From 17 to 20 January, the annual Swiss Expo took place in Geneva, Switzerland, where over 1,000 cows and heifers battled it out to be crowned the 2024 grand champion.
The Swiss Expo is the number one dairy competition in Europe that welcomes stock from all across Switzerland and the rest of Europe.
Since its launch in 1996, the event now stands as one of the top three dairy exhibitions in the world, alongside the World Dairy Expo (USA) and the Royal Winter Fair (Canada).
Winning should come as no surprise to husband and wife duo Gary and Izzy Jones of the Jones Holstein herd from Gorey, Co Wexford, who consistently turn out the very best of Holsteins for showing both on the Irish and international show circuits.
In partnership with VK Holsteins, Markus von Kanel and breeder Nicholas Sunibele, the Jones’ claimed their third grand championship title in a row with Sunibelle Dempsey Esprit EX96 - a sixth lactation production cow that has produced over 76,000kg of milk.
The nine-year-old cow did what no other cow has done at the Swiss Expo winning first in her class, grand champion and best udder for three years in a row.
Esprit is sired by Lirr Drew Dempsey and her dam is Phinicas Sanchez Esperanza EX91-4E (classified excellent 91, fourth generation excellent), while her second dam and third dam classified EX92 and EX91 respectively.
A half share was purchased by Gary after she placed second at the Expo as a three-year-old.
Sunibelle Dempsey Esprit EX96 has won many impressive titles including: reserve grand champion Expo Bulle 2019 and 2022, reserve European grand champion in 2019 and now three consecutive grand champions at the Swiss Expo.
The Jones family are working with Esprit’s daughters and granddaughters here in Ireland and she has had six natural calves to date and has been flushed on a number of occasions.
Her first embryo sold at auction for €20,000, with a number of daughters and granddaughters having also been sold here for impressive sums and, most recently, an embryo was sold just a week ago for €11,500.
We look forward to seeing Esprit's progeny in the future.