All the coloured dairy breeds performed tremendously well at Balmoral Show 2024. The Jersey championship was a case in point.

The class was won by the third calver Layward Cosmo Starry Fizz. The same cow went on to secure inter-breed reserve title at the event.

She is owned by the Fleming family, from Seaforde in Co. Down.

The cow is currently giving 35L of milk per day, having calved at the end of January. In her last lactation, the cow produced 7.000L of milk at 5.5% butterfat and 3.8% protein.

The Flemings’ Potterswalls Herd is home to 120 cows, robotically milked.

The family had a total of seven animals entered for various competition classes at this year’s Balmoral Show.

“We have had a great day out,” Lindsay Fleming said.

“We won the reserve Balmoral inter-breed title, which is a tremendous accolade in its own right. Prior to this we had also won the Jersey breed and reserve championships.”

Meanwhile, Jersey numbers continue to increase across the UK and Ireland. Cows have a proven ability to produce the highest level of milk solids from grazed grass.

This will be a key factor when it comes to determining the response of the dairy sector to climate change.

The Ayrshire Championship at Balmoral 2024 was won by the Irwin family from Fintona in Co. Tyrone with an impressive fifth calver Denamona Clever Lassie 2.

Paul Marrs, from AHV, congratulates Alan and Gillian Irwin on winning the Ayrshire Pairs’ Championship at Balmoral 2024

She calved six months ago and looked an absolute picture in the show ring. Alan Irwin farms with his wife Gillian. They milk 200 cows, a mix of pedigree Ayrshires and Dairy Shorthorns.

The Irwins also won the Ayrshire Pairs’ title.

The Dairy Shorthorn Championship was won by the Booth family from Stewartstown in Co. Tyrone with Beechview Jazz Janelle. She, too, looked a picture in the show ring at Balmoral. The Booth family also secured the Honourable Mention in the Holstein Championship with their very impressive cow Davlea Chief Wattle.

Balmoral sets the scene for the myriad of agricultural shows that will take place across Northern Ireland throughout the months of June, July and August.

Lurgan and Ballymoney Shows start the ball rolling with their events centred on competition classes taking place on Saturday, June 1.  

Meeting up at Balmoral Show 2024: Allison Matthews, Thompson Animal Feeds; Robin Irvine (left) AI Services (Northern Ireland); and Larry Burke, AI Services (Northern Ireland)

Balmoral Show 2024: Overview of dairy completion classes:

Inter-breed champion: Mostragee Hoklsteins

Reserve: Potterswalls Jerseys

Holstein Champion: Mostragee Holsteins

Reserve:  Hallow Holsteins

Jersey Champion: Potterswalls Jerseys

Reserve: Potterswalls Jerseys

Ayrshire Champion: Alan and Gillian Irwin

Reserve: R & C McConnell

Dairy Shorthorn Champion:  Booth family

Novice Young Handler: James Wylie, Templepatrick

Intermediate Young Handler: Glenn Walker, Randalstown

Senior Showmanship class: Ailsa Fleming, Seaforde

Mature Showmanship Class: Jack King, Ballymena