Three of Northern Ireland’s top pedigree herds have received Master Breeder Awards from Holstein UK.
The prestigious awards were presented to the Ardmore, Inch and Relough Herds at the recent Holstein Celebration Gala Dinner in Galgorm.
Holstein NI secretary John Martin said: “The Master Breeder Awards are testimony to the quality and longevity of the three local herds. To qualify for Master Breeder status, herds must classify regularly, as the criteria takes into account all home-bred animals which have completed a 305-day lactation in the previous twelve months.”
He continued: “Points are awarded for classification, production and longevity, and the whole herd must attain an average of four points. It’s not easy to achieve four points, especially as it’s the older animals that rack up the points to compensate for the younger ones.
“In many herds the old matrons include purchased animals, which don’t count, as only home-bred animals that have calved at least twice are taken into account.”
Many herds fail to meet the standard required for Holstein UK’s Master Breeder Award.
Herds in Northern Ireland account for almost 20% of the Master Breeder Awards presented by Holstein UK.
Other local herds which have achieved Master Breeder status include: Jim Stevenson’s Newry herd based at Kilkeel (2001 and 2012); Robert Wallace’s Alderview herd, Antrim (2002); Jim Morrison’s Inch herd, Downpatrick (2002); Ronald McLean and Sons’ Relough herd, Donaghmore (2006); William Crawford’s Ardmore herd, Brookeborough (2008); Lady Dufferin’s Clandeboye herd, Bangor (2008); Austin and David Perry’s Killane herd, Ahoghill (2008); Austin Alexander’s Fiddlersgreen herd, Newcastle (2009); Ian and Kenny Watson’s Majestic herd, Coleraine (2010); Willard and Adam Watson’s Derrydorragh herd, Coleraine (2010); Andrew Magowan’s Bannwater herd, Rathfriland (2012); Jim and Nicholas McCann’s Simlahill herd, Bangor (2014); Philip and Simon Haffey’s Glasson herd, Portadown (2016) and Alan and David Irwin’s Redhouse herd (2016).