YMA Hall of Fame 2013

John in his 84th year is still actively dairy farm­ing with his son Richard. He is a keen show man, still show­ing and a great judge of stock.

While vis­it­ing with John and his wife May one was awestruck with the array of tro­phies on the side board with cups and tro­phies dat­ing back to the early days of Ash­ford Show, Tina­hely show, RDS, Slaney club  and many more.

Wick­low hills, near Rath­drum. Cows were milked on the farm since the early 1920’s.

He intro­duced the first Friesians in 1950. They reg­is­tered the Pre­fix “Cun­ni­amstown” with the British Friesian Cat­tle Soci­ety, BFCS, the fore­run­ner of HUK today. They pur­chased “Der­ry­bawn Vista 6” from Sweet­mans of Der­ry­bawn. They pur­chased “Mayflower 55” from Booths in Bal­ly­more Eustace and later on pur­chased the “Isette” fam­ily from Der­ry­bawn and “Erin” from Karl Jones Henry, Ard­tar­mon herd in Sligo. They pur­chased the “Alma” at a dis­per­sal sale of the Tara heard near Brit­tas. The Der­ry­bawn herd was orig­i­nally imported from Eng­land.

In 1961 they sold all the non pedi­gree cows and con­cen­trated their efforts on breed­ing what became one of the fore­most herds in Ire­land. They were noted for their breed­ing stock and pur­chases from the herd  became the foun­da­tion stock of other great herds.

John con­tin­ues to farm with his son Richard. They milk 70 cows and rear all the fol­low­ers. The herd aver­age is 9570 Kgs Milk at 3.24 Fat % and 3.32% pro­tein.  Over half the herd is clas­si­fied VG/EX.

The herd is noted for excel­lent breed­ing stock and those early fam­i­lies are still in big demand at farm sales which are held annu­ally which must be close on 50 draft sales at this time. Heifers from these strong cow fam­i­lies always com­manded top prices under the ham­mer of John­ston auc­tion­eers.

Look­ing at a pro­file of the herd you can fol­low the proges­sion from Friesian breed­ing to Hol­stein in the early sev­en­ties. Cun­ni­amstown Queen 4 by Drake with 17 gen­er­a­tions of breed­ing, Cun­ni­amstown Shot­tle Ebony  by Shot­tle with 15 gen­er­a­tions, Cun­ni­amstown Isette 670  by Comes­tar Lavin­gard with 10 gen­er­a­tions are just a few exam­ples of the depth of pedi­gree in the herd.

John is a strong sup­porter of the Slaney club and was involved in the estab­lish­ment of the club in 1976. He had cham­pion at the club sale in 1977 which sold to Sean Kehoe’s “Carrigmoss”herd, Co Wex­ford, for a record price of £2,000gns for its time. The herd has fea­tured strongly down the years in com­pe­ti­tions organ­ised by the Slaney Club.

Cun­ni­amstown Mayflower 3rd  was the first cow to go Excel­lent in the herd. Mayflower 55 went on to be cham­pion in Tina­hely in the early six­ties. He won the Syn­ott cup in Ash­ford in 1961,1963,1964,1967.

John showed at the RDS as is seen here in a photo with the Bal­lyfree herd of OD Phillips.

In order to improve the herd John imported a herd sire from Robert Gar­land in Eng­land in 1954 Rad­dle­hurst Duke sired by Ter­ling Migrant and his dam by Rad­dle­hurst Dorothy 2 RMX VG. Ter­ling Migrant was sired by Ter­ling Con­sent RM.

He also pur­chased Rad­dle­hurst Chief­tain in 1967. Rad­dle­hurst Chief­tan was sired by Ter­ling Bul­let and his dam by Sal­wick Car­men 20.

He then imported Farel­ton Way­ward in the early eight­ies from Messrs G Robin­son in Scot­land. This bull was sired by the Hol­stein Bull A Hill­top­per War­den, his dam was Far­leton Unice RMX.

John con­tin­ued to use the best of AI sires avail­able in con­junc­tion with these herd sires and imported semen from Cross­well Car­dan 2nd RM and Ull­swa­ter Royal Sov­er­eign from the UK along with the pur­chase of Embryos to fur­ther improve the herd. John, his brother Billy, George Web­ster and Vic­tor Webb formed a syn­di­cate and pur­chased a choice heifer born by Embryo trans­fer in the Craden­hill herd  of George and Peter Kingston, Cork.This heifer was from the Ebony fam­ily in USA.

Suc­cess con­tin­ued in the show ring and in 2011 he took the dou­ble at Tina­hely show with Cun­ni­amstown Silky Ebony ET(89 points sec­ond calver ) awarded Cham­pion and Knock­lusk Gold­wyn Celia 10 EX Reserve Champion.

John Codd from Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow receives the Irish Holstein Friesian Association award from Niamh Lynch who is the Fresh Foods Category Director for Tesco Ireland at the annual National Hall Of Fame Awards in the Sheraton, Athlone last Sunday night. Photo Molloy Photography.