Details announced of upcoming Holstein herds inspection competition

Launching Holstein NI's annual herds inspection competition are, from left: Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor; club chairman Jason Booth; and secretary John Martin. Picture: Columba O'Hare/Fotacol.
Launching Holstein NI's annual herds inspection competition are, from left: Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor; club chairman Jason Booth; and secretary John Martin. Picture: Columba O'Hare/Fotacol.

Holstein Northern Ireland has announced details of its annual Herds Inspection Competition generously sponsored by Ulster Bank.

Club secretary John Martin said: “Everyone who took part in last year’s competition will automatically be re-entered 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, June 4. We also look forward to welcoming entries from new members and those who haven’t participated in the competition for several years.”

Ulster Bank 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.

John Martin added: “A new production award was introduced last year, 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.

“A few changes were implemented in 2016, and I would urge members to consult the entry form and schedule for a copy of the competition’s updated rules.”

Holstein NI chairman Jason Booth added: “This competition is growing from strength-to-strength and we are indebted to Ulster Bank for its continued commitment.”

Due to the level of entries a second judge was introduced in 2009 to inspect herds in the junior section of the competition. More recently the club’s committee has opted to recruit a third judge for the senior section to ensure the prompt and efficient judging of the competition.

The junior herds will be judged during the first two weeks in June by Jim Stevenson from the Newry Herd based at Kilkeel.

Entries in the senior section of the competition will come under scrutiny from David Wallace, Abercorn Herd, Antrim. Judging is scheduled to commence in mid-June.

The premier section of the 2018 herds inspection competition will be judged by Andrew Hull from the Fortland Herd.

John Martin concluded: “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 £20 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 to download on the Holstein NI website www.holstein-ni.co.uk.

Alternatively, contact Jennifer at the Holstein NI office on 028 8772 7728; or text club secretary John Martin on mobile: 07711 041128.

The closing date for entries is Monday, June 4.