By Julie Hazelton
Holstein Northern Ireland unveiled the winners of its 2022 Herd’s Inspection Competition at an event held recently in Ballymena.
The hotly contested competition attracted entries from more than 70 herds across three sections, premier, senior and junior, and was generously sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Trioliet and Cookstown Dairy Services.
The competition was judged over two weeks with three well-respected pedigree breeders taking on the unenviable task of selecting the winners.
Judges Wyn Jones, Feithy herd, Carmarthenshire, Paul Flanagan, Tubbertoby herd, County Louth, and Jim McCann, Simlahill herd, Bangor, each travelled hundreds of miles across the length and breadth of the Province to inspect the herds in their designated category.
Holstein NI secretary John Martin said: The competition continues to grow from strength-to-strength, and we were delighted to see a significant number of new entrants participating alongside the regular competitors.
“Judging the annual herd com-petition is a mammoth task, and we are very grateful to the judges for giving up their valuable time to select the winners.
“It’s no easy job with more than 70 herds, totalling almost 11,000 cows, competing for a share of the prizes.”
Rising to the top of the 2022 Holstein premiership was the Ards prefix owned by Wilson and Karen Patton and son Andrew, from Newtownards.
The 250-cow herd caught the eye of Welshman Wyn Jones to secure the highly coveted award for the best overall herd, and a place in Holstein UK’s national premier herd competition.
Dating back to 1959, the Ards herd is synonymous with breeding top-quality bulls, cows and heifers. The herd is averaging 8,800 litres at 4.3% butterfat and 3.47% protein on twice-a-day milking, and its most prolific cow families include Ruth, Lou Ella, Barbie and Ashlyn.
Andrew Patton, who is the regional Holstein Young Breeders’ Club co-ordinator, and Holstein UK’s 2017 President’s Medal winner, confirmed that there are 76 EX and 130 VG classified cows in the herd, which includes three EX95 and nine EX94 cows, and 31 VG two-year-olds this year.
Ards was placed first in the premier section’s large herd category, and also won second prize in the senior cow class with Ards Kingboy Beyonce, third prize in the bull progeny group with Claynook Casper daughters. The Patton family also won the premier section’s best large herd award in 2021.
Premier section judge Wyn Jones described the best overall herd as a well-balanced, modern and correct herd, with youthful senior cows. “The winning herd epitomises everything I was looking for, uniformity, good feet and legs, and dairy strength.”
Wyn Jones added: “It has been an honour to judge Holstein NI’s herd competition. I have judged other regional competitions, but the Northern Ireland one has been the most difficult.
“I’ve had an enjoyable week and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their warm welcome and hospitality.
“The standard has been excellent, and I’ve met great farmers, visited super farms, and saw some exceptional cows.”
These words were echoed by junior herd judge Jim McCann and Paul Flanagan, who judged the senior section.
The award for the best new entrant in the competition went to Alan and Leanne Paul’s Slatabogie herd based in Maghera.
Slatabogie claimed a number of the junior section’s top awards, including best medium herd, best heifer, best senior cow, best family group, and second prize in the junior cow and bull progeny groups.
Holstein NI chairman Alex Walker congratulated the winners, and thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the competition: “Thanks to our sponsors, without whom the competition would not be possible.
“We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to our judges for taking time away from their own farms to judge the competition.
“It has been a challenging spring, but I am delighted to see such an excellent number of entrants taking part in the herds inspection competition. Well done everyone!”
Results from the 2022 herds inspection:
Best new entrant – Alan and Leanne Paul, Slatabogie.
Best heifer – 1, Alan and Leanne Paul, Slatabogie Manana Secure August Red; 2, Robin Orr, Ballyportery Esquire Grace; 3, Thomas Martin, Ashmar Doorman Bliss.
Best junior cow – 1, Ryan O’Flynn, Graffin Laura 4; 2, Alan and Leanne Paul, Panda Strike It Rich Red; 3, Robin Orr, Boghill Glamour Skywalker HC Carlin B.
Best senior cow – 1, Alan and Leanne Paul, Wiltor Mesdoor Jasmine; 2, Thomas Martin, Ashmar Superstyle Roxy; 3, Denis Foreman, Knockbracken Brewmaster Crystal.
Best 70T cow – 1, Alan and David Irwin, Redhouse Jabir Lila Z; 2, Norman and Nathanael McCollum, Bellemont Mogul Lexi; 3, Robin Orr, Ballyportery Alad Etielle Red 2.
Cow family group – 1, Alan and Leanne Paul, August family; 2, Robin Orr, Etielle Red family; 3, Ryan O’Flynn, Helen family.
Bull progeny group – 1, Brian McCloskey, Co-op Aardema Black Jack; 2, Alan and Leanne Paul, Ri-Val-Re Rager Red; 3, Caryn Webster, Roylane Boxer Punch 4311.
Small Herd – 1, Ryan O’Flynn, Graffin; 2, Brian McCloskey, Glenbrook; 3, Michael McBride, Daisybride.
Medium Herd – 1, Alan and Leanne Paul, Slatabogie; 2, Matthew Breen, Cherryblossom; 3, Thomas Martin, Saltwater.
Large Herd – 1, Robin Orr, Ballyportery; 2, Denis Foreman, Knockbracken; 3, Norman and Nathanael McCollum, Bellemont.
Best heifer – 1, William and James Crawford, Ardmore Crusha Jill; 2, Wallace and Daniel Patton, Greenisle Artisan Ruth Red; 3, George and Jason Booth, Beechview System Ruth.
Best junior cow – 1, George and Jason Booth, Sterndale Fitzlambda Airy; 2, William and James Crawford, Ardmore Brady Jill; 2, Ivor Broomfield, Millfarm Solomon Twizzle.
Best senior cow – 1, William and James Crawford, Ardmore Pine Tree Sid Jill; 2, Henry Thompson, Caddyview Aftershock Moyra; 3, George and Jason Booth, Beechview Rockset Pepper Bridget.
Best 70T cow – 1, George and Jason Booth, Laurelmore Ares Pia S; 2, Bolton Bros, Carrickfarm Sam Ella; 3, Ivor Broomfield, Moneyquin Uno Kathy.
Cow family group – 1, Robert, Stewart, Georgia family; 2, Ivor Broomfield, Rose family; 3, William and James Crawford, Freda family.
Bull progeny group – 1, Bolton Bros, Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul; 2, JT and HM Henning and Sons, Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul; 3, Andrew Magowan, Mr Chassity Gold Chip.
Small Herd – 1, William and James Crawford, Ardmore; 2, Ivor Broomfield, Moneyquin; 3, Andrew Magowan, Bannwater.
Medium Herd – 1, Wallace and Daniel Patton, Greenisle; 2, Bolton Bros, Carrickfarm; 3, JT and HM Henning and Sons, Cornagrally.
Large Herd – 1, George and Jason Booth, Beechview; 2, Robert Stewart, Quinton; 3, Henry Thompson, Caddyview.
Best heifer – 1, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Unix Ruth 2; 2, Cyril and Martin Millar, Stardale Altalawson Vaakje; 3, Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Crushtime Maude 3.
Best junior cow – 1, Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Undenied Apple; 2, Cyril and Martin Millar, Peak Chief Fran; 3, George and David Simpson, Damm Fitz Beth.
Best senior cow – 1, Sam and John McCormik, Hallow RC Atwood Embrace; 2, Wilson and Andrew Patton, Ards Kingboy Beyonce; 3, Lois Kirkpatrick, Glenbank Goodwhone S Diana.
Best 70T cow – 1, R McLean and Sons, Relough Million Danna 6; 2, Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Windbrook Maude; 3, David and Alan Wallace, Abercorn Mast Bolt Shirley.
Cow family group – 1, R McLean and Sons, Danna family; 2, Sam and John McCormick, Embrace family; 3, George and David Simpson, Beth family.
Bull progeny group – 1, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Delaberge Pepper; 2, R McLean and Sons, Claynook Casper; 3, Wilson and and Andrew Patton, Claynook Casper.
Small Herd – 1, Inch Genetics, Inch; 2, William Robert and Brian Graham, Moorcastle; 3, Paul Dunn, Dunbanard.
Medium Herd – 1, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill; 2, Norman and David McNaugher, Mullaugher; 3, Alan McMurray, Matfield.
Large Herd – 1, Wilson and Andrew Patton, Ards; 2, R McLean and Sons, Relough; 3, S and J McCormick, Hilltara.
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