33rd National Dairy Show 2015 – Report

An upbeat mood amongst the huge crowd that attended the National Dairy Show, Millstreet.

The 33rd Show exceeded all expectations. Entries were on a par with previous years with exceptional quality right down the lines in all classes. This is an All Breed dairy show. It is the “All Ireland” of the dairy breeds where the grand final of the dairy champions of County shows throughout the summer season are finally decided.

The champions of Irish Holstein cattle industry competed in an atmosphere of excitement and true sportsmanship. Everyone commented on the excellent standard of the cattle.

There was a record number of trade stands once again and exhibitors said that there was a very positive and upbeat mood amongst dairy farmers despite the poor milk price at present.

The show commenced on the Friday evening with the finals of the YMA Showmanship League. Alison Beattie from the “Delasheen” Herd in Co. Westmeath was the master Judge. She developed her passion for the breed through participation in the Northern Ireland HYB club. In addition to running her “Agri Promotions” company, Alison and husband Norris manage a 120 cow Pedigree Registered Holstein Friesian herd near Delvin. They have two children; Alexandra and Harry.

Results of YMA Showmanship League Final 2015.
Class A Handlers aged 12 years and under on January 1st
1st JJ O’ Connor, Co Cork
2nd Hannah Williamson, Co. Monaghan
3rd Hollie Keenan, Co. Monaghan
Class B Handlers aged 13 to 16 years on January 1st
1st Rachel Corley, Co. Monaghan
2nd Sinead O’ Sullivan, Co. Cork
3rd Lauren O’ Toole, Co. Carlow
Class C Handlers aged 17 to 26 years on January 1st
1st Andrea Rafferty, Co Monaghan
2nd Padraic Murphy, Co Kilkenny
3rd Colin Todd, Co. Monaghan

Each young handler competing was presented with a certificate to commemorate their achievement.

The Judge for the show was Harold Sweetnam from the “Sweetridge” herd in Manitoba, Canada. Harold, a Bandon native and respected dairy farmer and Holstein breeder who has continued his enthusiasm for the Holstein Friesian breed in Canada as he did before emigrating with his wife Miriam and children, Mark and Tara. It was remarked that he had the distinction of showing the very first winner of a milking class in Milllstreet on the occasion of the very first National Dairy show. He is currently Vice-President of Maitoba Holstein Branch and coaches the Young members. He milks a herd of 220 registered pedigree Holstein Friesian cows.

The show was officially open by Mr. Charles Gallagher Chief Executive of IHFA. Charles said that it was a great honour not alone for himself but also for the Association to do the official ceremony especially as this is the Golden Jubilee year of the Association which was established back in 1965 as the IFBA. The National Dairy Show was established in 1982 and from humble beginnings it has gone from strength to strength. From the outset, the show has functioned as an outlet to view genetic progress over the years, seeing “at first hand the improvement in the offspring on the ground”. The show is a “shop window” for the breed and a great occasion to promote the best in Irish Dairy cattle breeding to a local and International audience. The President of IHFA Mr. Peter Ging made a presentation to Mr. Seamus Crowley, Show Director in recognition of breed promotion by the show over 33 years and to Mr. Harold Sweetman who was so involved in IHFA in the early years. IHFA to mark the Golden Jubilee presented commemorative medallions to all class winners. There was also some light refreshments at the end of the evening to close the celebratory events of the Golden Jubilee year.

The show Society presented Mr. Mervyn Eager with the “National Recognition Award” a testament to his contribution to the Black & White breed over many years in breeding the famous “Evergrange” herd, County Dublin.

The Innovation Award was accepted by Morgan Sheehy on behalf of Devenish Nutrition.

Judging on the Show day started at 9am with the handler classes followed by the calf classes and then onto the milkers. It was a very full day with the finals at 5.pm.

The handler classes were strongly contested. There was a novice of four years of age competing which must be a record. Congratulations to Katie Gahan, County Wexford who took champion handler and Megan Boal, County Galway who win Reserve in a tightly fought contest. Manus Murphy, Co Carlow took Honourable Mention.

The animals competing throughout the classes were of tremendous quality. Junior Champion went to Liam & Sandra Murphy, Fenagh, Co. Carlow with Evergreen Seven Lauren and Reserve to Gordon Kingston, Clonakilty, Co. Cork with Dellview Snow Angel.

Intermediate Champion went to B &J Cocoman, Kill, Co. Kildare with Kilwarden Windbrook J Vixan Reserve going to G&J Hurley with Clonpaddin RCU Jill 2.
Patrick and Karl Colton took Honourable Mention with Ardnasalem Fever Sarah.

The Confined cow Championship went to D&T Neville with Hallow Atwood Twizzle. Reserve went to the confined heifer Mirah Laven Maggie owned by Michael Freeney, Oranmore, Galway.

The show then moved to the Senior classes and the excitement in every class was palpable.

The Judge in his final lineout selected 5 cows worthy of the top award. The final pick were the first and second placed animals in the three year old class, Kingsley S901 Karry 604 owned by Shay & Margaret Nyhan, Ballinascarthy, Cork and Tubbertoby Atwood Fran owned by Paul & Margurite Flanagan, Termonfeckin, Louth. The winner in the four year old class Lisnacunna Dee Beauty Red owned by Pat Coffey, Enniskeane, Cork. The winner in the five year old class Baldonnell Goldie Larissa owned by Cyril Dowling & Tadhg Bourke, Baldonnel, Dublin. The winner of the Mature cow class Laurelm Reuben Sassy owned by Rickey & John Barrett Co Cork.

The judge commented on the dairyness, the great udders on all the cows and the quality right down the classes with great front end strength. Before tapping out his Supreme Champion and Reserve he commented “This is a great honour to judge this show where many great judges of the breed have had the honour before me.” He thanked his stewards, breeders and all the exhibitors for their dedication and bringing out their cattle to such a high standard. To tremendous applause he tapped out the Baldonnell Goldie Larissa owned by Cyril Dowling &Tadgh Bourke as Champion. In reserve and a very popular choice was Kingsley S901 Karry 604 owned by Shay & Margaret Nyhan. This was a sweet success story competing so well with a cow from the confined class. Honourable mention went to class Laurelm Reuben Sassy owned by Ricky & John Barrett. This cow has been past champion twice and her eighth time to be exhibited at Millstreet.

Premier Breeder Barrett Family, Co. Cork.
Premier Exhibitor Barrett Family, Co Cork.

The Exhibitor bred champion
Baldonnel Goldie Larissa owned by Cyril Dowling and Tadhg Bourke, Baldonnel, Co. Dublin.

Best Udder of the Show
Baldonnel Goldie Larissa owned by Cyril Dowling and Tadhg Bourke, Baldonnel, Co. Dublin.

Highest EBI Award
Tom Lynch of Ballingarry Co Limerick.

Seamus Crowley, show Director thanked all the breeders, exhibitors, sponsors, trade stand holders, judges, stewards, and all who helped in any way to make the show a success. He also expressed his thanks especially to IHFA and staff who helped with administration.

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