Co. Down breeder Sam McCormick from Bangor has won the Diageo Baileys® Irish Dairy Champion Cow 2017 with his cow Hilltara Lanthority Echo 2.
The competition took place today at the 76th annual Agricultural Show in Virginia, Co. Cavan which is home to Diageo’s cream supplier, Glanbia Ireland.
The competition rewards strength and form in body conformation as well as proven excellence in quality milk production.
Commenting on this year’s winning cow the judge, Paul Miller, from Evesham, said: “Hilltara Lanthority Echo 2 was an outstanding winner, she caught my eye straight away. She is all that we look for in the dairy breed, a tremendous cow. It was one of the strongest competitions I’ve ever judged. I really felt the enthusiasm from the crowd and the breeders.”
Dalevalley GWY Embrace owned by Denis O’Neill was declared Reserve Champion. Honorable Mention went to Brochan Cocoman from Co. Kildare for their cow Kilwareen Fever B Shower 2.
Other prizes were awarded in specialist categories for breeders that travelled to Virginia from as far afield as Co. Antrim and Co. Cork to compete. These included:
Best Heifer in Milk winner Baldonnel FM Sunshine; owned by Cyril Dowling, Dublin.
Best EBI Award to Monamore McMargot; owned by Tom Kelly, Co Louth.
Best Protein Award to Laurelmore Duplex Impala; owned by John Barrett, Co Cork.
Best Junior Cow Winner Kilwareen Fever B Shower 2, owned by Brochan Cocoman, Co. Kildare;
Widely acknowledged as Ireland’s top dairy livestock event, attracting the super-elite of the Holstein Friesian breed, the top awards in the €10,000 prize fund were presented by the Irish Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D., alongside Hazel Chu, Head of Corporate & Trade Relations for Diageo Ireland and Glanbia Ireland Chairman Henry Corbally.
Speaking at the winners’ reception afterwards, Hazel Chu said: “The Diageo Baileys Champion Cow was an opportunity to reinforce the success and quality of the indigenous cream supply partnership for Baileys, which like its production was based exclusively on the island of Ireland.”
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Henry Corbally congratulated the winners and the Virginia Show for an “excellent event which continues to attract cows the length and breadth of the island.”