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Gold Cup

The NMR RABDF Gold Cup has become the premier dairy business competition in the UK.
Since its inception in 1920 the Gold Cup has been the most coveted award in the dairy industry and has been won by some of the most influential breeders.  Combining elements of production, inspection and genetic management, the trophy is regarded as an award for all round excellence.  The monetary value of the cup changes with the price of gold but is of the order of £100,000, however, its true value is the prestige it conveys to the winner.
Neil Baker 2015 NMR RABDF Gold Cup Winner
2017 NMR RABDF Gold Cup Winners -
Brothers Chris and Rich Norman


How to win the Gold Cup
Many farmers look at the list of previous winners of the Gold Cup and think that the competition is beyond them, however, this is not the case.  The overwhelming common themes amonst the winners are nothing fancy but doing the basics right and attention to detail.  This is within the grasp of every dairy farmer who records his cows with any recording organisation.

So how do you win? The first step is familiarise yourself with the competition process, ensure you put your best foot forward and then simply be the best of the finalists on the day. 
Gold Cup 2017 Timeline
Late April & early May

All milk recording organisations are invited to submit herds that meet the competition's qualiftying criteria for the standard recording year ending on or around 30th September 2016.
These are:
  • More than 100 cows/heifers with qualifying lactations in the milking herd
  • Annual somatic cell count average foe the recording year ending 30th September 2016 of 200,000/ml or less, for non-organic herds. For organic herds a SCC of less than 250,000/ml for the same period; all other criteria apply
  • Minimum £PLI value specific to the breed
  • Minimum £SCI value specific to the breed
  • Grazing group entries: Each grazing group across the UK will be invited to submit applications and to complete the online questionnaire. These will be the best and most efficient operatores chosen by group co-ordinators

Qualifying herds informed and invited to enter the Gold Cup 2017. Online entry forms will  now replace the paper based system.

Typically, 1000 farms will receive an entry form, which is already a good vote of confidence in your enterprise if you are one of the recipients. Do leave yourself plenty of time to complete the online application form. Decide what it is that makes your farm different from everyone else and then sell this in the entry form. Remember your entry must stand out among the completed entries we receive.

Closing date for completed entry forms to be returned to the organisers online is Monday 26th June 2017.


Finalists selected and announced.


The judges visit each herd during a 3 day tour of the country in September, eith each visit lasting no more than 2 hours. This gives the opportunity fir the farmer to highlight why they believe they're a Gold Cup winning farm, while the judging panel quiz them on their entry. The visit is informal in nature but this is the principle way of picking the winner from the finalists who by this stage of the competition are all very good herds.

February 2018

Gold Cup presentations at DairyTech, Stoneleigh Park, Wawrickshire
  • Gold Cup 2017 winner announced
  • NMR Silver Salver to the runner up
  • Chris May Memorial Award to the herd with the highest Lifetime Daily Yeild out of all qualifying herds in the Gold Cup Competition
2017 Judges
This year's judges will be RABDF chairman and former Gold Cup winner Michael King, NMR chairman Phillip Kirkham and up to two members of the new judging panel. The judging panel will consist of industry specialits including farm management consultants, vets, bankers and previous Gold Cup winners.