Members of the Northern Ireland Holstein Young Breeders’ Club have returned home following a successful trip to the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show, held at the Three Counties Showgrounds in Malvern, Worcestershire.
The team members and calves qualified for a place at the national finals at the recent multi-breed dairy calf show in Ballymena.
The theme for this year’s All Britain stand competition was ‘fairytales’, with the Northern Ireland team using the opportunity to highlight the famous Giants Causeway and the legendary Finn McCool.
HYB members spent the two weeks coming together, painting and building a stand for the show, and are indebted to Gary Wadsworth who sponsored the stand.
HYB public relations officer Hannah Lilburn said: “Our stand turned out very well, and visitors to the All Britain Show were intrigued to learn more about how the legendary giant Finn McCool built The Giants Causeway - Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
The showmanship competitors took to the ring last Saturday morning, and were put through their paces by Scottish judge and well-known livestock photographer Jane Steel.
Brian Weatherup from Carrickfergus was placed fifth in the junior section; while Rachel Corley, Monaghan, and Desmond McCorry, Aghalee, were placed third and fourth respectively in the intermediate class. John McLean, Bushmills, secured a very respectable sixth place in the senior category; and mature competitor Karen Hunter did a great job in a tough class with 26 handlers.
The next day the calves were washed, clipped and top lined to an exceptional standard in preparation for the calf classes which were judged by Brian Miller from the Moorshard Herd based in Somerset.
In the red and white classes Logan Integral Jodie Red, kindly loaned by the Yates family, was placed fourth in a line-up of 12 calves. The NI team also exhibited the fourth placed Logan Doorman Ambrosia
February born calf Denholme Doorman Entice – champion at the NI Calf Show – finished seventh in a strong class of 25 calves.
The NI team’s five other calves, Priestland Sid Delicate, Derrymore Sammy Naomi, Priestland Sammy Dellia, Priestland Frisky Mellissa and Maineview Doorman Lavish, looked fantastic, meticulously presented by local fitters Mark Henry and John McLean. They were placed in the middle of their classes against stiff national competition.
Desmond McCorry was shortlisted in the top four for the prestigious Littlestar Award.
Hannah Lilburn concluded: “A sincere thank you to Wilson McCurdy who transported the calves. The Northern Ireland HYB is indebted to its sponsors for their generous financial support. Without them, our team could not compete at the All Britain event.”
HYB co-ordinator Andrew Kennedy added: “Congratulations to the young breeders who travelled with the calves and looked after them at the two-day national event. Competition was extremely strong in the showmanship and calf classes, with the majority of classes attracting in excess of 20 entries.”
Sponsors include: Wilson McCurdy, Steele Farm Supplies, Moore Animal Feeds, Kilco, LacPatrick, Thompsons, Fane Valley, Farmline, TJ Booth/FarmGate Nutrition, Teemore Engineering, A Hyde Feeds, Semex, Ecolab/Irwin Farm Supplies, AI Services, Patton Feeds, Sloan Transport and Irwin Feeds.