By Chris McCullough

LAST Thursday proved a triumphant day not only for Boris Johnson, but also for Paul Hannan, from Lisnalty, in Co Limerick, when he won the dairy inter-breed championship at the RUAS Winter Fair, in Northern Ireland.

His winning home-bred animal – as chosen by Australian judge, Robert Anderson – was Lisnalty Megasire Rituel, a three-year-old Holstein cow giving 53 litres of milk per day.

Also winning the Holstein breed championship, Paul’s cow is by Butz-Hill Megasire and out of Copsewood Fev Rituel.

Mr Anderson picked her out before a packed crowd at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, near Lisburn, commenting: “This is an exceptional young cow, with a superb mammary system. She stands very square, with good definition and balance.

“She would stand well in any dairy event around the world. I am very impressed with the quality of all the animals presented before me at the Winter Fair and am very grateful for the hospitality shown by everyone to my wife and I,” he added.

Mr Hannan, who runs a herd of 150 pedigree Holstein cows along with his family, said his cow was no stranger to success as she also won the national at Millstreet, in Cork, during November.

He said: “She yielded 11,600 litres in her first lactation and is projected to do 13,800 litres in the current lactation after calving in August. She calved again just 11 months after giving birth to her first calf. The milk quality at the moment is 4.27% BF and 3.35% P."

Reserve inter-breed champion was the Jersey breed leader, Clandeboye Tequila Cookie, which took the honours for Clandeboye Estate, near Bangor.

Described by the judge as ‘having superb attachments’ and ‘full of bloom,’ Cookie is a rising six-year-old sired by Tower Vue Prime Tequila and out of Newmoor Sultan Cookie.

Yielding 32 litres per day, she managed around 8000 litres in her last lactation and according to the owners is a 'real milking machine'.

Honourable mention went to the Holstein breed reserve champion and another from the south, Tubbertoby Armsni Fleur, exhibited by its breeder Paul Flanagan, from Tubbertoby Holsteins, Termonfeckin, in Coy Louth.

This home-bred four-year-old cow was sired by Mr Apples Armani and is out of Tubbertoby Windbrook Florence.

Northern Ireland Jersey breeders, the Fleming family, from Seaforde, in Co Down, exhibited the reserve Jersey breed champion, Quintrell Kyros Indigo.

Born in March, 2013, their super veteran was sired by Sunset Canyon Kyros and out of Quintrell Comerica Cerulean. She is currently yielding 35 litres per day.

Judge Mr Anderson was upbeat about the line-up of Ayrshire cattle entered into the dairy event for assessment. The breed champion, Sandyford Lucky Honey – which had been bought as a heifer by the McLean family, from Bushmills – is now a third calver yielding 39 litres of milk per day.

Earlier this year she was the reserve champion at Antrim Show. She is by Sandyford Lucky Charm and bred from Sandyford Burdette Heather Honey.

Co Monaghan breeder, Christian Keenan, took the Ayrshire reserve title with his five-year-old cow, Threemile Bella.

Sired by Harefoot Elegant and out of Cuthill Towers Bella, this home-bred cow calved only six days prior to the show.

Jason Booth, from Stewartstown, in Co Tyrone, emerged as the winner of the Dairy Shorthorn title with his second calver, Beechview O Kalif Cecilia. She is projected to give 8500 litres at 4.55% BF and 3.57% P and is by GS Alliance O Kalif Red and out of Beechview BS Cecilia.

The reserve, Cottonhill Empire Cherry, was shown by James Lambe, from Co Monaghan. On her first journey to the Winter Fair, this cow impressed spectators and is a second calver giving 30 litres per day. She is by Llandovery Jinnys Empire and bred from Cottonhill Cherry 4.


Inter-breed champion – Paul Hannan, Holstein

Inter-breed reserve – Clandeboye Estate, Jersey

Inter-breed honourable mention – Flanagan family, Holstein

Holstein classes:

Heifer born between June 1, 2019,and December 1, 2018 – 1, McLean family; 2, P Greenan.

Heifer born between December 1, 2018, and June 1, 2018 – 1, McLean family; 2, T Williamson.

Heifer born between June 1, 2018, and December 1, 2017 – 1 and junior champion, M Breen; 2 and reserve junior, Hallow Holsteins.

Junior heifer in milk – 1, D Boyd and T Keith; 2, T O’Neill.

Intermediate heifer in milk – 1, Annaghmore Holsteins; 2, G Hurley.

Senior heifer in milk – 1 and heifer champion, A Paul; 2 and reserve heifer, McLean family.

Junior second calver – 1, P Hannan; 2, G Hurley.

Senior second calver – 1, Tubbertoby Holsteins; 2, Henry family.

Third calver – 1, P Greenan; 2, Hallow Holsteins.

Cow in milk or in calf, having produced a minimum of 50,000kg lifetime – 1, S Gunn; 2, McLean family.

Best bred – Paul Hannan.

Premier exhibitor – McLean family.


Maiden heifer – 1 and junior champion, Clandeboye Estate and Greenan Holsteins; 2, Fleming family.

Heifer in calf – 1, Fleming family; 2, Leader family.

Heifer in milk – 1 and heifer champion, Fleming family; 2 and reserve heifer, Clandeboye Estate.

Junior cow in milk – 1, Fleming family; 2, E Gaynor.

Senior cow in milk – 1, Clandeboye Estate; 2, Fleming family.

Best bred – 1, Clandeboye Estate.

Premier exhibitor – Fleming family.


Maiden heifer – 1 and junior champion, R McConnell; 2 and reserve junior, McLean family.

Cow in calf – 1, R Stewart; 2, TJ Gordon.

Heifer in milk – 1 and heifer champion, C Keenan; 2 and reserve heifer, R McConnell.

Junior cow in milk – 1, C Keenan; 2, J Hunter.

Senior cow in milk – 1, McLean family; 2, J Hunter.

Best bred – C Keenan.

Premier exhibitor – J Hunter.

Dairy Shorthorn

Junior cow in milk – 1, G Booth; 2, J Lambe.

Best bred – G Booth.

Premier exhibitor – J Lambe.


Novice and juniors (under 13 on January 1, 2019) – 1, Hannah Greenan; 2, Jack King.

Intermediate (aged between 13-15 years) – 1, Hannah Williamson; 2, Tom McKnight.

Senior (aged between 16-20 years) – 1, Ellie McLean; 2, Amy King.

Mature (aged between 21-26 years) – 1, Jessica Hall; 2, Emily Leader.