Bangor breeder Sam wins Diageo dairy cow accolade

Hilltara Lanthority Echo 2 was crowned the Diageo Baileys Cow Champion at the 2017 Virginia Show. Pictured with the winning cow are (from left) Hazel Chu, head of corporate & trade relations for Diageo Ireland; Robert Murphy, head of Baileys operations; breeder Sam McCormick from Bangor; Henry Corbally, chairman Glanbia Ireland; Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring; and Minister for Arts, Culture and The Gaeltacht Heather Humphries

BANGOR breeder Sam McCormick has been confirmed as owning Ireland's finest Holstein Friesian dairy cow.

His Hilltara Lanthority Echo 2 cow was crowned the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion at the 76th annual Virginia Show in Co Cavan.

This year's event attracted a record number of entrants from Northern Ireland, with seven of the 34 cows entered owned by five Northern Ireland breeders.

In the end, it was Sam's cow that was considered fairest of them all by judge Paul Miller, from Evesham, who said: "Hilltara Lanthority Echo 2 was an outstanding winner. She caught my eye straight away."

He added: "She is all that we look for in the dairy breed, a tremendous cow. It was one of the strongest competitions I've ever judged. I really felt the enthusiasm from the crowd and the breeders."

Widely acknowledged as Ireland's top dairy livestock event, attracting the super-elite of the Holstein Friesian breed, the competition rewarded excellence in body conformation as well as proven quality in milk production.

Sam was presented with his €2,500 prize and trophy by the Irish Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D., alongside Hazel Chu, head of corporate & trade relations for Diageo Ireland, and Henry Corbally, chairman of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.

Speaking at the winners' reception, Hazel Chu said: "The Diageo Baileys Champion Cow is an opportunity to reinforce the success and quality of the indigenous cream supply partnership for Baileys, which like its production is based exclusively on the island of Ireland.”

Mr Corbally congratulated the winners and the Virginia Show for an “excellent event that attracted top dairy breeders from all over the island.”

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