It was the first weekend held since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic and what a success it has been for the Northern Ireland contingent.
On Saturday, members participated in National Competitions Day. This sees members who have qualified in the Stock Judging and Lineal Assessment events compete at national level against club members from across Scotland, Wales and England. The annual competition day was organized by Belaw Farming, Northallerton. The herd judging competition took place first and the six qualified members each judged three classes, milking heifer, junior cow and senior cow before giving reasons on a class assigned to each age group. The linear evaluation competition began in the afternoon with six members each performing a full evaluation of four cows.
Throughout the day there were a number of side activities for members in the sweltering heat, such as judging goats, quizzes, throwing the sheaf, driving diggers and even judging Yorkshire pudding! There was also a hotly contested “it’s a knockout” competition in which the Northern Ireland members had three teams compete.
The results were then announced in the late afternoon for stock judging and linear valuation. The Northern Ireland team featured in all sections of the results which were;
Ben Reid, Drumbo – 3rd junior, joined by Jack Orr, Ballymena to form the 4th junior team
Robert Stewart, Portaferry – 3rd senior, joined by John McLean, Bushmills to finish 3rd overall for the senior team
Max Watson, Coleraine – 3rd junior
James Patton, Carrowdore – 3rd Intermediate
The Equity Judging Team of Max Watson, Coleraine, David Hamilton, Bangor, James Patton, Carrowdore, Harry Orr, Ballymena, Matthew and John McLean, Bushmills ranked second in the overall UK Judging Team United at the national event.
Sunday was followed by the annual ‘Field-2-Foto’ competition. This is where members receive a calf which they must prepare from the “field” to the show ring – before taking a professional photo. Each club is eligible to enter two teams, an A team and a B team for this hotly contested competition.
It’s safe to say that the members of Northern Ireland stole the show at this year’s event by winning both sections of the competition.
Team A consisted of Mark Henry, Stranocum, Harry Orr, Ballymena, Leah Steele, Crumlin, James Patton, Carrowdore and Lauren Henry, Stranocum. The event saw 20 different A-teams compete against each other from all over the UK.
Team B saw John Mclean, Bushmills, Max Watson, Coleraine, Jack Orr, Ballymena, John Hamilton, Bangor and Tom McKnight, Lisburn participate.
The individual “Field-2-Foto” results were:
National Clippings Contest – 1st Place Mark Henry with Harry Orr
Washing – 4th place Leah Steele and James Patton
Direction – 1st place Lauren Henry
Photo competition – 1st ranked team
Newspaper clipping contest – 1st place John McLean with Max Watson
Washing – 3rd place Jack Orr and John Hamilton
Showmanship – 2nd place Tom McKnight
Photography contest – 1st ranked team.
Results were also revealed for the parallel competitions the day before, which saw Robert Stewart, Portaferry, take first place in the throwing sheaf competition.
All in all, everyone in attendance had a great weekend and the return to normal was very well received. The Northern Ireland team have done their club immensely proud and come away with the best set of results the club has seen for several years and much credit goes to all the members who have represented the club from Ireland North at a high level. Thanks also to Holstein UK and members of the North East HYB Organizing Committee for organizing and hosting a great weekend for all members to enjoy. The Northern Ireland HYB members are already looking forward to returning next year to defend their best titles.