September 2014: Strong competition at McLarnon/ NISA final
The final of the McLarnon Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship 2014 held at Antrim Show proved to be bigger and better than ever before. Large numbers of spectators crowded around the ring to view the fifteen cows presented on the day which represented some of the best dairy stock in the Province from Northern Irelands top breeders, battling it out for the “Dairy Cow of the Year 2014”€ť title.
The decision as to who should be awarded this prestigious championship was down to Edward Griffiths, owner of the well-known Coachgate Herd, based near Sheffield.
Â This was certainly no easy task, with many spectators agreeing this year’s championship had one of the biggest and best line ups of dairy cows ever seen in the Province.
Edward congratulated the exhibitors on qualifying for this prestigious event and gave an excellent commentary on each animal in the show ring before selecting his final six cows.
The championship was awarded to the Fleming Family from Seaforde, Co. Down, with their 2nd lactation Jersey cow, Potterswalls Glams Elisha VG89. The judge described the cow as having perfect balance, clean bone and a great udder - a perfect example of the modern Jersey cow€ť. Elisha is bred from a line of 8 generations of VG or EX cows. She also has excellent production figures, with a peak of 36 kg/day in her current lactation at 5.7% BF and 4.2% Protein.
No stranger to the show ring, Elisha’s previous successes include the Interbreed Junior Champion at Balmoral Show in 2012, as well as the Dairy Interbreed Champion at this year’s Balmoral Show. The success continued for the Fleming Family as this cow also picked up awards for Exhibitor Bred Champion and Best Udder in the McLarnon Feeds/NISA Championship.
For the second year in a row, reserve champion was picked up by George and Jason Booth, Stewartstown, with their 3rd lactation cow, Clandeboye Shottle Willow EX92. The judge described this cow as having â€śgreat width and stature, and superb vein and udder.
The prize for second reserve champion went to Cyril and Martin Millar, Coleraine, with their 3rd lactation cow Willsbro Atlas Maeve EX93. The judge was drawn by Maeve’s “superb style and character, and a fantastic udder”
Fourth prize went again to the Fleming Family, Seaforde, for Potterswalls Prides Glamour 3 VG88.Â Four months into her second lactation, this cow is averaging 30kg at 5.6% BF and 4.2% Protein, and is projected to reach 7000kg for the lactation.
The McLean family, Bushmills, and Sidney Cromie, Banbridge, were placed fifth in the final line up with their 2nd lactation Ayrshire cow Atley Hill Yellow Pamela VG89. This highly productive cow is currently averaging 37kg/day at 5.50 BF and 3.77 Protein, and projected to yield 10324kg for the lactation.
Sixth place was awarded to T. Henry and Son from Stranocum, north Antrim, for their second lactation Holstein cow Mostragee Matson Nancy VG88. Nancy produced 8,881kg in her first lactation and is projected to exceed 12,000kg in the current lactation at 3.77% BF and 3.11% Protein.
On reflection, this year’s championship proved to be one of the most successful ever held. Spectators had the privilege of viewing one of the best line ups of dairy animals seen on these shores.
David Mawhinney, McLarnon Feeds, thanked all the exhibitors for their time, effort and excellent stockmanship shown throughout this year’s Dairy Cow Championship.