the countdown is on for NI breeders to enter the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Cow before the closing date of August 10.
The organisers are hoping that the success of Co. Down farmer Sam McCormick with his cow Hiltara Lanthority Echo 2 at last year’s event should encourage other breeders to take up the challenge. Competition director Brendan Smyth commented, “We were delighted to see such a strong representation from Northern Ireland at last year’s show, so we are hoping that NI breeders have the date in their diaries and an eye on the prizes for the right show cows which range from Heifer in Milk, to Junior Cow and of course the top prize of Champion.”
Commenting on his experience, Sam McCormick said, “It was the win of the year for me. It’s an absolutely brilliant event with all the best cows competing in the ring at the same time.”
The competition rewards breeders that combine good conformation in their animals with top milk production capability. This year marks 35 years of the event which is backed by Diageo, the manufacturers of Baileys Irish Cream and its cream supplier Glanbia Ireland.
Winning the top prize at the Diageo Baileys Champion Cow rewards the farmer with €2,500 plus the Virginia Milk Products Perpetual Trophy.