The McCormick family’s noted Hilltara Herd scored a hat-trick in the Holstein showring at the 16th annual multi-breed dairy calf show, held at Ballymena Mart, writes Julie Hazelton.
The 300-cow Bangor-based herd, owned by Sam, Patricia, John and Kathryn McCormick, secured first prizes rosettes in three successive calf classes, and went on to dominate the championship line-up.
English judge Claire Swale selected the Hilltara trio from a short-lead of five class winners which she described as the best on parade. “I really admire these five calves, and they clearly define the type of calf that I am looking for. They are all feminine, well-grown for age, have a hard top, deep body capacity, and should develop and mature into great Holstein cows.”
Tapping out her overall champion, and exhibitor-bred award winner, Claire Swale described Hilltara Atwood Maude 10 ET as the complete package. “This is a super young heifer with great overall balance, and superb rib and body capacity. She treks well on good legs and feet.”
The ten-month-old Hilltara Atwood Maude 10 ET was sired by Mapledowns IGW Atwood, and is bred from Hilltara Fever Maude 5 VG89. Her granddam Hilltara Damion Maude 5 SP EX92 is a former Balmoral Show prize winner.
Claiming the reserve championship, and the reserve exhibitor-bred award, was the eight-month-old Hilltara Doorman Charlotte. Sired by Val Bisson Doorman, she is bred from Hilltara Dempsey Charlotte 2 VG88. Her granddam Hilltara Talent Charlotte 6 ET EX94 (5) has produced a lifetime production of 110,000 kilos.
The honourable mention award went to Hilltara Doorman Wendy 4, an eleven-month-old Val Bisson Doorman daughter, bred this time from Hilltara Cashcoin Wendy.
Claire Swale commented: “My championship line-up features heifers that are all well matched. They ooze extreme style, deep open rib, and have all the attributes of a quality Holstein calf.”
Almost 40 Holstein Young Breeders’ Club members competed in the showmanship classes. Claiming the Hamish Logan Trophy for the champion handler was senior class winner Lauren Henry from Stranocum.
Runner-up was junior competitor James Gregg from Glarryford. Taking the honourable mention award was intermediate class winner Tom McKnight from Lisburn.
Sixteen boys and girls aged between two-and-a-half and nine-years-old took part in the novice showmanship class. Winner was David Hamilton from Bangor.
Claire Swale concluded: “I would like to thank the NI Holstein Young Breeders’ Club for a very warm welcome. Congratulations to the organisers on a successful show.
“A tremendous amount of work and effort goes into preparing for a show like this. Thank you to the parents and the kids who have worked tirelessly training calves in the months leading up to the event. Well done to the prize winners and everyone involved.”
HYB co-ordinator Andrew Patton thanked Claire Swale for giving up her time to judge the show. “Thanks also to our valued sponsors Thompsons, Western Farm Enterprises and World Wide Sires; and last but not least our stewards, commentator Michael Taaffe, and photographer Jane Steel.”
Results from the judging ring:
Hamish Logan Trophy for the champion handler: Lauren Henry.
Ulster Bank Cup for the reserve champion handler: James Gregg.
Genus Crystal Award for the champion calf: Sam and John McCormick.
McCann Shield for the reserve champion calf: Sam and John McCormick.
Florrie Wilson Cup for the exhibitor-bred champion: Sam and John McCormick.
Novice handler, under nine-years-old: 1, David Hamilton; 2, Will Patton; 3, Mark McKnight.
Junior handler, under 12-years-old: 1, James Gregg; 2, James Patton; 3, John Hamilton.
Intermediate handler, aged 13 to 15 years-old: 1, Tom McKnight; 2, Amy Gregg; 3, Brian Weatherup.
Senior handler, aged 16 to 20 years-old: 1, Lauren Henry; 2, Dessie McCorry; 3, Abigail McLean.
Mature handler, aged 21 to 26 years-old: 1, Andrew Patton; 2, Nicole Maher; 3, Heather Martin.
Heifer, born on or after 08/02/18: 1, Henry Family, Mostragee Attitude Ambrosia 2 by Mostragee Attitude; 2, Henry Family, Mostragee Attitude Ambrosia by Mostragee Attitude; 3, Geoffrey Patton, Carrowcroft Troy G Ruby by Riverbridge Co Op Troy.
Heifer, born between 08/12/17 and 07/02/18: 1, Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Doorman Charlotte by Val Bisson Doorman; 2, David Simpson, Damm McBeemer Lavish by Pol Butte McBeemer; 3, David Simpson, Damm 1st Class Callen Lavish by OCD 1st class Callen.
Heifer, born between 08/10/17 and 07/12/17: 1, Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Atwood Maude 10 ET by Mapledowns IGW Atwood; 2, Karen Hunter and Sam Wadsworth, Letterkenny Solo Squaw by Waltnutlawn Solomon; 3, Geoffrey Patton, Carrowcroft Outfitter Debbie Jo by Wal Del Outfitter.
Heifer, born between 08/08/17 and 07/10/17: 1, Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Doorman Wendy by Val Bisson Doorman; 2, Robin Orr, Ballyportery Cayle Cabernet by Larcrest Cayle; 3, Mark Breen, Absolute Emmy Sue by Wilt Emilio.
Heifer, born between 08/06/17 and 07/08/17: 1, Robert Stewart, Quinton Doorman Linda by Val Bisson Doorman; 2, R O’Flynn, Richaven Solomon Squaw 2 by Walnutlawn Solomon; 3, Mark Breen, Cherryblossom Arvis Ghost by Mr IR EDG Arvis.
Heifer, born between 01/04/17 and 07/06/17: 1, Weatherup Family, Quarterland Atwood Belle by Maple Downs IGW Atwood.
Red and white heifer, born on or after 01/04/17: 1, McCorry Family, Derrymore Apoll Lisa Red by Apoll; 2, McCorry Family, Derrymore Diamondback Scarlet Red by Mr D Apple Diamondback; 3, Robin Orr, Ballyportery Bretagne Etielle Red by Bretagne.