This year McLarnon Feeds are again sponsoring the McLarnon Feeds/Northern Ireland Shows Association Dairy Cow Championship which brings together, at the final, the Champions from the provincial shows to compete for the coveted Dairy Cow Championship prize.
This Championship is now recognised as one of the most prestigious competitions for dairy cows in the Northern Ireland Show calendar.
It is a Championship which is much sought after and is commercially useful when selling progeny from Champion cows.
The 2015 Championship will be dedicated to Aubrey Patterson, founder of the highly regarded Ballycrochan Herd, who passed away at the end of July last year. For more than 65 years he was committed to progressive livestock breeding and the development of the Ballycrochan Herd, currently the oldest surviving and active pedigree herd in Northern Ireland. Aubrey had remarkable success in the McLarnon Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship, winning it four years running: 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2005 he won both the Cow of the Year and second reserve champion with Furze Rudolph Rubens Bertha and Cumrew Journalist Debra.
David Mawhinney, McLarnons Ruminant Business Manager, said: “We thought it was very fitting to dedicate this year’s McLarnon Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship to Aubrey Patterson who was widely acknowledged as a respected judge of dairy cattle and his keen eye was turned into practice when he scored such success in this championship in four consecutive years - a record which has not been repeated by another breeder in the history of the Championship.”
The McLarnon Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship awards substantial prize money to the top six cows in the final. The Champion is also presented with the McLarnon Perpetual Shield. There is also substantial prize money for The Exhibitor Bred and Best Udder winners. All cows exhibited at the Final receive a voucher for 10 bags of McLarnon feed.
The championship is open to all breeds of dairy cows, whether pedigree or non-pedigree. They must qualify in the McLarnon Feeds/NISA Class at a Provincial Show and cows cannot qualify at the Final Show.
Each exhibitor can only qualify a maximum of two cows and the judge at the final will not have judged the dairy classes at any of the qualifying shows.
This year there are nine qualifying shows namely Ballymena, Ballymoney, Lurgan, Armagh, Saintfield, Newry, Omagh, Londonderry/Limavady and Castlewellan.
The Championship Final will again be held at Antrim Show on Saturday, 25th July in the picturesque setting of Shane’s Castle.
The Final brings the Summer Show scene to a fitting climax when all the qualifying show champions will compete to be named the Dairy Cow of the Year.
Last year’s final was a tremendous class of cows which was judged by Mr Edward Griffiths. He awarded the Championship to the Jersey cow Potterswalls Glams Elisha VG89 from the Fleming Family’s herd at Seaforde. Elisha was also the Exhibitor Bred Champion.
All breeders are encouraged to bring their cows to a qualifying show with the prospect of carrying off the prestigious Championship title.
McLarnon Feeds would like to wish all exhibitors an enjoyable and successful show year.
Pictures and details of the 2014 finalists and past Championship winners can be viewed at www.mclarnonfeeds.com.