NI Dairy Cow Championship launched

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Northern Ireland’s premier dairy competition, the John Thompson & Sons/Northern Ireland Shows Association (NISA) Dairy Cow Championship, is about to get underway for the 2019 show season.

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 championship, Thompsons’ Sales Director Gordon Donaldson said: “The NI Dairy Cow Championship is one of the finest competitions of its kind and Thompsons are delighted to be the lead sponsor once again this year.

“For a small country, Northern Ireland boasts some of the top dairy cows and leading dairy herds in the UK and Ireland.

“The Championship’s ongoing success is a testament to the hard work that breeders put in each year, and our aim is to ensure the competition continues to go from strength to strength.”

The championship begins with the qualifying rounds at the regional shows. This year there are nine qualifying shows; Ballymoney, Lurgan, Armagh, Ballymena, Newry, Omagh, Castlewellan, Saintfield, and Limavady.

The 2019 final will take place at the 113th Antrim Show, on Saturday 27th July, at their showgrounds on the Shanes Castle Estate, Randalstown Road, Antrim.

With substantial prize money available for the top six cows in the final line-up, there is also a prize fund for the ‘Top Exhibitor Bred’ animal and for the ‘Best Udder’, not to mention a voucher for 10 bags of Thompsons’ feed to every cow exhibited at the final.

The championship is open to all breeds of dairy cows, whether pedigree or non-pedigree, but they must qualify in the Thompsons/NISA class at a qualifying show prior to the final - cows cannot qualify at Antrim Show on the day of the final.

All breeders are encouraged to bring their cows to a qualifying show, where a maximum of two cows per exhibitor can be put forward for the final, with the prospect of taking home this prestigious title. Last year’s final had an excellent turnout of quality cows and was judged by Mr Lynden Bustard, Classification Manager with Holstein UK. Lynden awarded the Championship to Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose EX93, from the McLean Family’s Holstein Herd, Bushmills.

Thompsons would like to wish all exhibitors an enjoyable and successful show year.