The glorious weather last Saturday encouraged a large turnout of spectators and livestock to the first of the regional shows at Ballymoney and Lurgan.
These shows also marked the first qualifying rounds for the 2018 Thompsons/NISA Dairy Cow Championship.
Selecting the Ballymoney qualifiers was judge Mark Logan, from the Clandeboye Estate Herd in Bangor.
The first Ballymoney qualifier was the Holstein and Interbreed Dairy Champion, Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose ET EX93, from the McLean family’s Priestland Herd at Bushmills. Judge Mark Logan was particularly impressed with her dairy character and superb mammary, describing her as “an excellent example of the Holstein breed”. This exceptional 3rd calver has excelled in the show ring so far this year, claiming the Holstein Reserve and Interbreed Reserve Championship at the RUAS Winter Fair in December. This was followed by the Holstein Reserve Championship at this year’s Balmoral Show. As a second calver, she yielded 12,051kg by 305-days, at 4.03% Butterfat and 3.19% protein. Calved since November, she is currently averaging 58kg/day and is projected to exceed 16,000kg for the lactation.
The second Ballymoney qualifier was the Coloured Breed Champion Garthland Redwing EX94, also from the McLean family herd at Bushmills. This was a first appearance in a show ring for this stylish 5th calver, who undoubtedly will add to her show success before the year ends. As a 4th calver, Redwing’s 305-day production was in excess of 13,000kg, at 3.94% Butterfat and 2.89% Protein. Calved since 9 April, she is currently yielding 50 kg/day and is projected to exceed 7,000kg for the lactation.
In the picturesque setting of Lurgan Park, judge Alan Irwin, from the Denamona Ayrshire Herd, Clogher, was tasked with selecting the Lurgan qualifiers for this year’s championship.
Alan’s qualifier was the Holstein and Interbreed Dairy Champion, Glasson Meridian Balise B ET VG89, from the Glasson Herd of Philip and Simon Haffey, Portadown. This superb cow was placed third in the 3rd calver class at this year’s Balmoral Show, beaten only by the eventual Champion and Reserve Champion. Calved since 1 March, she is currently yielding 63kg/day on twice a day milking. As a second calver, her production topped 13,550kg by 305-days, at 4.20% Butterfat and 3.15% Protein.
Thompsons would like to congratulate all three cows on their qualification and wish them all the best for the Final at Clogher Valley Show on Wednesday 25th July.