Champion Cow comp seeks ‘cream of the crop’

Diageo and its cream supplier Glanbia Ireland have this week announced details for what they dub “the most prestigious” annual dairy cow contest in the country.

The Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow competition is scheduled to take place at the Virginia Show, Co. Cavan, on August 23 – with a prize fund of more than €10,000.

A new ‘Junior’ category for cows in their second calf stage has been added to the range of classes, all of which offer cash prizes. According to Diageo, the competition is now open for entries from eligible breeders across Ireland, both north and south.

The top place of ‘Overall Champion’ boasts a prize of €2,500, with awards of €1,000 and €500 for ‘Reserve Champion’ and ‘Honourable Mention’, respectively.

Cash prizes are also offered for the categories of ‘Highest Protein Content’, ‘Best Junior Cow’, ‘Best EBI’ and ‘Best Exhibitor-Bred Cow’. In addition, the popular ‘Best-Heifer-in-Milk’ class carries a fund of €1,700 with a €500 award for first place up for grabs.

Diageo Ireland’s Head of Corporate & Trade Communications, Hazel Chu, said the contest “would once again shine a spotlight on the quality of Ireland’s dairy breeding excellence”.

And, according to Martin Tynan, General Manager of Glanbia Ireland Virginia, the competition “rewards breeders that combine good conformation in their animals with milk production capability”.

To be eligible for entry, the cow must first have produced 500kgs of butterfat and protein in a 305-day lactation. Having a cow placed at ‘the Baileys’ is therefore a great endorsement for any herd.

Last year’s big winner was Philip Jones from Co. Wexford. For those interested, entry forms can be obtained here.