The fourth qualifying round for the 2017 McLarnon Feeds/Northern Ireland Shows Association Dairy Cow Championship was held at Armagh Show last Saturday.
Perfect weather conditions and the picturesque setting of Gosford Forest Park attracted a large crowd of spectators and one of the largest entries of dairy cattle so far this year.
Tasked with selecting the two Armagh qualifiers was judge Jonny Lochhead, who runs the Kedar Brown Swiss herd just outside Dumfries, in south-west Scotland.
Widely regarded as one of the finest herds of Brown Swiss in Europe, Mr Lochhead has a keen eye for quality dairy stock, and was greatly impressed with the line-up at Armagh.
For his first qualifier, Mr Lochhead chose the Jersey Champion, Potterswalls Valentino Starlight 2 VG88, from the Fleming Family’s renowned Potterswalls Herd, Seaforde, Co. Down.
One to watch for the future, this classy heifer was placed second in the Heifer-in-Milk class at Balmoral Show. Calved since January, she is currently yielding 24 kg/day and is projected to reach 7,000 kg for her first lactation, at 5.7% butterfat and 4.0% protein.
The second Armagh qualifier was the second calver, Derrymore Snowman Jolly Red VG88, from the McCorry Family’s Derrymore Holstein herd, based at Aghalee, Co. Antrim. No stranger to show success, Jolly Red was awarded Reserve Red & White Champion as a junior heifer at the 2016 Irish National Holstein Show in Moira.
This was followed up with a fourth place finish in a highly competitive Junior Cow-in-Milk class at the 2016 RUAS Winter Fair. She topped 10,000 kg in her first lactation and now, eight months calved, is still yielding 35 kg/day.
McLarnon Feeds would like to congratulate both cows and wish them every success at the Antrim Show final on Saturday 22nd July.