Holstein NI members reflect on another successful year

Holstein Northern Ireland hosted its 23rd annual dinner and presentation of awards last weekend in Ballymena.

Club chairman Alex Walker welcomed everyone and said he was delighted to see a good turnout of guests, club members and friends.

Invited guests included Holstein UK chairman Michael Smale, and his wife Caroline, IHFA president Richard Whelan, and his wife Kate, recently appointed IHFA chief executive Laurence Feeney, and his wife Karen, and herd competition sponsor Padraig O’Kane from Trioliet, and his wife Mary.

Alex Walker gave a resume of the club’s activities throughout the year, and said the gleaming array of silverware reflected the enthusiasm and dedication of Holstein breeders in Northern Ireland.

A special mention was given to the herds inspection competition which continues to grow from strength-to-strength on an annual basis. The McCormick family from Bangor were also congratulated on winning their second Bailey’s Dairy Cow Championship at Virginia Show in August.

During his address Alex Walker also congratulated committee member Wallace Gregg on his recent election as chairman elect of Holstein UK. There was a special mention for the numerous sponsors, office bearers, committee members, judges and stewards, who had supported Holstein NI throughout the year.

Sadly, the club lost several esteemed members this year, with chairman Alex Walker leading a toast to absent friends.

The Holstein Young Breeders’ Club continues to put Northern Ireland on the map, with members excelling at events such as Holstein UK’s National competitions day and weekend rally.

The annual calf show in Dungannon was another resounding success, boasting more than 200 entries. Congratulations were conveyed to the McLean family from the Priestland Herd who exhibited the supreme champion, and the Paul family from the Slatabogie Herd who won the reserve championship. There was a strong turnout in the showmanship section, with Ava Montgomery taking the top spot, closely followed by Lauren Henry in reserve.

Alex Walker also congratulated Tom McKnight on being selected to represent the UK at the European Holstein Young Breeders’ School in Belgium.

Alex concluded by thanking club members and parents for the ongoing support of the HYB. His words were echoed by HYB co-ordinator Jessica Hall.

Holstein UK chairman Michael Smale thanked the club for its invitation to attend the dinner. He congratulated local members on the outstanding achievement of securing four Master Breeders Awards this year. The prestigious accolade is awarded to ten herds on an annual basis, and there are more than 3,500 herds competing for recognition.

Mr Smale also confirmed that the parent society had recently appointed Melanie Harmitt as the chief executive officer of the Holstein UK Group. The former company secretary and finance officer joined Holstein UK in 2017, and has a vast knowledge of Holstein UK’s business portfolio.

Concluding Michael Smale said the Northern Ireland HYB was one of the strongest club’s in the UK.

Nationally the HYB is one of the jewels in Holstein UK’s crown, and he urged young members to apply for the Sue Cope Bursary – a grant initiative launched recently to encourage young members to improve and further advance their knowledge of the dairy industry.

Speaking on behalf of the Irish Holstein Friesian Society, Laurence Feeney said that he, and president Richard Whelan, were honoured to attend the annual dinner.

Mr Feeney praised the strong connection between IHFA and Holstein NI, and said he looked forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship during his tenure.

Mr Feeney also extended an invitation for local club members to attend the 2023 European Holstein and Red Holstein (EHRC) Conference, scheduled to take place in Dublin from 26th 29th April.

The awards were presented by HUK chairman Michael Smale.

Herds competition

Ulster Bank Cup, for the best small herd in the premier section of Herd Competition: Inch Genetics.

Ulster Bank Perpetual Cup, for the winner of the best large herd in the senior section of the Herd Competition: Jim and Nicholas McCann.

Aubrey Patterson Cup, for the best large herd in the senior section of the Herd Competition: George and Jason Booth.

Willie Wilson Memorial Award, for the winner of the junior section: Robin Orr.

Ulster Bank Perpetual Cup, for the best new entrant in the junior section: Alan and Leanne Paul.

John Thompson and Sons Cup, for the best large herd in the junior section of the Herd Competition: Robin Orr.

Holstein NI Trophy, for the best medium herd in the junior section of Herd Competition: Alan and Leanne Paul.

Ulster Bank Shield, for the best senior cow: Sam and John McCormick.

Award for the best junior cow: Sam and John McCormick.

Ulster Bank Shield, for the best heifer: Jim and Nicholas McCann.

Award for the best exhibitor-bred heifer: Jim and Nicholas McCann.

CBS Silver Cow Trophy, for the best bull progeny group: Jim and Nicholas McCann.

RUAS shows

Channon Heenan Memorial Trophy, for the exhibitor gaining the most points at the RUAS Winter Fair: Alan and Leanne Paul.

Wilson Cup, for exhibitor gaining most points at Balmoral Show: George and David Simpson.

Cooper Memorial Cup, for the junior champion at Balmoral Show: George and David Simpson.

Craigbet Rosan Trophy, for the winner of the production class at Balmoral Show: McLean family.

Barbican Crystal Award, for the best pair of females bred by exhibitor: Sam and John McCormick.

Holstein Friesian Perpetual Challenge Cup, for the supreme champion at Balmoral Show: Cyril and Martin Millar.

Bibby Salver, for the most points at RUAS and Provincial Shows: George and David Simpson.

Club sales

Ulster Bank Trophy, for the champion at the November (2021) Dungannon Dairy Sale: Nelson and Richard Trimble.

Clogher Perpetual Cup, for the champion at the March Dungannon Dairy Sale: Sam and John McCormick.

McCall Salver, awarded to the exhibitor gaining the most points at club shows and sales> Robbie and Stuart Smith.

Milk Quality Trophy, for the highest placed PLI bull at the February sale in Dungannon: Robbie and Stuart Smith.

Norbrook Laboratories Perpetual Challenge, for the champion bull at the March sale in Kilrea: Norman and David McNaugher.

HYB awards

Automart YMA Trophy, for the President’s Medal nominee: John McLean.

Smiddiehill Trophy, for the Littlestar nominee: James Patton.

Ashgrove Cup, for the highest placed competitor at the national competition: Max Watson and James Patton.

Trophy, for the highest placed competition (under 18) in the linear judging competition: Ben Reid.

Future Genetics Cup, for the HYB member nominated for Louise Hartley Award: Tom McKnight.

HYB Rosebowl, for the supreme champion at the calf show. McLean family.

Florrie Wilson Cup, for the exhibitor-bred champion at the calf show: McLean family.

McCann Shield, for the reserve champion at the calf show: Alan Paul and family.

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