The Borderway UK Dairy Expo has reinforced its reputation as a leading spring showcase for the industry.
In its fourth year, the Harrison & Hetherington-hosted event, held at Borderway Exhibition Centre in Carlisle, attracted 400 livestock entries and in the region of 7,000 visitors.
Breeders travelled to the expo from across the UK to showcase the cream of dairy cattle to a team of internationally renowned judges.
Developments in the industry were likewise shared across 135 trade stands, many focussed on the future-proofing of the dairy sector.
Taking the 2015 Borderway UK Dairy Expo Champion of Champions prize - and chosen from the from the seven breeds competing in the event - was Holstein champion, Richard Bown’s Richaven Goldwyn Squaw 6.
Announcing the result, judge Hank Van Exel said: “The quality of the entries in the Holstein show is truly exceptional.
“The UK dairy farmers are excelling at breeding outstanding milking cows; I am delighted with the standard presented and applaud them.
“Choosing the champion was a very difficult task, as those in the final line up were all worthy of this award.
“However, throughout the day, each time it came into the show ring, Richaven Goldwyn Squaw 6 just got better and better.”
Mr Bown, who also enjoyed success in the Ayrshires section, said: “I have been showing dairy cattle for the last 26 years.
“This is the first time I have received a major double award and to receive the championship also – this really is the best ever day of my life.
“Our herd motto is seeing is believing - what more can I say?”
UK Borderway Dairy Expo is a high profile event in the dairy sector showcase calendar, powerfully reflected in the quality of the world-class judges present this year, including Barclay Phoenix of Greenbank, Ontario, Canada, who presided over the coloured breeds section.
The show also welcomed around 50 dairy farmers from across Northern Ireland.
In the Dairy Youth Showmanship section, Will Horsley from Penrith took the top spot, showing Woodcatt Explore Irene, a February-born heifer calf.
The heifer junior champions, meanwhile, were Sandyford LR Bunty from A Rimmer in the Ayshire section; Eire Gammon Maime J from A Holliday and S Wake in the Jersey section; Riverdane Barbwire Advantageous Red, from Riverdane Holsteins, in the Red & Whites; Shaunlea Geri 6th, from Shaun Dixon, in the Shorthorns; Kedar Alaska from T Lochhead & Sons, in the Brown Swiss section; and Holmland Atwood Marie, from B Yates, in the Holsteins.
In the breed championships, Andrew and Jane Whittaker, of Shrewsbury, took the top spot in the Red & White class, with daughter Steph and partner James Doherty winning in the Jersey section with Bluegrass Vindications Harp.
Taking both the champion and reserve honours in the Brown Swiss section were Robert and Sheila McColm, of Wigtownshire, with Soulseat Jublend Beatrice.
Dairy Shorthorn champion was a Marleycote-bred cow, Marleycote Princess Jill 31, now owned by the McLean family from Northern Ireland, while Richard Bown - on top of winning the Holstein sector - took top place in the Ayrshires with Loukat Lucky.
British Friesian breed champion, meanwhile, was Adam Lawson’s Lismulligan Priscilla 41, while the 2015 John Dennison Lifetime Award was presented to Northern Irish farmer Sammy McCormick in recognition of his outstanding contributions to dairy breeding and exhibiting.
Harrison & Hetherington operations director David Pritchard, who organised the event, said: “This has been an absolutely tremendous event and the feedback from all of the sponsors, trade stands and exhibitors is that in the very short time since its inception the Borderway UK Dairy Expo has become a resounding success.
“It is well known that there have been many factors currently affecting the dairy industry, but we all feel that the success of today demonstrates that our dairy farmers, breeders and associated businesses have tremendous expertise and very solid foundations to ensure its future longevity.”
Dairy Expo 2015 was supported by seven mainline sponsors: Holstein UK, CIS, Clydesdale Bank, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and Pickstock Telford.