David Booth, judge of this year's Diageo Baileys Champion Cow

The Baileys' judge looking for a balanced cow

‘A balanced cow with strength’ are the attributes the 2022 Diageo Baileys Champion Cow must have, says the judge of the forthcoming Virginia Show's blue riband event.

After a two year hiatus, the region's biggest agriculture show returns on Wednesday, August 24. The date will also be the first time, David Booth of Feizor Holsteins in North Yorkshire has taken on the judging role at a show in the Republic.

“This competition is renowned for its exceptional quality, so it is an immense privilege for me to perform the role of judge,” enthused David, who is a fourth-generation farmer.

He has judged at a large number of shows throughout Britain including the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show in 2014 and the Royal Welsh Show in 2018. The family farm is home to 1,000 breeding sheep and 120 Holsteins. Their highly acclaimed herd was awarded Master Breeder status in 2017.

EU Commissioner Mairead McGuiness has been confirmed as Guest of Honour at the event. She will help present the cheque for €2,500 prize and the Virginia Milk Products Cup to the wining breeder.

The top prize is followed by €1,000 and €500 for Reserve Champion and Honourable Mention respectively. The popular Best-Heifer-in-Milk category carries a fund of €1,700 with 1st place worth €500. The Best Junior Cow category has prizes worth €750 in total.

A special award for Best Economic Breeding Index recognises efficiency and sustainability will be presented. An award for Best Protein emphasises the most profitable factors for both breeding dairy herd replacements and milk production.

Entries close on August 12 and judging commences at 3.15pm on August 24.