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Holstein NI selects judges for UK final

Holstein Northern Ireland’s annual stockjudging final, kindly sponsored by Ecosyl Products Limited, attracted a large turnout of members from throughout the Province.

The event was hosted by the 120-cow Ballygrainey herd owned by J Warden and Partners, Bangor, County Down. 

Budding judges, both young and old, were presented with four classes of stock, including senior cows, junior cows, senior heifers and junior heifers, all of which were in-milk.

Master judge for the event was former Irish Holstein Friesian Association president, Mervyn Eager from Newcastle, County Dublin.

Mr Eager said:”I am delighted to have been asked to act as master judge for this event. It is a great farm with a hard working herd of dairy cows. I have seen some great dairy cattle today, and I would like to thank Holstein NI for its kind invitation.”

The main aim of the competition was to select a Holstein Young Breeders team to represent Northern Ireland at Holstein UK’s National stockjudging finals. “This year’s final takes place on Saturday, July 10, and will be hosted by the Miller family who run the noted 250-cow Shanael herd based at Evesham in Worcestershire,” explained HYB co-ordinator, Hilary Wilson.

“A special word of thanks to our master judge, Mervyn Eager, and our hosts, Jay and Claire Warden. A lot of hard work has been put into organising this event, and the cows are looking well. Thank you!”

Mrs Wilson concluded: “Thanks also to Beattie Lilburn and Ashley Fleming who have worked tirelessly over the past few months, coaching the young breeders, and helping them to improve their judging and reason giving skills.”

Club members, Iain and Joyce McLean, Bushmills; Wilson and Wallace Patton, Newtownards; and David and Hilary Wilson, Newtownabbey, had hosted HYB judging practices in preparation for last week’s final. HYB members had to attend at least one practice to be eligible to compete for a place on the Northern Ireland team.

The team selected to represent the Province at national level includes: Mark Henry, Coleraine, (junior); Andrew Patton, Newtownards, (intermediate); and Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena, (senior).

Holstein NI chairman, John Patterson, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone for taking part.  A special thank you to Jay Warden and his family for welcoming us here today; and thank you to our master judge, Mervyn Eager, for making the trip from County Dublin. Thanks also to our club secretary, John Martin, and his assistant, Jayne Martin, who were busy behind the scenes collating the judging scores.”

Concluding, John Patterson added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Derek Nelson from Ecosyl Products Limited for his generous sponsorship.”

Lunch was provided by Ballygrainey Girls Brigade.

Results from Holstein NI’s annual stockjudging final include:

Open class:

  1. Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore;
  2. Robert Wallace, Templepatrick;
  3. Alan Wallace, Antrim.

Best lady judge:

  1. Hannah Lilburn, Moira;
  2. Allison Wilson, Newtownabbey;
  3. Heather Martin, Newtownards.

HYB junior section:

  1. Mark Henry, Coleraine;
  2. Lyndon Fleming, Seaforde;
  3. John McLean, Bushmills.

HYB intermediate section:

  1. Andrew Patton, Newtownards;
  2. Lyndsey Fleming, Seaforde;
  3. Allison Wilson, Newtownabbey.

HYB senior section:

  1. Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena;
  2. John McCormick, Bangor;
  3. Jonathan Lyons, Coleraine.


HYB members John and Matthew McLean, with Mark Henry.

Holstein NI members, Iain McLean, Bushmills, and Wilson Patton, Newtownards.

HYB member, Andrew Patterson, Crumlin, completes his judging card.

John McCormick, Bangor, places one of the classes.

Denis O'Neill, Saintfield.

Having a chat  Jim Stevenson, Kilkeel, and Wallace Patton, Newtownards.

Holstein Young Breeders' Club member, Kate McCormick, Bangor, deep in concentration.

Holstein NI chairman, John Patterson, Crumlin; and vice-chairman, Alan Cleland, Downpatrick.

Having a chat at Holstein NI's annual stockjudging competition, Bangor, are, Carolyn Wilson and Eleanor Holt.

Master judge, Mervyn Eager.

Nicholas McCann, Bangor, and Geoffrey Patton, Newtownards.

Alan Wallace, Antrim, and Robert Wallace, Templepatrick.

Master judge, Mervyn Eager, chats to Holstein NI committee member, Mark Logan, Bangor.

Members of Holstein NI who took part at the club's annual stockjudging competition, held at Bangor.

Holstein NI chairman, John Patterson, right, chats to Derek Nelson, regional manager, Ecosyl Products Limited, sponsor.

Marking their cards: Holstein NI members mark their judging cards as the master judge announces the places in each class.

The top-place lady judges were, from left: Heather Martin, Newtownards, third; Allison Wilson, Newtownabbey, second; and Hannah Lilburn, Moira, first. Adding their congratulations are master judge, Mervyn Eager; and John Patterson, chairman, Holstein NI.

Deep in thought as the master judge delivers his reasons.

Robert Wallace,Templepatrick, second in open class; Jay Warden, Ballygrainey Herd, host; Derek Nelson, regional manager, Ecosyl, sponsor; Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore, winner of open class; Mervyn Eager, master judge; and Alan Cleland, vice-chairman, Holstein NI.

John Patterson, chairman, Holstein NI;  Paul Dunn, Bangor, best senior HYB judge; Derek Nelson, regional manager, Ecosyl, sponsor; Hilary Wilson, HYB co-ordinator; Mark Henry, Coleraine; best junior HYB judge; Andrew Patton, Newtowards, best intermediate HYB judge; and Mervyn Eager, master judge.

Master judge, Mervyn Eager, explains the reasons for his placings.

HYB members who will represent Northern Ireland at the national stockjudging finals, include:  Lyndsey Fleming, Seaforde, reserve; Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena; John McCormick, Bangor, reserve; Andrew Patton, Newtownards; Mark Henry, Coleraine; and Lyndon Fleming, Seaforde, reserve. Adding their congratulations are, HYB co-ordinator, Hilary Wilson; and John Patterson, chairman, Holstein NI.

Derek Nelson, left, Ecosyl, sponsor, and John Patterson, right, chairman, Holstein NI, are pictured with the Warden family, Jay, Claire, Zoe and Erin, of the Ballygrainey Herd


Pictures: Julie Hazelton and Steven McAuley

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