May 2014: Bellemont herd hosts Holstein NI stockjudging competition
Members of the Northern Ireland Holstein Young Breeders’ Club travelled from throughout the province to compete at Holstein NI’s annual stockjudging competition sponsored by Ecosyl.
This year’s event was hosted by the 300-cow Bellemont herd owned by Norman and Nancy McCollum, Coleraine, County Londonderry.
Master judge was Tom Kelly, owner of the well-known Monamore Herd based at Drogheda, County Louth. He thanked Holstein NI for its hospitality, and said that the four classes which included junior and senior heifers, and junior and senior cows, presented a challenge for the young and experienced judges taking part in the competition.
“It is encouraging to see such a good turnout of Holstein Young Breeders’ Club members. They took the competition very seriously, and their structured reasoning skills were excellent.”
The event is organised to give HYB members an opportunity to qualify for a place on the team representing Northern Ireland at Holstein UK’s National Competitions Day.
HYB co-ordinator Andrew Kennedy said:”A special word of thanks to the Killane, Matfield and Lisnamuck herds, who hosted stockjudging and linear practices ahead of today’s competition. Each competitor’s highest score from the practice sessions is added to today’s score, and the top-placed individuals in each age category will go forward to the national finals.”
“Thanks also to our coaches and mentors Ashley Fleming, Mark Logan and Denis Torrens, for their dedication and assistance during the practice nights.”
Andrew Kennedy announced the winners in each hotly contested category:
HYB Junior class – 1, Ellie McLean, Bushmills; 2, Brian Weatherup, Carrickfergus; 3, Tom McKnight, Drumbo.
HYB Intermediate class – 1, Mark Henry, Stranocum; 2, John McLean, Bushmills; 3, Matthew McLean, Bushmills.
HYB Senior class – 1, Scott McLean, Coleraine; 2, Andrew Patton, Newtownards; 3, William Bolton, Maghera.
Open class – 1, Ian Watson, Macosquin; 2, Robbie Smith, Londonderry; 3, Gary Watson, Macosquin.
The 2014 National Competitions Day takes place on Saturday, 31st May at Richard and Ruth Pilkington’s Aintree Herd, based at Wrexham, North Wales. The HYB stockjudging team representing Northern Ireland includes: junior - Ellie McLean, Bushmills; intermediate - Mark Henry, Stranocum; and senior - Andrew Patton, Newtownards.
The linear judging team qualifiers are: junior – Harry Orr, Cloughmills, and Ellie McLean; Intermediate – Mark Henry and William McCormick, Ballycastle; Senior – William Bolton, Maghera, and Andrew Patton.
Holstein NI chairman Gaston Wallace thanked the McCollum family for their hospitality, and Tom Kelly for giving up his time to act as master judge. “We’ve had a very enjoyable day, and thanks again to our sponsor Derek Nelson, representing Ecosyl forage inoculants from Volac, and to everyone who contributed to the successful running of this year’s competition.
“Finally, congratulations to all of the prize winners, and good luck to the HYB members who are destined for the national finals at the end of this month.”