April 2011: Holstein NI open day attracts a large crowd
A large crowd basked in the sunshine at Holstein NI’s open day and stockjudging finals, hosted by the Reid family at Drumbo, County Down. The event was generously sponsored by Ecosyl Products Ltd.
Managed on a daily basis by the father and son team of Desi and Gary Reid the Drumbo Holstein prefix dates back to 1951. The herd currently comprises of over 400 cows producing an average in excess of 11,000 kilos at 3.9% butterfat and 3.3% protein on three-times-a-day milking.
Budding judges, both novice and experienced, were presented with four classes of stock, senior cows, junior cows, senior heifers and junior heifers, all of which were in-milk.
Master judge for the event was noted pedigree breeder, Kenny Boyd, who runs the 50-cow Glaslough herd and a poultry enterprise in partnership with his brother, David.
“This is a tremendous dairy farm, very well managed and home to some top-quality cattle,” explained the County Monaghan-based judge. “The cows are very impressive and display great dairyness and a will to milk. These Holstein cows are exactly what the modern dairy business needs.
“I was also very impressed with Gary Reid’s knowledge of each individual cow. In a herd this size it is very difficult to recognise each and every cow individually. Gary is full of enthusiasm for his business and has an in-depth knowledge of the pedigree and cow families behind the animals,” added Kenny Boyd.
The main aim of the stockjudging and linear competition is to select a team of Holstein Young Breeders to represent Northern Ireland at Holstein UK’s National Competitions Day. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, July 9, at the Thomas family’s Gatrog herd based at Carmarthen in Wales.
HYB co-ordinator, Mrs Hilary, announced the winners in each hotly contested section. They were:
HYB Junior section - 1, Matthew Muldrew, Armagh; 2, James McCorry, Aghalee; 3, James Weatherup, Ballyclare.
HYB Intermediate section- 1, John McDowell; 2, Mark Henry, Stranocum; 3, Andrew Patton, Newtownards.
HYB Senior section – 1, Jonathan Lyons, Coleraine; 2, Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena; 3, Scott McLean.
Open class – 1, Wilson Patton, Newtownards; 2, Ashley Fleming, Seaforde; 3, Trevor Muldrew, Armagh.
Mrs Wilson continued: “A special word of thanks to the Fordwich and Kilvergan herds who hosted stockjudging practice sessions ahead of today’s final. Each competitors highest score from the practice nights will be added to today’s score to determine who represents Northern Ireland at the National Finals. Thanks also to Beattie Lilburn and Ashley Fleming for mentoring and coaching our HYB members, and to Richard Graham, for sharing his linear expertise.”
The HYB judges representing Northern Ireland at the July finals are:
Junior – Matthew Muldrew, Armagh, and reserve Matthew McLean, Bushmills.
Intermediate – Josh McDowell, Dromore, and reserve Andrew Patton, Newtownards.
Senior – Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena, and reserve Jonathan Lyons, Coleraine.
The linear judging team comprises of the following members:
Junior – John McLean, Bushmills, Matthew Muldrew, Armagh, and reserve Lyndon Fleming, Seaforde.
Intermediate – Hannah Lilburn, Moira, Daniel Patton, Newtownards, and reserve Andrew Patterson, Crumlin.
Senior – Scott McLean, Coleraine, Alan Porter, Drumbo, and reserve Conor McAufield, Lisburn.
Holstein NI chairman, Alan Cleland, thanked the Reid family, Desi and Carol, Gary and Fiona, for their warm welcome and hospitality. “We’ve had excellent weather and delicious food provided by members of First Drumbo Boys Brigade. A sincere thank you to you all!”
“As a club we are very appreciative of all the hard work and effort that has went on behind the scenes to make today possible. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the successful running of this year’s Holstein NI open day and stockjudging finals.
“Thanks also to our sponsor, Ecosyl Products Ltd, represented by UK and Northern Ireland manager, Derek Nelson.”
Holstein NI vice-chairman, Jay Warden, proposed a vote of thanks, and the Reid family were presented with small tokens of the club’s appreciation.
Desi Reid added:” It was a pleasure to have you all. We have had an enjoyable day and are pleased to have been able to help the Holstein Young Breeders. They are the future of the Holstein breed.”
A charity raffle organised by the NI Holstein Young Breeders’ Club raised £145 for the NI Children’s Hospice.
The Reid family and First Drumbo Boys Brigade would like to thank the following organisations for their generous donations: Alta Genetics, Genus ABS, Emo Oil, Farmgate Nutrition, Farmview Dairies, FS Herron, Lisburn Vet Clinic, McKelvey Bros, Porter Contracts and S M McKee. The donations and proceeds from the event raised almost £2,000 for club funds.
Forthcoming Holstein NI events include:
- Tuesday, May 3 – Bull show and sale, Kilrea Mart.
- Wednesday, May 18 – Female show and sale, Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira.
- Wednesday, August 10 – Causeway Classic Sale III, Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira.
- Saturday, August 20 – Multi-breed Calf Show (Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey), Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira.