The final countdown is on for Northern Ireland’s dairy breeders to enter the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Cow contest.
With the closing date for entries approaching, one of last year’s entrants, Antrim dairy breeder and Holstein NI committee member, Gaston Wallace (Holstein Friesian) said he hoped his fellow NI breeders would take part again.
Gaston said: “The competition is very highly regarded. It is a great honour to win or even be placed at the event. I would encourage fellow breeders who have a strong cow to take part.”
The County Armagh breeder Simon Haffey has also taken part for the past two years and was a placed in 2017 - the same year when fellow Northern Ireland breeder, Sam McCormick from County Down won the overall Baileys Champion title.
The competition rewards breeders that combine good conformation in their animals with top milk production capability. It has been running since 1983 with the backing of Diageo and its cream supplier Glanbia Ireland.
The competition is fondly known as the ‘All-Ireland for dairy cows’ due to its ability to attract the top dairy breeders from both Northern Ireland and the Republic who show their cows in county sashes all in one ring at the one time for the top title.
The competition director, Brendan Smyth, has reported a strong interest already and said he ‘is looking forward to welcoming breeders from Northern Ireland to the Virginia Show later this month.’