Gold Cup Competition

The Gold Cup is the premier national dairy herds competition, recognising efficiency in commercial milk production.

Major changes announced

Major changes were made to the Gold Cup competition in 2017 to ensure herds across the whole range of management systems could compete in the UK dairy industry's flagship award.  

These changes will ensure that more extensive grass and forage based businesses can compete alongside the housed and higher input herds.  It is imperative that applicants realise that we will remain focused on herds, whatever their system, that demonstrate high standards of parameters, such as herd health and fertility.

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Whilst the traditional entry route will remain through Milk Recording Organisation's, focusing on milk production, somatic cell count and genetic merit data from official milk records, the spring calving index, that also appears on the herd's milk records, will be considered in herds where this is applicable.  Additionally, herds can be nominated through regional and national discussion groups and specialised grazing groups.  While official milk recording will not be a prerequsite in these nominated herds, judges will expect to see recording protocols in place.

All herds that are nominated through any of the four entry routes will receive a letter inviting them to complete the application form.  Unlike in previous years, this form is now electronic and the letter received by qualifying herds will fully outline the steps needed in downloading it.  The application is comprehensive and will ask for background on the dairy business including production, management, and financial details, environmental schemes and future plans.  

Completed applications must be returned electronically to by Friday 28th June.  These will then be reviewed by a judging panel that will include producers with expertise in a range of dairy systems, as well as representatives from banking, education and consultancy.  From this a short list of finalists will be drawn up and these herds will go on to the next round that involves a farm inspection in early September by the three Gold Cup judges (drawn up from the initial panel).

The criteria for entry and judging will continue to be reviewed to ensure it best reflects the UK dairy industry and that the award continually showcases the top herds as examples of good management.  We want to make sure that all dairy businesses connected to the competition will continue to, as they always have, to be an inspiration to other producers.

Even though the criteria connected to the Gold Cup Award itself has changed, other awards associated with the competition, such as the Chris May Memorial Salver for the highest average Lifetime Daily Yield, the Lilyhill Trophy for the highest placed Jersey herd and the Murchland Trophy for the highest placed Ayrshire herd, will continue as before.

All forms, documents and Adobe software can be downloaded using the buttons below:

Please note: You must save the application form to your computer before entering any information.  This is imperative to ensure no inputted data is lost.  Should you have any queries please contact 02476 639317.

For the latest information on this year's competition or to receive a paper copy of the questionnaire please contact Victoria Ingram or call 02476 639317.

  • 2018 Winner - Metcalfe Farms, Washfold Farm, Leyburn, North Yorks

  • 2017 Winner - Rich & Chris Norman, The Leen, Pembridge, Leominster

  • 2016 Winner - R E Bugler & Partners, Pilsdon Dairy Farm, Bridport, Dorset

  • 2015 Winner - Neil Baker, Rushywood Farm, Haselbury Plucknett

  • 2014 Winner - Michael Eavis, Worthy Farm, Glastonbury

  • 2013 Winner - The Higgins family, Wilderley Hall, Shrewsbury

  • 2012 Winner - M Miller, Shanael Farms Ltd, Evesham

  • 2011 Winner - Tom King, Vortex Holsteins, Dorchester

  • 2010 Winner - Michael & Chris King, Kingspool Holsteins, Iron Acton

  • 2009 Winner - G T & L M Spence, Lowfields Farm, Northallerton

  • 2008 Winner - J F Cobbs & Sons, West Chaldon, Dorset

 To visit the NMR website please click here.

Gold Cup Open Day

Each competition winner has the privilege of hosting the prestigious Gold Cup Open Day.  This not only provides the farm with an opportunity to showcase their business but offers visitors the chance to look around, network with a large number of local and national trade companies and listen to a variety of engaging and informative talks and demonstrations relevant to both the winning farm and the industry as a whole.

If you are interested in booking a trade stand for the Gold Cup please contact Victoria Chomiak on or call the office on 02476 639317

Gold Cup Open Day 2017 - R E Bugler & Partners

Photo Gallery