Holstein judges out in force at Bushmills

The McLean family's Priestland Herd in Bushmills was the venue for Holstein NI's recent stockjudging event. Iain, Joyce, John, Matthew, Ellie, and April Baldock, are pictured with Holstein NI chairman Jason Booth. Picture: Kevin McAuley Photography Multimedia

Holstein NI’s annual stockjudging competition attracted hundreds of breeders from throughout the province.

The recent event was hosted by the McLean family at Bushmills, and coincided with the presentation of awards for the club’s annual herds inspection competition.

Owned by Iain and Joyce McLean and family, the Priestland Herd comprises of 110 pedigree Holstein cows, which are managed alongside 20 pedigree coloured breeds, and more than 200 youngstock. The herd’s rolling 12 month average is 10,079 litres at 4.30% butterfat and 3.19% protein.

Breeding decisions are focused on type, rather than figures. “We like to select powerful bulls with good overall balance,” said Iain McLean. “My ideal cow is tall and strong, with sound feet and legs, and a good udder.”

Most of the semen in the AI flask hails from US and Canadian sires, and ET is used to further develop some of the most successful cow families in the herd. Well-known cow families at Priestland include Bedazzle/Barbie, Ambrosia, James Rose and Frosty.

Holstein enthusiasts turned out in force to view many of the herd’s home-bred prize winning females, including the multi-award winning Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose EX93.

Master judge for the event was premier herd judge Andrew Hull from Lancashire. The places in each class included: junior heifer in-milk SZAWXE; senior heifer in-milk PMOKLI; and senior cow in-milk YTJRNH.

Results from the stockjudging competition include:

HYB junior – 1, Harry Orr; 2, Samuel Charles; 3, Jude Haffey.

HYB intermediate – 1, Brian Weatherup; 2, Samuel McMurray; 3, Bryanna Collette.

HYB senior – 1, Andrew Patton; 2, Phil Donaldson; 3, James Brown.

Open senior – 1, Nicholas McCann; 2, Philip Haffey; 3, Wilson Patton.

The McLean family are currently working with the BBC and filming for the popular TV series ‘This Farming Life’. BBC cameras were in attendance, so Holstein NI’s 2018 stockjudging event could feature in the news series.

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