By Julie Hazelton
ENGLISH judge Alan Timbrell praised the quality of the Holsteins on parade at the 152nd Balmoral Show, hosted by the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society at Balmoral Park.
“It has been a great show, with quality and depth of breeding in all classes. The entries were well turned out, and there are some fantastic cows and heifers. Thanks to the RUAS for putting on a show in challenging times, and for inviting me to judge.”
Catching Mr Timbrell’s eye to secure the supreme overall breed championship was the senior cow, and winner of the production class, Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose EX96(3) SP, exhibited by Holstein NI chairman Iain McLean and family from Bushmills.
This home-bred cow is nearing the end of her fifth lactation and is still producing 52 litres daily at 4.61% butterfat and 3.38% protein. Her lifetime yield is in excess of 100 tonnes of milk. Sired by the noted Picston Shottle, her dam was Pierstein Talent Ruby. Due her sixth calf in early December, she is one of 150 dairy cows at Priestland, which is predominately Holstein with a small number of coloured breeds in the mix.
“This cow gets better every year. She is a fantastic example of the Holstein breed, and has great finesse for a mature cow,” added the judge.
Priestland Shot J Rose is one of the highest classified cows in Northern Ireland, and has carved an illustrious show career. She has won multiple Holstein and interbreed championships, including 2019 re-serve champion of champions at Omagh Show; the 2018 Thompsons Dairy Cow of the Year Award; and best senior cow and best 70T cow in the premier section of Holstein NI’s 2021 Herds Inspection Competition.
Standing in reserve position was Glasson Atwood J Erle EX93 bred by Philip and Simon Haffey, Portadown. This one is by Maple Downs IGW Atwood, and bred from Glasson Jasper Form Erle EX90 LP60 SP. She gave 10,338kgs at 5.17% butterfat and 3.44% protein in her second 305-day lactation.
Mr Timbrell commented: “The reserve champion is another good cow with a great future ahead of her.”
The honourable mention award went to Cyril and Martin Millar’s Greenlea Applicable Rhapsody.
Sired by Stantons Applicable, she was bred from Greenlea MG Rhapsody, and purchased in early July at the inaugural Summer Sizzler Sale in Ballymena for 5200gns.
“Another fantastic young animal, displaying all the qualities I look for in a dairy cow.”
Claiming the junior championship ribbons was Annaghmore Fitz Atlee owned by Clive and Joel Richardson, Annaghmore, and exhibited by herd manager Josh Ebron. This Toc Farm Fitz daughter was bred from Nobold Doorman SVS Atlee ET VG86 – purchased at the Black and White Sale at Carlisle. Calved three months, she is yielding 43 litres per day on a robotic milking system.
Established in 2017, the Ann-aghmore Herd comprises of 70 pedigree Holstein cows. This was the Annaghmore team’s second outing to Balmoral Show, and they were delighted to secure their first-ever championship award.
“The junior champion came from an outstanding class of in-milk heifers. She oozes youthfulness, has beautiful balance throughout, and a tremendous udder with super veination,” said Mr Timbrell.
The reserve junior title went to the Haffey family’s Glasson McCutchen P Gail VG88. She is a daughter of De-Su BKM McCutchen, and out of Glasson Platinum F Gail EX92(2) LP60 SP.
In a break from tradition, Mr Timbrell judged all dairy classes, including the interbreed championships, at the 152nd show – a similar format to the RUAS Winter Fair. The jury is out on the new regime, with many exhibitors and spectators in favour of the traditional format of one individual judge for each dairy breed.
When it came to the interbreed championship, Mr Timbrell award-ed the reserve overall award to the McLean family’s Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose.
The Holstein duo made up of Greenlea Applicable Rhapsody and Glasson Atwood J Erle won the dairy pairs championship. They were joined by Glasson McCutchen P Gail, with the trio taking the runner-up spot in the interbreed dairy group line-up.
The Holstein breed also won the dairy presentation award.