Holstein herds inspection competition is launched

Announcing details of Holstein NI's annual herds inspection competition are, from left: chairman Stuart Smith, secretary John Martin, and sponsor Mark Brown, Ulster Bank. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Announcing details of Holstein NI's annual herds inspection competition are, from left: chairman Stuart Smith, secretary John Martin, and sponsor Mark Brown, Ulster Bank. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
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Holstein Northern Ireland has launched its annual Herds Inspection Competition which is generously sponsored by Ulster Bank.

Club secretary John Martin said: “Everyone who took part in last year’s competition will automatically be re-entered unless they advise me otherwise.

“Club members who want to amend their entry or withdraw from the competition should notify me prior to the closing date on Wednesday 27th May. We also look forward to welcoming entries from new members and those who haven’t participated in the competition for several years.

“A few changes have been implemented this year, and I would urge members to consult the entry form and schedule for a copy of the competition’s updated rules.”

Holstein NI chairman Stuart Smith added: “This competition is growing from strength-to-strength and we are indebted to Ulster Bank for its continued commitment.”

Ulster Bank awards will be presented to the best small, medium and large herds in the premier, senior and junior herd categories. There are also prizes for the best individual animals, bull progeny groups, and the best cow family groups.

Due to the level of entries in the last number of years a second judge was introduced in 2009 to inspect herds in the junior section of the competition. More recently the club’s committee has opted to recruit a third judge for the senior section to ensure the prompt and efficient judging of the competition.

The junior herds will be judged during the week commencing Monday 1st June by William Crawford from the Ardmore Herd based in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh.

Entries in the senior section of the competition will come under the expert eye of retired breeder Robert Wallace, formerly of the Alderview Herd in Antrim, with judging scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 8th June.

The premier section of the 2015 herds inspection competition will be judged by Brian Weatherup snr from the Lesmay Herd based in Fife, Scotland. Judging of the premier section will commence on Monday 22nd June.

John Martin concluded: “The winner of the award for the best overall herd will go forward to represent Northern Ireland in Holstein UK’s National Premier Pedigree Herd Competition.”

The entry fee is £20 per herd, and bull progeny and cow family groups can be entered at an additional cost of £10 each. All herds must be officially milk recorded.

The awards will be presented at a barbecue in Dungannon Rugby Club on Thursday 25th June at 8pm.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the club’s website: www.holstein-ni.co.uk. Alternatively, text or telephone club secretary John Martin on mobile: 07711 041128. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 27th May 2015.