By Andrew Patton
NORTHERN Ireland HYB members are gearing up for their second stock judging event of the year, which is being held next week, Wednesday April 20, at the Orr family’s Ballyportery Holsteins, Ballymena. The event will start at 7.30pm sharp.
Robin, along with sons Harry and Jack, farm the 200 cow Ballyportery herd, which is based at 60 Ballyportery Road, Calcum, Ballymena, BT44 9BN.
Three years ago, the decision was made to update the milking facilities with a robotic system being opted for. Since then, the average rolling yield is an impressive 11,600kgs per cow at 3.96% fat and 3.29% protein. Robin and sons also took delivery of a Lely Discovery yard scraper, which is a valuable addition to the unit.
The Orr family have invested heavily in new bloodlines over the years. New additions to Ballyportery include the world-renowned Carlin family, with a recent highlight being the VG88 point 2-year-old – Boghill Glamour Skywalker H C Carlin B ET. Other families include August & Etielle Red along with many homebred solid cow lines.
Club Co-Cordinator Jessica Hall, Nutts Corner, said “We are looking forward to what is set to be another great event and it was really encouraging to see such a great attendance at our first in this year’s series of stock judging events.”
The first event of the year was hosted by Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Holsteins, Bangor. There was a great turnout at the event with 50 members competing across the three qualifying age groups and the open section.
Jim and Nicholas had provided two great classes for the members and it certainly proved to be no easy judging task. The results from the first event are as follows;
Junior section – 1st Max Watson, Coleraine; 2nd Ben Reid, Drumbo; 3rd Oliver Patton, Carrowdore.
Intermediate section – 1st James Patton, Carrowdore; 2nd Callum Reid, Drumbo; 3rd Lucy Steele, Crumlin.
Senior section – 1st John McLean, Bushmills; 2nd Matthew Mclean, Bushmills; 3rd tie Leah Steele, Crumlin & Robert Stewart, Portaferry.
Open section – 1st Iain McLean, Bushmills; 2nd tie Gary Reid, Drumbo & John McCormick, Bangor; 3rd tie Ian McKnight, Drumbo, Heather Martin, Portaferry & Cyril and Martin Millar, Coleraine.
Thanks go to Jim and Nicholas for hosting the event and to wives Avril and Jill for the hospitality provided, it was much appreciated by all members. Thanks also go to our two coaches Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore and Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena.
Members are reminded that in order to qualify for the National stock judging competition in August, it is their highest two scores taken across the three judging events, so even if you missed the first event at Simlahill, it’s not too late to be in with a chance of qualifying.
This year the National competition will be held at Belaw Farming in Northallerton, England on August 13. Please also note the change in date for the final stock judging event which is now June 2 at the Fleming Family’s Potterswalls herd.
Northern Ireland HYB are indebted to Lely Centre Eglish for their sponsorship of the stock judging events this year and thank them for their continued support.
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