Dairy Competitors Big Day in the Ring

It’s the biggest event of the year for pedigree dairy breeders to showcase their cows and heifers – the  AXA National Dairy Show (NDS) in Milstreet’s Green Glen Arena, taking place on the 13th and 14th of October this year. Exhibitors come from nearly every county in the country and already this year the committee have received entries from Monaghan, Limerick, Kildare, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Wexford to name but a few. Two exhibitors who won’t have quite as big a distance to travel are Pat Ahern, Moorshill Herd, Rylane, Co. Cork and Jason Helen, who farms with his parents Robert and Sylvia, and partner Laura Cornthwaite under the Eedy prefix, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

Pat has shown many pedigree Jerseys at Milstreet over the years, winning the Heifer in Milk class last year with Moorshill Veronca Chrome. Pat talks about his experiences at the NDS very fondly “I’ve always enjoyed showing at Milstreet – there is a fantastic buzz around the show and the quality of cows is really excellent. Now my children have an interest in showing also it makes it all the more enjoyable. I’ve been exhibiting animals at Milstreet for over 20 years and I hope to still be showing there for many years to come.” Milstreet sees some of the biggest coloured breed classes around the country, and last years Championship was hotly contested by some superb cows and heifers in milk before Ballyealan Tequila Louise exhibited by Tom Lynch was tapped out as champion.

Cows and heifers from the Eedy herd can always be found in the NDS line ups taking home top prizes.  Eedy Alexander Acclaim ET won the coveted Confined Champion Award at the NDS in 2018. The Helen family also won the Premier Breeder award at last years show – which was due to a combination of Eedy winners shown by the Helens and cows and heifers they had bred and sold to new owners topping their classes. It was by far the highlight of the show for Jason “It was really special to win Premier Breeder last year, it’s a great reward to see heifers you have bred doing well for their new owners and competing at shows around the country”. After another busy summer of shows for the Helen family they are looking forward to finishing out the show season for 2023 at Milstreet, and hopefully out of the four entries they have this year a few will come home with rosettes!

The NDS are incredibly grateful to have the support of AXA Insurance as the main sponsors again this year. As part of their sponsorship package, each exhibitor will receive an AXA Farm Insurance Voucher to the value of €100. Moreover the NDS recognises the work it takes to turn out cows and heifers for a show day, especially when they are in milk and so all winners in the milking classes will receive a minimum of €200 in prize money – this is one of the best prize-fund pots in the country!

Come along to see these impressive animals and their breeders for yourself on the 13th and 14th of October at the Green Glens Arena Milstreet, Co. Cork.

For all exhibitors don’t forget to get your entries into Georgia Greenan at ggreenan@ihfa.ie before the closing date on TUESDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER