Top prizes at North’s Winter Fair go to breeders from the south

Co. Carlow Holstein breeder Liam Murphy won the 2015 Royal Ulster Winter Fair Inter Breed Championship with his home bred fourth calver Evergreen Duplex Ebony.

“She calved on July 2 last and is currently giving 50L/day,” he said.

“We have had a great year with the cow. She was champion at this year’s Tullamore Show and was the Honourable Mention at the 2015 Bailey’s Cow of the Year. The cow is back in calf to Atwood.”

The Reserve Inter Breed award went to Co. Wexfod Holstein breeder Philip Jones and his fifth calver Hallow Advent Twizzle.

“She calved in September and is currently giving 50L/day,” he said

“We brought her in from Canada as an embryo.

“And she has had an excellent show record. The cow received the Honourable Mention award at the 2013 Winter Fair. She also fared well at this year’s Millstreet event.”

The Honourable Mention at the Winter Fair was the Ayrshire fourth calver Cuthill Towers Pam. She is owned by Co. Monaghan breeder Christian Keenan.

“She was the reserve Ayrshire champion at Balmoral in both 2014 and 2015.

“The cow is in calf to Pinnacle and is due to calve down in April 2016,” he said.

This was the second successive year in which all of the main prizes on offer at the Winter Fair headed south

Judge Selwyn Donaldson, from Featherston in New Zealand, described his champion as an exceptional animal.

“She would hold her own in any of the top dairy show classes held in Europe and North America,” he said

“The cow has tremendous dairy strength. And, as a fourth calver, she has confirmed her ability to perform well in a commercial environment.

“I am fully aware of the tremendous pressure on dairy incomes at the present time. Back in New Zealand milk prices have halved over the past 12 months. But breeders must continue to look towards the future.

“And the good news for Irish milk producers is that the genetics which they need to drive their businesses forward is available to them.”

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