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‘Seventh heaven’ after winning Baileys Champion Cow award

Dairy

TOP pedigree breeding duo were in “seventh heaven” after landing the most coveted trophy on the Holstein Friesian showing circuit.

Baldonnel Flashmatic Draw, has been crowned the 2019 Diageo Baileys® Irish Dairy Champion Cow today at the Virginia Show in Co. Cavan. She was bred by Co. Dublin’s Cyril and John Dowling. Cyril and John Dowling from Kingswood Farm, Baldonnel, Dublin, who are Glanbia Ireland suppliers, said the winner has great “locomotion” and is an extremely good functional cow that delivers “14 gallons a day”.

 

Seventh Heaven

This is their seventh Baileys Champion Cow win. John was presented with his Virginia Milk Products Cup and a cheque for Euro 2,500 by the Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D.

“We’re in seventh heaven – we’ve been breeding pedigree cows for 50 years,” said John. The family also bred the sire of the winning cow. “The sire has sired two champion cows this year already,” said John. “We milk 80 really good cows and feel that’s better than milking 120 average animals. You can handle the workload,” he said.

The title was contested by over 25 dairy breeders from all four provinces in Ireland. It is sponsored by the drinks company Diageo Ireland in partnership with its cream supplier Glanbia Ireland for the past 36 years.

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.

 

Stiff Competition

Commenting on this year’s winning cow, the judge, Peter Waring from Yorkshire said, “All of the top three were great cows and a credit to their breeders but only one could win. It was an honour to judge the Baileys which I’ve heard so much about."

Ballytigue Goldchip Shower owned by a first-time entrant, Aidan Frawley from Co. Limerick, was declared Reserve Champion. Honorable Mention went to Ballyboy Sid Carmen 1039, owned by Jim and Una Sinnott from Co. Wexford, which also won the Best Junior Cow.

Other prizes were awarded in specialist categories to breeders that travelled to Virginia from as far afield as Co. Donegal and Co. Cork to compete. These included:

Best Heifer in Milk Winner went to Hilltara McCutchen Reann owned by Sam McCormick from Co. Down. Best EBI Award and Best Protein Award went Tom Kelly from Co. Louth.

Congratulating the winners, Robert Murphy, Head of Baileys Global Operations at Diageo Baileys Global Supply, said, Baileys sales continues to go from strength to strength globally. I’m particularly proud to say that our home market, Ireland, is leading the way. The finest raw ingredients including the best dairy cream in the world underpins Baileys great taste and the Diageo Baileys Champion Cow helps shine a spotlight on the quality of our indigenous cream supply chain.”

Also speaking at the event Martin Keane, Glanbia Group Chairman said each year the contest, with a prize fund of €10,000, attracts elite pedigree cows from throughout the country:

“Breeding the champion dairy cow is a dream for every top-class Holstein Friesian breeder,” he said. “Once again it was a tough task for the judge to select the worthy winner. It was evident that the exhibitors have all worked hard over many years, and sometimes generations, to breed the calibre of cows that were on display at Virginia Show.”

First Published 27 August 2019

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