Wexford-Donegal partnership wins Winter Fair inter breed title

Breeders from the Republic of Ireland took home a high proportion of the silverware on offer at the Royal Ulster Winter Fair 2016 yesterday.

Desmond Dundee Embrace, owned jointly by the Jones family from Co. Wexford and Donegal man Roy Cromie, scooped the inter-breed title.

Imported as an embryo from Canada by Limerick Holstein breeder Martin O’Sullivan, Embrace is no stranger to success at the Balmoral venue – she was awarded the comparable title at the Winter Fair back of 2014.

Now a fifth calver, the cow was also selected as the Holstein breed champion at this year’s event.

Judge Paul Trapp, from Wisconsin, described his champion as an elite cow.

She has an enormous production record. But what impressed me most of all was the quality of her udder.

The inter-breed reserve – and reserve Holstein champion – is Evergreen Duplex Ebony – owned and bred by Liam Murphy, from Co Carlow. She had previously won the inter breed title at the 2015 Winter Fair.

“The cow calved for the fifth time back in June and is currently giving 38L per day,” confirmed Murphy.

Trapp selected the Ayrshire champion – Sandyford Honest Blizzard – as his honourable mention.

She is owned by Co. Antrim breeders John Hunter and his son Michael. The cow notched up the 12th breed title secured by the family at the Winter Fair, stretching back to 1988.

The Hunters have been milking Ayrshire cows since 1965. Blizzard calved down for the third time a few days ago.

Bred by the Tomlinson family from Loughborough in Leicestershire, she was bought by John and Michael for 3,600gns at a dispersal sale on September 20 last.

Clandeboye Estates won the Jersey breed title with the home bred second calver Clandeboye Allstar 1 Evita. She had calved down for a second time a fortnight before the event. The cow had previously won the Jersey heifer in milk class at Balmoral Show 2016.

The reserve Jersey breed championship went to Co. Cavan breeder Seamus Shannon with his third calver Thurlstone May Fay.