Holstein NI herd competitionwill get underway next week

Plans are well underway for Holstein NI’s annual Herds Inspection Competition.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:00 am
Holstein NIâ€TMs Gaston Wallace, left, and club secretary John Martin, right, confirm sponsorship of the herds inspection the competition with Padraig Oâ€TMKane, Trioliet area sales manager Ireland, Picture: Columba Oâ€TMHare
Holstein NIâ€TMs Gaston Wallace, left, and club secretary John Martin, right, confirm sponsorship of the herds inspection the competition with Padraig Oâ€TMKane, Trioliet area sales manager Ireland, Picture: Columba Oâ€TMHare

Club secretary John Martin said: “Now that the Covid-19 restrictions are easing, we are finalising plans to re-establish our annual Herd Competition. Judges and stewards will follow strict guidelines, with judging of the junior, senior and premier sections of the competition scheduled to take place between 23rd June and 10th July.

“We are also delighted to confirm that Cookstown Dairy Services, supplier of the Dairymaster parlour range, will provide ongoing financial backing for the junior section; while diet feeder specialist Trioliet will sponsor the senior section of the competition.”

John Martin continued: ”The competition didn’t run last year, but club members who took part in the 2019 competition will automatically be re-entered this year, 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 Monday 21st June. We also look forward to welcoming entries from new members and those who haven’t participated in the competition for several years.”

This year’s judges include:

Junior section – Wallace Patton, Greenisle Herd, Newtownards.

Senior section – Malcolm Dyson, former Holstein UK classifier.

Premier section – Brian Yates, Logan Herd, Castle Douglas, Scotland.

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 (in-milk heifer, junior cow, senior cow), bull progeny groups, and the best cow family groups.

A production award was introduced in 2017, for the best cow that has produced a minimum of 70 tonnes of milk. The judge will take into account the age of the animal, total milk produced, and overall conformation.

John Martin added: “A few changes have been implemented in recent years and I would urge members to consult the entry form and schedule for a copy of the competition’s updated rules. Everyone should have received a copy in the post recently.”

Newly elected Holstein NI chairman Iain McLean, whose Priestland Herd won the premier title in 2019, added:”In previous years this has been a hotly contested competition, attracting in excess of 60 entrants from across the Province. We are delighted that the C19 restrictions have been relaxed, which allows us to resume organising the competition. With the summer shows cancelled, we welcome the opportunity to re-engage with our club members, and urge breeders to get involved and participate in this year’s competition.

“On behalf of Holstein NI I would also like to thank our sponsors, Cookstown Dairy Services and Trioliet, for their continued sponsorship of the junior and senior sections of the competition.”

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 £30 per herd. Bull progeny and cow family groups can be entered at an additional cost of £10 each; while individual animals carry an additional fee of £5 each. All herds must be officially milk recorded.

Entry forms are available on request from the Holstein NI office, contact Jennifer on 028 8772 7728; or text club secretary John Martin on mobile: 07711 041128.

The closing date for entries is Monday 21st June.

Holstein NI plans to present the awards on Friday 23rd July, at a BBQ and Charity Auction to be held in Dungannon Rugby Club from 7.30pm.

John Martin added: “Tickets will be limited. The committee will be monitoring the Government guidelines on an ongoing basis, and further details will be available nearer the time. The charity auction will be conducted in conjunction with Dungannon Farmers’ Mart, and will be live online via its LSL Auctions portal. Proceeds will be donated to our nominated charities, Friends of the Cancer Centre and Teen Challenge.