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DALEVALLEY OTI J LULU is Cream of Crop

Diageo, the company behind the world's top selling liqueur brand, Baileys, ended its search for Ireland's finest Holstein Friesian cow at Virginia Show.

Dalevalley OTI J Lulu, bred by Roy Cromie from Donegal, and owned by Sean Murphy from County Cork, was crowned the 2014 Diageo Baileys ® Irish Champion.

The competition which dates back to 1983 rewards good body conformation with proven excellence in milk production. This is the second time that Sean Murphy has taken the title back to County Cork with the same cow.

Glaslough Miss Petra owned by David and Kenny Boyd from Glaslough, County Monaghan was the reserve championship award; while the honorable mention went to Cyril and John Dowling from Baldonnel, County Dublin for their cow Pavime Frisky ET.

Other prizes included: Best Heifer in Milk, John and Gary Hurley from County Wicklow; Best EBI winner, Tom Kelly from County Louth; and Best Protein Winner, Richard Whelan from County Meath; Best Dry Cow, Dominic McAdam from County Monaghan.

Widely acknowledged as Ireland’s most prestigious dairy livestock event attracting the super-elite of the Holstein Friesian breed, the top awards in the €10,000 prize fund were presented by the Minister for Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D. who said: “I have been hugely impressed by the quality of the animals on display here today and I would like to commend all of the entrants for their efforts. The Virginia Show encapsulates the best of what Irish agriculture has to offer. The agri-food sector is playing a vital role in our economic recovery, and it is very encouraging to see the high calibre of exhibitors on display again this year here in Virginia."

"I would like to offer my warm congratulations to Sean Murphy and Dalevalley OTI J Lulu for their success today in claiming the much coveted title of Irish Champion Dairy Cow. Well done also to the Reserve winner and the various category winners. Your months of hard work and careful preparation have paid off, and you should be very proud of the impressive results your efforts have produced.”

Breffni O'Reilly, Quality Director for Diageo Ireland said, "as Baileys Irish Cream prepares to celebrate its 40th birthday later in the year, like the cows we saw today, I'm delighted to say that the brand is in very good shape and has been a star performer in Diageo's premium spirits portfolio this year."

Judge of this year's competition was Brian Miller from Somerset who had the tough task of selecting the winner. Commenting on the calibre of Irish dairy breeding he said the winner’s overall strength and dairyness stood out from all the rest. "For her age she is an extraordinary cow having been in the final line-up for the past four years and won once before.”

July 2014: Entries invited for 2014 Baileys championship

The search is on for the 2014 Baileys Champion Dairy Cow.

The competition organised by Diageo in association with Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd, boasts a prize fund of 10,000 Euros, and will be staged at Virginia Show on Wednesday 20th August

Baileys Launch2

Pictured at the launch of the 2014 Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow competition, are from left: Brendan Smyth, competition director; Martin Tynan, general manager, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland; Minister of State, Tom Hayes TD; Colin O'Brien, Diageo; and Holstein NI chairman Gaston Wallace..

Entries are invited from members of Holstein NI.

The overall winner will receive a top prize of €2,500; while the runner-up will collect a €1,000 prize. The honourable mention winner will net €500; with €100 each for competitors placed fourth to tenth in the competition.

In addition to the top accolades, the prize fund also includes awards for the best heifer in-milk (1st to 3rd), and the best dry cows.

Trophies will be presented for the highest protein content, best EBI and best exhibitor-bred cow.

Holstein NI members, Derek and Neal Pepper from the Quilly herd based at Dromore, County Down, won the 2013 championship with Sahara Goldwyn Ambrosia 4 VG89.

“We entered the Bailey’s championship for the first time last year, and were delighted to win the overall title, especially on the 30th anniversary of the prestigious competition. The reception we got at the show was first-class, and I would encourage other local breeders to take part. It’s a great event and there are plenty of category prizes up for grabs.”

CLICK HERE to download an entry form.

The entry fee is €15 per animal, and completed entry forms must be returned to the secretary of Virginia Show on or before Monday 11th August.

For further information contact competition director Brendan Smyth on tel: 00353 87 2560952; or email: bsmyth@glanbia.ie

Baileys champion

The 2014 Winner of the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Cow Competition was Dalevalley OTI J Lulu owned by Sean Murphy, County Cork. Pictured at the presentation are, Breffni O'Reilly Quality Director Diageo Ireland;  handler Steve McLaughlin; Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD; and Liam Herlihy, Chairman Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited.

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