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June 2015: Simlahill remains at top of Holstein premiership

Ulster Bank herds inspection competition results announced

For the second year in succession the McCann family’s 180-cow Simlahill Herd has been crowned winner of Holstein NI’s Ulster Bank-sponsored Herds Inspection Competition.

The Bangor-based herd is owned and managed by the father and son team of Jim and Nicholas McCann. The Simlahill herd is no stranger to success in the competition, having won the premiership award in 2012 and 2014. They were runner-up in 2013.

Dating back to 1990 the Simlahill prefix has been developed with strong emphasis on type and longevity, and prolific cow families include Danoise, Georgina, Oralie and Willow.

AI is used exclusively across the herd, with sires such as Commander, Doorman, Dempsey and Picston Shottle featuring in the breeding policy.

Milked twice daily, the herd boasts a 305-day average of 10,700kgs per cow at 3.92% butterfat and 3.24% protein. The Simlahill herd is one of the top classified herds in the British Isles, and last year received Master Breeder status from Holstein UK. Current classifications include 73EX and 85VG, with the remainder of the herd ranked as Good Plus.

As well as claiming the top award, the Simlahill Herd won the prize for the best senior cow in the hotly contested premier section. The home-bred sixth calver Simlahill Outside Dallas EX94(3) went on to win the award for the best overall senior cow for the third successive year.

Sponsored by Ulster Bank, Holstein NI’s herds inspection competition continues to attract an unprecedented number of entries annually.  Club secretary and competition co-ordinator John Martin confirmed that a record number of almost 70 herds participated in this year’s competition.

Speaking at the awards presentation BBQ, held in Dungannon, Ulster Bank’s agricultural manager Cormac McKervey said he was amazed at the high level of entries taking part.

“The competition is growing on an annual basis, and we are delighted to continue with our sponsorship. The number and standard of entries is exceptional, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved. It’s not an easy year for dairy farmers, but I am pleased to see the Holstein breeders are in good heart and showcasing their herds.”

Holstein NI chairman Stuart Smith thanked Ulster Bank for its continued support. “I would also like to thank the judges and stewards who contributed to the smooth running of this year’s competition. It’s a mammoth task, and quite a challenge driving around finding farms and keeping to schedule.

“This has been a largest competition to date, and I’d like to congratulate all of the entrants who continue to fly the flag for Holstein genetics in Northern Ireland. “ You do the club proud, and I am honoured to be chairman.”

Separate judges were appointed for each section of the competition - junior, senior and premier.

Premier herd judge Brian Weatherup Snr from the 180-cow Lesmay and Parkend herds in Fife, Scotland, thanked Holstein NI for inviting him to judge. “It has been a tremendous competition, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the excellent hospitality.

“I never thought the number of entries and the quality of cattle would be as strong. “The placings were very close, and there was very little between the highest placed competitors in each class.”

The junior section of the competition was judged by William Crawford from the Ardmore Herd based at Brookeborough, County Fermanagh. “I was totally overwhelmed by the standard of entries in the junior section. It was a real pleasure to visit so many well managed herds and see so many good cows. I would like to congratulate everyone and thank them for their generous hospitality.

Senior section judge Robert Wallace, Templepatrick, thanked Holstein NI for its invitation. “It has been five years since I judged the junior section, and since then a new trend has evolved with more and more breeders keeping their cows housed. The herds I visited were well managed, and I was impressed with the number of productive dairy cows with hard wearing udders and sound legs and feet. Congratulations to all the competitors.

Results from the 2015 Herds Inspection Competition include:

Best Overall Herd: Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill.

Best Overall Heifer : Philip and Simon Haffey, Glasson Meridian Balise.

Best Overall Junior Cow: Stephen Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Amazing Snowball.

Best Overall Senior Cow: Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Outside Dallas.

Best Overall Bull Progeny Group: Iain and Joyce McLean,  Picston Shottle.

Best Overall Cow Family: Lewis McMurray and Sons, Melanie.

Junior Section

Best small herd  1, Willard and Adam Watson, Derrydorragh Herd, Coleraine; 2, John Berry, Skybrook Herd, Armagh; 3, Albert Wallace, Cloney Herd, Tobermore; 4, Trevor Keatley, Aghyaran, Castlederg.

Best medium herd- 1, David Simpson, Damm, Lisburn; 2, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley, Clogher; 3, Paul Dunn, Dunbanard, Bangor; 4, I and J Henning, Cornagrally, Loughgilly.

Best large herd - 1, Steven Robinson, Cluntagh, Crossgar; 2, James Lowe, Lowesdale, Carryduff; 3, Conor Casey, Carnhill, Cloughmills; 4, Bolton Bros, Carrickfarm, Maghera.

Best heifer - 1, David and Gary Throne, Willofarm Kitty 75; 2, John Hamilton, Ards Atwood B Lou Ella; 3, Steven Robinson, Cluntagh Atwood Minnie; 4, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley Fever Breeze; 5, David Simpson, Corringham Alchemy Roxy Red; 6, Jonny Lyons, Skerryview Golden Sara.

Best junior cow - 1, Paul Dunn , Dunbanard Alexander Phyllis; 2, David Simpson, Maineview Jeeves Merry; 3, Trevor Keatley, Glaslough Iota Electric; 4, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley Talent Beth 3; 5, John Berry, Skybrook, Weepingash Goldwyn Spicy; 6, David McNaugher, Rosetta Lheros Avis.

Best senior cow - 1, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley Shottle Anita; 2, Paul Dunn, Dunbanard Palermo Sarah; 3, Denis Foreman, Knockbracken Kendall Crystal 5; 4, John Thompson, Cullyhill T Baxter Conny 2; 5, Bolton Bros, Carrickfarm Spoke Ebony; 6, Garry O™Hagan, Bavan Klumper Babs.

Best Cow Family - 1, Conor Casey, Erma; 2, Bolton Bros, Maisie; 3, Richard Charles, Roxanne; 4, James Lowe, Lila; 5, David McNaugher, Valery; 6, David Simpson, Diane.

Best Bull Progeny Group - 1, David and Gary Throne, Gillette Windbrook; 2, Denis Foreman, Joylan Gladiator; 3, Bolton Bros, Glen Valley BW Captain; 4,  John Thompson, Emerald Acres SAT Baxter; 5, David Bloomfield, Cloghervalley Ladino Park Talent; 6, Bertie Kelso, Regancrest Alta Iota.

Senior Section

Best small herd - 1, William Robert Graham, Moorcastle, Kells; 2, Andrew Magowan, Bannwater, Rathfriland; 3, Ivor Bloomfield, Moneyquin, Armagh; 4, William Hunter, Lisnacloon, Castlederg.

Best medium herd - 1, Cyril and Martin Millar, Millars, Coleraine; 2, John Patterson, Ballyginniff, Crumlin; 3, Mervyn Nelson, Tullylea, Maguiresbridge; 4, Mervyn McGimpsey, Towerview, Newtownards.

Best large herd - 1, Stephen Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan, Lurgan; 2, WT Morrow and Sons, Harmonyhill, Newtownards; 3, Henry Thompson, Caddy, Randalstown; 4, Gaston and John Wallace, Printshop, Nutt™s Corner.

Best heifer - 1, Ivor Bloomfield, Moneyquin Lavanguard; 2, Andrew Magowan, Bannwater Goldilocks Sheba 72; 3, Stephen Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Iota Erle; 4, Cyril and Martin Millar, Newabbey Atwood Liza; 5, WT Morrow and Sons, Harmonyhill Stanley Cup Ards; 6, Mervyn McGimpsey, Towerview Dempsey Sara.

Best junior cow - 1, Stephen Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Amazing Snowball; 2, WT Morrow and Sons, Harmonyhill Octane Stargold 8; 3, John Patterson, Ballyginniff Shottle Spotty; 4, William Hunter, Lisnacloon Stanleycup Amy; 5, Gaston and John Wallace, Printshop Ross Gillian 29; 6, Alex and Stephen Brown, Moneyhaw StaNora.

Best senior cow - 1, Cyril and Martin Millar, Rosstemple Mr Minister Cindy; 2, Stephen Haffey and Sons, Kilvergan Duplex Ethel 2; 3, William Robert Graham Laurelhill Dictator Lou Ella; 4, WT Morrow and Sons, Harmonyhill Octane Trix 3; 5, Gaston and John Wallace, Printshop PL Pat 32; 6, Mervyn McGimpsey, Clandeboye Toystory Rosina.

Best Cow Family - 1, Dermot Johnston, Roxie; 2, William Hunter, Amy; 3, Gaston and John Wallace, Sophie; 4, Andrew Mawgowan, Sheba; 5, William Robert Graham, Spearmint.

Best Bull Progeny Group - 1, WT Morrow and Sons, Weeton Octane; 2, Stephen Haffey and Sons, Picston Shottle; 3, Gaston and John Wallace, Dunbanard Golden Balls; 4, Dermot Johnston, Picston Shottle; 5, William Robert Graham, Solid Gold Colby.

Premier Section

Best small herd - 1, Kenneth Totten, Glenbank, Glenavy; 2, David and Austin Perry, Killane, Ahoghill; 3, Jay Warden, Ballygrainey, Newtownards; 4, Inch Genetics, Inch, Downpatrick.

Best medium herd - 1, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill, Bangor; 2, Geoffrey Patton, Carrowcroft, Carrowdore; 3, Philip and Simon Haffey, Glasson, Portadown; 4, Lewis McMurray and Sons, Matfield, Banbridge.

Best large herd - 1, Norman McCollam, Bellemont, Coleraine; 2, Harry Patton and Sons, Ards, Newtownards; 3, Ronald McLean and Sons, Relough, Dungannon; 4, David and Alan Wallace, Abercorn, Antrim.

Best heifer - 1, Philip and Simon Haffey, Glasson Meridan Balise; 2, Wallace Gregg, Frocess Windbrook Queen; 3, Inch Genetics, Inch Destry Jane; 4, Harry Patton and Sons, Ards Uno Sara; 5, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Stanleycup Velvet; 6, Geoffrey Patton, Carrowcroft Lover Ruby.

Best junior cow - 1, Harry Patton and Sons, Ards Atwood Lou Ella; 2, Iain and Joyce McLean, Priestland 4591 Shot Bedazzle; 3, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill L™Authority Shower; 4, Inch Genetics, Inch Mr Sam Roxy; 5, Philip and Simon Haffey, Glasson Shottle G Gloria; 6, Norman McCollum, Bellemont L™Authority Phyl.

Best senior cow - 1, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Outside Dallas; 2, Norman McCollum, Bellemont Baxter Phyl; 3, Harry Patton and Sons, Ards Bolton Lou Ella; 4, Lewis McMurray and Sons, Matfield Jasper 19; 5, Alan Patterson, Herdstown Jenny Lou Zwartina; 6, Jay Warden, Ards Jango Ruth.

Best Cow Family - 1, Lewis McMurray and Sons, Melanie; 2, Norman McCollum, Phyl; 3, Geoffrey Patton, Ruby; 4, Harry Patton and Sons, Rosita; 5, Philip and Simon Haffey, Gloria; 6, Kenneth Totten, Trixie.

Best Bull Progeny Group - 1, Iain and Joyce McLean, Picston Shottle; 2, Ronald McLean and Sons, Prehen Oman; 3, Philip and Simon Haffey, Picston Shottle; 4, Jim and Nicholas McCann, Picston Shottle ; 5, Inch Genetics, Mr Sam; 6, Kenneth Totten, Picston Shottle.

Pictures: David Devennie

Holstein Herds 3

Winners of the 2015 Holstein NI herds inspection competition, Jim, Avril and Nicholas McCann, Simlahill Herd, Bangor, receive their award from Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor; judge Brian Weatherup; and club chairman Stuart Smith.

Holstein Herds 4

Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, left, congratulates premier section award winners, Kenneth Totten, Glenavy, best small herd; Nicholas McCann, Bangor, best medium herd; and Nathanael McCollum, Coleraine, best large herd. Included are Brian Weatherup, Scotland, judge; and Holstein NI chairman Stuart Smith.

Holstein Herds 5

Holstein NI herds inspection competition judges Brian Weatherup, Scotland; Robert Wallace, Templepatrick; and William Crawford, Brookeborough; are pictured at the awards evening with Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor; and club chairman Stuart Smith.

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Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, left, pictured with premier section award winners, Nicholas McCann, best senior cow; Philip Haffey, best heifer; and Andrew Patton, best junior cow.

Holstein Herds 7

Best overall cow family award went to William and Lauren McMurray, Matfield Herd, Banbridge; while Iain and John McLean's Priestland Herd, Bushmills, won the award for the best overall bull progeny group. Making the presentation is Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor.

Holstein Herds 8

Junior section award winners, Adam and Willard Watson, Macosquin, best small herd; and David Simpson, Lisburn, best medium herd, received their awards from Holstein NI chairman Stuart Smith; Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor; and William Crawford, Brookeborough, judge.

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Sponsor Cormac Kervey, Ulster Bank, congratulates junior section prize winners, Joe, John and Sarah Berry, Armagh, reserve best small herd; and David and Joe Bloomfield, Clogher, reserve best medium herd.

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Five-year-old Sarah Berry, and dad John, Skybrook Herd, Armagh, receive their award from Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank.

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Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, congratulates junior section prize winners, David Throne, Strabane, best bull progeny group; and Conor Casey, Cloughmills, best cow family group.

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Junior section award winners, from left: David Throne, Strabane, best heifer; Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, sponsor; David Bloomfield, Clogher, best senior cow; and Paul Dunn, Bangor, best junior cow.

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Sponsor Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, congratulates senior section award winners, Bryan Graham, Kells, best small herd; Timothy Haffey, Lurgan, best large herd; Charlotte Aagaare and Cyril Millar, Coleraine, best medium herd. Included is Robert Wallace, Templepatrick, judge.

Holstein Herds 37

Senior section award winners, Ivor Bloomfield, Armagh, best heifer; Timothy Haffey, Lurgan, best junior cow; and Cyril Millar, Coleraine, best senior cow; with Herds Inspection Competition sponsor Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank.

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Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank, presents senior section awards to Dermot Johnston, Magherafelt, best cow family; and Jim and Matthew Morrow, Newtownards, best bull progeny group.

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