Holstein NI reveals details of open day

Launching the 2017 Holstein NI Open Day are club vice-chairman Tommy Henry, with hosts Mervyn, May, Gareth, Judith, Austin and Wallace, Smyth, Cloughmills; and sponsors Ivan Dunn and Nigel Kemp,  Lacpatrick; and Alastair Sampson, Ecosyl from Volac. Picture: Julie Hazelton
Launching the 2017 Holstein NI Open Day are club vice-chairman Tommy Henry, with hosts Mervyn, May, Gareth, Judith, Austin and Wallace, Smyth, Cloughmills; and sponsors Ivan Dunn and Nigel Kemp, Lacpatrick; and Alastair Sampson, Ecosyl from Volac. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Holstein Northern Ireland has announced details of an open day taking place later this month.

The one-day event on Saturday 22nd April will be hosted by the 150-cow Ballyweaney Herd owned by Mervyn, May, Gareth and Judith Smyth, Hillcrest Farm, 10 Ballyportery Road, Cloughmills, Co Antrim, BT44 9BN.

The Smyth family Gareth, Judith, Austin and Wallace, from the Ballyweaney Herd in Cloughmills, are hosting Holstein NI's Open Day on Saturday 22nd April. They are pictured with club vice chairman Tommy Henry. Picture: Julie Hazelton

The Smyth family Gareth, Judith, Austin and Wallace, from the Ballyweaney Herd in Cloughmills, are hosting Holstein NI's Open Day on Saturday 22nd April. They are pictured with club vice chairman Tommy Henry. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Generously supported by principal sponsors Lacpatrick and Ecosyl from Volac, the open day will incorporate the club’s annual stockjudging event, and promises to be a fun-filled day for all members of the family. The event has attracted a large selection of trade stands and craft stalls, and will feature workshops, flower and cookery demonstrations, and a charity auction.

Activities for younger visitors include a bouncy castle, face painting, pony rides, and a mini pet farm.

Holstein NI chairman John Berry said: “Last year’s inaugural open day in Armagh was a huge success, raising over £14,000 for the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB).”

Club vice-chairman Tommy Henry added: “We are very excited about this year’s event in North Antrim, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Smyth family for their hard work in advance of the event.”

Proceeds will be donated to The Perinatal Trust Fund at the regional Neonatal Unit based at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Gareth Smyth explained: “The RVH Neonatal Unit cares for premature and sick babies from all over Northern Ireland. It’s a charity very close to our hearts. Our twin sons, Austin and Wallace, were born prematurely on New Years day 2016. They were more than 15 weeks premature and weighed 1lb 10ozs and 1lb 8ozs.

“The twins spent the first few months of their lives in incubators in Intensive Care. It was a stressful and difficult time for the whole family, but thanks to the excellent facilities and specialist care provided by the medical professionals, they are miracle babies.”

Gareth added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to host the open day and raise funds for the Perinatal Trust Fund. On behalf of my family, I and extend a warm invitation to everyone to come along and enjoy the day.

“Plans are well underway, and we have been overwhelmed by the support pledged by businesses throughout the Province. More than 40 trade stands have confirmed their attendance, and we have been inundated with donations for the charity auction and raffle.”

Items for the charity auction include two pedigree Holstein calves, a three-point front linkage tractor weight, a signed Ulster rugby shirt, and a host of other items.

Watch press for further information or follow the dedicated facebook page ‘Holstein NI Family Open Day’.