Clandeboye Estate's Jersey herd, based in north Co. Down, is celebrating a tremendous victory, following its superb 2021 RUAS Winter Fair showing.

Clandeboye Tequila Cookie, a seven-year-old, fifth calver, swept the boards in winning the supreme interbreed championship at the event this week (Thursday, December 9).

Earlier in the day she had won the Jersey breed title. The cow had previously won the reserve interbreed at the Winter Fair back in 2019.

Clandeboye Estates’ manager, Mark Logan commented:

“This is her best outing to date. She has now won the Jersey breed title at the Winter Fair on three occasions.

“Previously she had won the reserve interbreed title and had received the nomination as the honourable mention at the show."

Cookie calved for the fifth time back in September. She is currently giving 38L/day at 6.0% fat and 4.2% protein.

Other championships

Prior to the Winter Fair, Cookie had been selected as the People’s Champion of the Decade, on the back of a public vote. She was also nominated as the Jersey Champion of the Decade.

Edward Griffiths, from South Yorkshire, judged all the classes at this year’s Winter Fair. He was of the view that his champion would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any other Jersey cow in the world at the present time.

“She is just an excellent example of her breed and, in my opinion, would win any dairy championship taking place around the world at the present time," he said.

"The cow is that good. She has tremendous dairy strength, a truly excellent mammary system and simply stands out as a deserving champion.

“All the breed champions at this year’s Winter Fair would stand out as being exceptional animals at any international dairy event."

Reserve Interbreed Champion

The reserve interbreed title went to Hallow Atwood Carmen, owned and bred by the Jones family farm Co. Wexford. Hallow Holsteins has a long track record of success at the Winter Fair.

Philip Jones said: “The cow is a third calver and previously won the reserve Holstein title at the 2018 Winter Fair. She is from the Carmen family.

“The cow calved last June and is currently giving 50L per day. She is projected to give 13,000L during the current lactation.”

Hallow Holsteins notched up three class victories at this year’s Winter Fair. Significantly Philip Jones believes that Holstein cows can look forward to a bright future, if environmental regulations lead to a tightening of cow numbers.

The honourable mention went to Baldonnel FM Sunshine, owned by John Dowling – now farming near Trim in Co. Meath.

“We have had another great day out at the Winter Fair," Dowling explained. “The cow won the interbreed title here in 2018. And she has never been beaten in her class.

Sunshine calved for the fourth time in August past. She is currently giving 50L of milk per day.

The Ayrshire championship at the 2021 Winter Fair was won by Christian Keenan from Co. Monaghan with his fourth calver, Threemile Pretty Rock. The six-year-old, fourth calver has a long track record of success at the Winter Fair.

“She won here as a calf and subsequently as a heifer,” Keenan explained.

“She won the breed title here today. We are truly delighted with the result. She has done everything that we could ever have asked of her. It’s time she enjoyed her retirement.”

Pretty Rock calved three months ago and is currently giving 44L of milk per day.

Royal Ulster Winter Fair Results 2021

Interbreed classes

Supreme Interbreed Champion: Clandeboye Estate;

Reserve Interbreed Champion: Hallow Holsteins;

Interbreed Champion Honourable Mention: John Dowling.

Interbreed Heifer Champion: Clandeboye Estate;

Reserve Interbreed Heifer Champion: G and D Simpson.

Interbreed Junior Champion: The Fleming family;

Reserve Interbreed Junior Champion: Jones and Knowlesmere Holsteins.