THERE was an excellent turnout of members, frie-
nds and guests at Holstein Northern Ireland’s 22nd ann-ual dinner and presentation of awards, held in Ballymena.
Club chairman Iain McLean extended a warm welcome: “We didn’t have a dinner last year due to the pandemic, but I am very pleased that we were able to host the event this year. I’d like to welcome our guests, and thank everyone who has made the effort to support the dinner.”
Guests included Holstein UK president John Jamieson and his wife Helen, from Dumfries; Irish Holstein Friesian Association president PJ
Kelly and his wife Anne, from County Westmeath, and Holstein NI president James Walker and his wife Margaret.
During his address Iain McLean outlined that the club was going from strength-to-strength. “It is encouraging to note that a dozen new members have joined Holstein NI since September.”
He went on to give a resume of the club’s activities throughout the year, including the successful Holstein Young Breeders’ Club stockjudging practices hosted by the Dunbanard and Annaghmore herds, and the calf show at Dungannon, which attracted more than 100 entries.
“Congratulations to Chrissy Gordon and Ruth Pearson on winning the supreme championship at the calf show.
“The reserve championship and exhibitor-bred awards went to Alan and Leanne Paul’s Slatabogie herd. Well-done to the showmanship winners, Lauren Henry, Jessica Hall and Ava Montgomery. A special mention to young Tom McCormick for winning the novice class in a 16-strong entry.”
Iain McLean spoke briefly about the challenges faced by farmers, such as rising fertiliser, concentrate and energy costs. On a positive note, he highlighted the success of the Summer Sizzler sale where prices hit a ceiling of 14,000gns. Mr McLean also mentioned the club’s shows and sales conducted by Taaffe Auctions, and urged members to support the monthly Dungannon Dairy Sale, firmly established as a one-stop shop for quality pedigree and commercial dairy stock.
The annual Herds Inspection Competition attracted almost 70 entries, with Jim and Nicholas McCann’s Simlahill herd collecting the premiership title for the fifth time in nine years. The herd competition results were announced at a barbecue and charity auction held at Dungannon Rugby Club in July. The hugely successful event was well supported and raised a staggering £28,500 for two charities – Friends of the Cancer Centre and Teen Challenge Belfast.
A number of keen showmen and women welcomed the return of Balmoral Show in September. The McLean family’s Priestland herd secured the supreme championship with the home-bred cow Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose EX96 (3). The reserve award went to Philip and Simon Haffey’s Glasson Atwood J Erle EX93, with Cyril and Martin Millar’s Greenlea Applicable Rhapsody cl-aiming the honourable mention title.
The junior championship went to Clive and Joel Richardson’s Annaghmore Fitz Atlee, while the runner-up was the Haffey family’s Glasson McCutchen P Gail VG88.
Amy Reynolds, from Friends of
the Cancer Centre, and Brian Madden from Teen Challenge Bel-fast, attended the dinner and were delighted to receive cheques for £14,250 each. Both spoke briefly about the charities they represent, and expressed their gratitude for Holstein NI’s generous donation.
Friends of the Cancer Centre was established 35 years ago, and has been supplementing the work of the NHS by enhancing patient comfort, providing additional care and sp-ecialist staff, and funding research.
Teen Challenge Belfast is a Christian-based organisation which reaches out and helps people who have been consumed by various forms of addition, notably drugs and alcohol.
Irish Holstein Friesian Association president PJ Kelly said it was an honour to attend Holstein NI’s annual dinner. He said both organisations had a ‘love for Holstein cows’ and forged a strong friendship over the years. Mr Kelly congratulated the club on its recent successes, and conveyed his best wishes for the future.
Holstein UK president John Jamieson runs the 200-cow Firth herd near Dumfries. A third-generation dairy farmer, he established the Firth prefix in 1982 by grading-up and buying-in embryos and elite calves. The farm has been organic since 1999. Mr Jamieson praised the versatility of the Holstein breed and its ability to adapt and perform in a variety of systems.
John Jamieson gave a resume of the society’s recent activities, the Premier Herd Open Day at Berryholme, UK Dairy Day which attracted 7,000 visitors, and the All-Britain All-Breeds Calf Show. He also reported an increase in registrations, genomic testing and classifications.
Concluding, Mr Jamieson cong-ratulated Holstein NI on raising £28,500 for charity, and extended a warm welcome for breeders from Northern Ireland to visit the Holstein Celebration in south west Scotland on June 28-29.
Guest speaker for the evening was David Radcliffe from north Antrim, who talked about his life and battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a very rare type of cancerous tumour affecting bones and surrounding soft tissue.
He is a fundraiser for the Boom Foundation, a charity founded in
2013 which supports patients diagnosed with the disease, and their families.
The Matthews family from the Lisnasure herd donated an artisan food hamper. Proceeds from a ‘guess the value of the hamper’ competition, and the raffle raised £1,560 for the Boom Foundation. The winner of the hamper was John Barkley from Ballymena.
Iain McLean concluded by thanking the Matthews family, and everyone who donated prizes for the raffle.
The awards were presented by Mrs Helen Jamieson. Award winners include:
Ulster Bank Cup, for the best small herd in the premier section of Herd Competition: Jim Morrison and James Cleland, Inch Genetics.
Aubrey Patterson Cup, for the best large herd in the senior section of the Herd Competition: Sam and John McCormick, Hilltara Herd.
Bobby Gibney Perpetual Challenge Cup, for the best medium herd in the senior section of the Herd Competition: Paul Dunn, Dunbanard Herd.
Ulster Bank Cup, for the best new entrant in the junior section of the Herd Competition: Alwyn Burns, Curlough Herd.
Ulster Bank Shield, for the best senior cow: McLean Family, Priestland Herd.
Ulster Bank Shield, for the best heifer: Lewis McMurray and Sons, Matfield Herd.
Award for the best exhibitor-bred heifer: Lewis McMurray and Sons.
Award for the best exhibitor-bred senior cow: McLean Family.
Cow Family Trophy, for the best cow family: Lewis McMurray and Sons.
CBS Silver Cow Trophy, for the best bull progeny group: McLean Family.
Channon Heenan Memorial Trophy, for the exhibitor gaining the most points at the RUAS Winter Fair: McLean Family.
Cooper Memorial Cup, for the junior champion at Balmoral Show: Joel Richardson.
Craigbet Rosan Trophy, for the winner of the production class at Balmoral Show: McLean Family.
Holstein Friesian Perpetual Challenge Cup, for the supreme champion at Balmoral Show: McLean Family.
John Thompson and Sons Ltd Perpetual Challenge Cup, for the champion bull at Kilrea December (2019): Stuart Smith, Prehen Herd.
Magheralave Cup, for the female champion at the December (2019) Dungannon Dairy Sale: S Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Herd.
Milk Quality Trophy, for the highest placed PLI bull at the February (2020) sale in Dungannon: Stuart Smith.
Norbrook Laboratories Perpetual Challenge, for the champion bull at the March sale in Kilrea: William Black, Keely Herd.
Automart YMA Trophy, for the President’s Medal Nominee: John McLean.
Smiddiehill Trophy, for the Littlestar Nominee: Harry Orr.
ND Berry Cup, for the highest placed competition (over 18) in the linear judging competition: John McLean.
Trophy for the highest placed competition (under 18) in the linear judging competition: Harry Orr.
Hamish Logan Trophy for the champion handler at the Calf Show: Lauren Henry.
HYB Rosebowl for the supreme champion at the Calf Show: Christopher Gordon and Ruth Pearson.
Florrie Wilson Cup, for the exhibitor-bred champion at the Calf Show: Alan Paul and Family, Slatabogie Herd.
McCann Shield, for the reserve champion at the Calf Show: Alan Paul and Family.
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