The Co. Limerick-based Killuragh herd was the star of this year’s Pure Friesian Open Day.

Based near Cappamore, the Maher family of Gearoid and Sarah, along with their two daughters Sally Kate and Lily, were the hosts of this year’s event.

The event saw a large crowd attend to farm to learn about the Maher’s farm and Pure Friesian breed.

Patrick Quealy, chair of Pure Friesian club, Gearoid, Sarah, Sally Kate and Lily Maher,
Richard Hamilton, IHFA and Laurence Feeney, IHFA

The event also saw the announcement of the Pure Friesian herd’s competition results.

Pure Friesian

A farm walk took place as part of the event, with attendees getting a better understanding of the system operated on the Maher’s farm.

Once attendees had made their way around the first five stands, they got too see the stars of the show.

John Kirby from the IHFA

John Kirby from the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) spoke to attendees about how cows are classified, followed by a walk through the farm’s cows.

A fundraiser for the Temple Street children’s hospital also took place as part of the open day, with all donations going to this very worthy cause.

Donations were being accepted online and on the day, with the total in excess of €6,000.

Presentation of cheque to Maher family
Rachel White, IHFA; Patrick Quealy, chair of Pure Friesian club; Gearoid, Sarah, Sally Kate and Lily Maher;
Richard Hamilton, IHFA; and Laurence Feeney, IHFA

Gearoid and Sarah are very grateful to Temple Street Hospital where their eldest daughter Sally Kate was cared for when she was sick as a young baby.

Herds competition

A total of 16 herds were entered in the herd competition, with an average herd size of 108 cows.

On average, the herds were made up of 25% heifers or first-lactation cows – but this varied from 37% for expanding herds to 12% for herds maintaining numbers.

Average production from these herds for cows was 7,364L with fat of 4.1%, protein of 3.6% and an average milk solids of 568kg.

For the heifers, average production was 5,648L, with fat of 4.2%, protein of 3.5% an average kg of milk solids of 434kg.

Average calving interval was 374 days, while average lactation length was 3.7.

Average economic breeding index (EBI) was €158, with a milk sub-index of €5 and a fertility sub-index of €88.

The Pure Friesian herds competition had 16 of the member herds competing across a number of classes.

The competition was sponsored by AXA with the overall winner being named as John O’Connor.

Second place in the competition went to Kieran O’Connor, while third went to Henry and Sam Dudley.

Patrick Quealy, Brian Prout (AXA), Ciaran O’Connor, andRichard Hamilton IHFA

In fourth place in the competition was Micahel Spillane and in fifth place was Peader Healy. 

Pair of Senior Cow Class was won by Gearoid Maher. In second place was Michael Spillane, in third place was Tom Tynan and in fourth place was John Kiersey.

Patrick Quealy, Brian Prout, Gearoid Maher, and Richard Hamilton

Pair of Heifers class was won by Michael Spillane, with Bill O’Keeffe in second place, John Allen in third and Kieran O’Connor in fourth.

Patrick Quealy, Brian Prout, Michael Spillane, and Richard Hamilton IHFA

The Cow Family class was won by Richard O’Mahony, with Peadar Healy in second place, Oliver Dempsey in third and Michael Spillane in fourth.

Patrick Quealy, Brian Prout, O’Mahony family, Christy Doherty (AXA), and Richard Hamilton

The Progeny class, was won by Tom Tynan, in second place was John Allen, third place was Michael Spillane and fourth place was Pat Cleary. 

Highest EBI for a cow in a herd was won by Bill O’Keeffe, with an EBI of €348. 

The Longevity award for the herd with highest average number of lactations was won by John Long, with an average lactation of 4.7.

The highest production of kg of solids, combined fat and protein was won by Michael Spillane, with a production of 608kg of milk solids.

The Judge’s Choice award was won by Francis Fitzgerald.

Patrick Quealy, Brian Prout, Francis Fitzgerald, Christy Doherty, and
Richard Hamilton