Bovine queens strut their stuff at Vir­ginia Show

Irish Independent - Farming - - FARMING - KEN WHE­LAN

THE sun shone and the cows gleamed as the crowds gath­ered in the Co Ca­van show­grounds near the shores of Lough Ramor.

Nearly 10,000 were present to see the ‘show queens’ in ac­tion as dairy farm­ers com­peted to prove their an­i­mals were the creme de la creme of the coun­try’s herds for the Di­a­geo Bai­ley’s Cham­pion Cow.

There was a €10,000 prize fund for the com­pe­ti­tion which took place at the 76th an­nual Agri­cul­tural Show in Vir­ginia Co Ca­van which is home to Di­a­geo’s cream sup­plier, Glan­bia Ire­land.

“It was not quite the record 15,000 crowd we had last year when we were cel­e­brat­ing the 75th year of the show but it was a very good crowd con­sid­er­ing the weather than was be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in the sur­round­ing coun­ties on the bor­der. That af­fected the usual level of in­ter­est we get from dairy farm­ers in these re­gions,” said Ned Duffy a vet­eran of the Vir­ginia show.

The crowds swelled through­out the af­ter­noon to watch the beau­ti­fully turned out an­i­mals pa­rade around the ring and mar­vel at the groom­ing and pam­per­ing lav­ished on the 34 Bai­ley cham­pion fi­nal­ists.

Com­pe­ti­tion judge Paul Miller was ef­fu­sive in his praise for all the cows be­fore tap­ping for­ward this year’s cham­pion — Hill­tara Lan­thor­ity Echo 2 — a first time en­trant for pedi­gree breeder Sam McCormick from Bangor in Co Antrim.

“She has ev­ery­thing a dairy farmer any­where on these is­lands would ask for,” was Mr Miller’s ver­dict on the win­ner.

He was equally com­pli­men­tary about the stan­dards and renown of the Vir­ginia show among the dairy breed­ing com­mu­nity both in Ire­land and Bri­tain.

It was all about ex­cep­tional qual­ity as he picked De­nis and Eleanor O’Neill’s GWY Em­brace from Glaslough in Co Mon­aghan as re­serve, while Kil­war­ren Fever B Shower, bred by the Co­co­mans in Co Kil­dare, came in for hon­ourable men­tion.

A good time was had by all and an even bet­ter time by the bovine prima don­nas who seemed to be thor­oughly en­joy­ing their big day out.

Emma Hynes shows her Li­mousin Heifer

(above) Aisling McLoughlin pre­pares her horse Ball­robe Prince for show­ing; (left) Thomas Er­ick­son (6) was among the many breed­ers show­ing their sheep

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