Relough Herd named ‘cream of the crop’

The McLean family, Malcolm, Andrew and Jordan, from the Relough Herd, Donaghmore, were congratulated on winning Holstein NI's Herds Inspection Competition by judge Mark Logan, Bangor; and sponsor Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank. Picture: David Devennie Photography
The McLean family, Malcolm, Andrew and Jordan, from the Relough Herd, Donaghmore, were congratulated on winning Holstein NI's Herds Inspection Competition by judge Mark Logan, Bangor; and sponsor Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank. Picture: David Devennie Photography
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The McLean family’s 300-cow Relough Herd has been crowned ‘cream of the crop’ in Holstein NI’s 2016 Herds Inspection Competition, sponsored by Ulster Bank.

The Donaghmore-based herd was founded by Ronald McLean over sixty years ago, and is currently managed by sons, Malcolm and Barry, with increasing influence from the next generation, Andrew and Jordan.

Awarded Holstein UK’s Master Breeder status in 2006, the herd comprises of 94 EX and 171 VG cows, with the remainder of the herd almost all classified GP 2yro.

The herd’s average yield is 10,400kgs at 4.0% butterfat and 3.2% protein. Picston Shottle and the NI-bred Prehen Omen have had a tremendous influence in the Relough Herd. There are currently seven EX classified first-crop daughters of Prehen Omen milking in the herd, and over 20 VG daughters.

Malcolm McLean explained: “More and more genomic semen is being used within the herd, as we aim to continue to breed bulls, and bull dams, that will attract international AI interest. There are several Relough bulls at stud throughout the UK and Europe, with semen sold as far afield as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

“The Relough bulls currently available through AI are bred from ten different cow families, with many coming from the successful home-bred Danna family.”

Relough’s haul of trophies in the Holstein premiership competition included best overall heifer, best overall senior cow, runner-up in the best overall cow family group, and runner-up in the best overall bull progeny group.

Judge Mark Logan praised the quality and consistency of the Relough Herd. “It’s a tremendous herd and a worthy winner,” he said.

“I would like to thank Holstein NI for its invitation. I thoroughly enjoyed travelling around the country visiting the various herds, and inspecting up to 1,300 cows in one day! Congratulations to everyone who took part. It’s a tremendous competition, attracting strong interest from young breeders, and showcasing really good herds. In my opinion there was very little difference between each herd, it was a very close competition.”

Holstein NI’s herds inspection competition has been sponsored by Ulster Bank for more than twenty years and continues to attract an unprecedented number of entries on an annual basis. Club secretary and competition co-ordinator John Martin confirmed that more than 60 herds participated in this year’s competition.

Speaking at the presentation of awards in Dungannon, Ulster Bank’s agricultural manager Cormac McKervey said he was delighted at the high level of entries taking part.

“The competition is growing from strength-to-strength, and we are delighted to continue with our sponsorship. The number and standard of entries is exceptional, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved,” he said.

Holstein NI chairman John Berry congratulated the winners and thanked Ulster Bank for its continued support.

“I would also like to thank the judges and stewards who contributed to the smooth running of this year’s competition.”

The junior section of the competition was judged by Philip Haffey from the Glasson Herd in Portadown.

“I really enjoyed myself. The standard of entries was exceptionally high. I knew the junior section featured a lot of good herds, but they were much better than I anticipated.

“I visited every county and travelled up to 300 miles every day. Never let it be said that Holstein cows don’t last. I was particularly impressed with the senior cows, many of which were EX93 and EX94 point cows with great feet and legs, super mammary systems, and a blend of strength and dairyness. Congratulations to everyone who put their herds forward, and thank you for the hospitality.”

The senior section was judged by Wilson Patton from the Ards Herd in Newtownards.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and thanks to everyone for the excellent hospitality. It was a privilege to visit so many good herds and meet like-minded Holstein cow enthusiasts.”

Results from 2016

herds inspection

competition

Best overall herd: R McLean and Sons, Relough.

Best new entrant: Richard Shanks, Bloomhill.

Best overall heifer – 1, R McLean and Sons, Relough Mogul Lila; 2, Iain McLean & Family, Priestland Goldwyn Betty; 3, TS Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Ambition Ricki.

Best overall junior cow – 1, Iain McLean & Family, Priestland PS James Rose; 2, Lewis McMurray, Matfield Christy 21; 3, WR Graham, Moorcastle Colby Melba.

Best overall senior cow- 1, R McLean and Sons, Relough Legend Amy; 2, William Hunter, Lisnacloon Lheros Style 2; 3, N and N McCollum, Bellemont Baxter Phyl.

Best overall cow family – 1, Lewis McMurray, Melaine; 2, R McLean and Sons, Raven; 3, Geoffrey Patton, Ruby.

Best overall bull progeny group – 1, TS Haffey and Sons, Picston Shottle; 2, R McLean and Sons, Prehen Omen; 3, Kenneth Totten, Picston Shottle.

Junior Section

Best small herd – 1, Seamus Gunn, Ernevale Herd, Derrylin; 2, Trevor Keatley, Aghyaran Herd, Castlederg; 3, Richard Shanks, Bloomhill Herd, Tandragee.

Best medium herd – 1, Stewart and Jonathan Lyons, Skerryview Herd, Coleraine; 2, FJ and JT Henning, Cornagrally Herd, Loughgilly; 3, John Thompson, Cullyhill Herd, Banbridge.

Best large herd – 1, Bolton Bros, Carrickfarm Herd, Maghera; 2, Kyle Henry, Crankey Herd, Newry; 3, Dennis Foreman, Knockbracken Herd, Belfast.

Best heifer – 1, Seamus Gunn, Ernevale Destry Truina; 2, Dennis Foreman, Knockbracken Windhammer Crystal 2; 3, Stewart and Jonathan Lyons, Skerryview Bullion Maid.

Best junior cow – 1, Dennis Foreman, Knockbracken Windbrook Avril; 2, John Thompson, Cullyhill Amazing Felisse; 3, Ivan Henning, Loughgilly Captain Ivory.

Best senior cow – 1, Seamus Gunn, Ernvale Shottle Maryan; 2, Bolton Bros, Carrickfarm Ford Anita; 3, Stewart and Jonathan Lyons, Skerryview Timon Cherry 2.

Best cow family – 1, Thomas and Paul Dunn, Tripoli; 2, Tommy Henry, Ambrosia; 3, John Thompson, Gita.

Best bull progeny group – 1, Seamus Gunn, Picston Shottle; 2, FJ and JT Henning, Richview Goldzo; 3, Wesley Gordon, Cogent Twist.

Senior Section

Best small herd – 1, William Hunter, Lisnacloon Herd, Castlederg; 2, Ivor Broomfield, Moneyquin Herd, Armagh; 3, Sam Wallace, Craigdoo Herd, Broughshane.

Best medium herd – 1, Mervyn McGimpsey, Towerview Herd, Newtownards; 2, Dermot Johnston, Deona Herd; 3, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley Herd, Clogher.

Best large herd – 1, Henry Thompson, Caddyview Herd, Randalstown; 2, James Lowe, Lowesdale Herd, Carryduff; 3, J and R Morrow, Harmonyhill, Castlereagh.

Best heifer – 1, Mervyn Nelson, Tullylea Iota Daisybell; 2, William Hunter, Lisnacloon Salon Amy; 3, Dermot Johnston, Deona Shamrock Roxie.

Best junior cow – 1, Steven Robinson, Newry Goldchip Barbie; 2, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley Fever Alice; 3, Gaston and John Wallace, Printshop Golden Balls Mara 2.

Best senior cow – 1, William Hunter, Lisnacloon Lheros Style 2; 2, Gaston and John Wallace, Printshop PL Pat; 3, Ivor Bloomfield, Pavime Million Paradise 2.

Best cow family – 1, William Hunter, Amy; 2, Dermot Johnston, Roxie; 3, Mervyn McGimpsey, Sara.

Best bull progeny group – 1, William Hunter, Gillette Stanleycup; 2, Gaston and John Wallace, Dunbanard Golden Balls; 3, Alex and Steven Brown, Glen 1 Bequi.

Premier Section

Best small herd – 1, Kenneth Totten, Glenbank Herd, Glenavy; 2, Inch Genetics, Inch Herd, Downpatrick; 3, William Kerr, Fordwich Herd, Cloughmills.

Best medium herd – 1, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Herd, Bangor; 2, Geoffrey Patton, Carrowcroft Herd, Carrowdore; 3, Lewis McMurray, Matfield Herd, Banbridge.

Best large herd – 1, Ronald McLean and Sons, Relough Herd, Donaghmore; 2, Harry Patton and Sons, Ards Herd, Newtownards; 3, David and Alan Wallace, Abercorn Herd, Antrim.

Best heifer – 1, R McLean and Sons, Relough Mogul Lila; 2, Iain McLean & Family, Priestland Goldwyn Betty; 3, TS Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Ambition Ricki.

Best junior cow - 1, Iain McLean & Family, Priestland PS James Rose; 2, Lewis McMurray, Matfield Christy 21; 3, WR Graham, Moorcastle Colby Melba.

Best senior cow – 1, R McLean and Sons, Relough Legeng Amy; 2, N and N McCollum, Bellemont Baxter Phyl; 3, H Patton & Sons, Ards Duplex Lilac.

Best cow family – 1, Lewis McMurray, Melanie; 2, R McLean and Sons, Raven; 3, Geoffrey Patton, Ruby.

Best bull progeny group – 1, TS Haffey and Sons, Picston Shottle; 2, R McLean and Sons, Prehen Omen; 3, Kenneth Totten, Picston Shottle.