May 2012: Invitation to Holstein NI Stockjudging event
Priestland herd venue on Monday, June 4
Holstein Northern Ireland is extending an open invitation to all black and white enthusiasts to attend its annual stockjudging competition on Monday, June 4.
The event takes place at the noted Priestland herd owned by Iain and Joyce McLean, 76 Priestland Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, BT57 8UP, commencing at 11.30am.
The long-established Priestland prefix comprises of 140 pedigree Holstein cows, and operates a twice daily milking routine, producing an average yield of over 10,000 kilos per cow at 4.18% butterfat and 3.20% protein.
The herd is growing from strength-to-strength, and in recent years Iain McLean has invested heavily in the herd’s breeding programme, importing embryos from the USA and Canada from international cow families such as Ambrosia, Barbie and James Rose.
Progeny of these cattle are being flushed extensively to accelerate genetics within the herd, and bulls currently used include Braxton, Goldsun, Fever and Artes.
The Priestland Herd hit the headlines 2009, when it achieved a 20,000gns European record for an unborn first choice heifer calf at the breed’s Centenary Causeway Classic, held at Balmoral. The embryo was a Braedale Goldwyn from the internationally acclaimed EK Oseeana Ambrosia.
Iain McLean was runner-up in the prestigious NMR Gold Cup in 2008 and 2009. The Priestland herd made its debut in the Holstein showring over two years ago, and has chalked up numerous successes. At this year’s Balmoral Show the McLean family won five out of the nine Holstein classes, and claimed the junior and reserve junior championship titles. The McLean team – Iain, Joyce, Matthew, John and Ellie, also won the reserve Holstein championship at Ballymena’s 114th annual show.
Holstein NI chairman Jay Warden said: “Everyone is welcome. We are delighted that the McLean family have agreed to host our annual stockjudging finals.
“This is an excellent farm with a super herd of high yielding pedigree Holstein cows. This event provides Holstein enthusiasts with an opportunity to visit a progressive herd, and also have some fun by taking part in the club’s annual stockjudging competition. It has been organised to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee holidays, and we hope it will be a great social event for all members of the family.”
Novice and experienced judges can test their skills by placing four classes of cattle – junior heifers, senior heifers, second calvers and mature cows.
Jay Warden added:”The club’s annual judging day is also an important event in the calendar for members of the Holstein Young Breeders’ Club. Over the past few months they have been attending stockjudging and linear practice session, trying to improve their skills in preparation for the big final.”
HYB co-ordinator Jonny Lyons, confirmed that next week’s event will also be the venue for the HYB’s linear judging final.
The top placed HYB competitors in the stockjudging and linear competitions will represent Northern Ireland at Holstein UK’s National Competitions Day, which takes place at Robert and Elaine Butterfield’s Ingleview Herd in Lancashire on Saturday, June 30.
Jay Warden concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsor Derek Nelson of Ecosyl Products Ltd for the company’s generous financial support. “
Derek Nelson, Ecosyl’s regional manager for NI and Scotland added: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of Holstein NI, and I look forward to attending next week’s stockjudging event at Bushmills.”
Following the formal proceedings, members of the HYB are planning to entertain visitors by hosting Farmyard Games.