The winners of the Holstein UK Awards at this year's Dairy Day, which took place on Wednesday, September 11, reflect the high standards within the industry.

H Wright & Son of the Berryholme herd were crowned as winners of the prestigious Holstein UK Premier Herd competition, recognising herds achieving the very best breeding status.

To enable the award to be associated with existing local herd competitions, each club nominates a single herd to represent it in this category, following their own herd competition. The nominated club winners then compete against neighbouring clubs to become one of the seven regional winners and finalists in the National Premier Pedigree Herd Competition.

Francis and David Wright who farm 140 cows, plus followers, just outside of the Lake District in South Cumbria have 250 acres down to grass. The herd are all year round calving, milked twice a day through a herringbone parlour and are housed in sand cubicles. On average, the herd are achieving 10,864kg at 4.17% BF and 3.16% P.

The Berryholme prefix was first registered in the late 1960’s by Francis, along with his father Harold before being developed further with the help of Francis’ wife Anne and his right-hand man, Thomas Atkinson. David joined the team full time in the early 2000s and has focused on renowned purebred families, including Flo, Linda, Maud, Avis, Erle, Rose, Dandy, Rae and Lasenza, to develop the strongest original lines. Today, the herd has 33 EX animals and 79 VG.

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Berryholme have seen great success on the show circuit with notable achievements including National Holstein Show Champion in 2003, 2010 and 2015, Agriscot Champion in 2002 and the Great Yorkshire Show Champion in 2015.

National judge, and 2018 winner, Dennis Smith of the Oakroyal herd, visited each of the finalists and said: “all of the herds I visited were of an excellent standard and it was a huge pleasure to visit each herd and learn more about their history.

"It was a tough decision, but I am delighted to place the Berryholme herd as my winners. They had the best in-milk heifers and consistently the best progeny with the udders in the right place. They were stand out winners who scored all the way through and they are a world class herd which everyone should see. I thoroughly enjoyed my time judging the competition.”

The Holstein UK Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates an individual who has unassumingly provided outstanding service to the Holstein breed and through doing so has made a remarkable contribution to the Society. David Hastings, who won the 2019 award, has been the backbone of the Western Holstein Club for many years and is very familiar on the nationwide show circuit.

The Howard Sneesby Memorial Trophy recognises an individual who has made a significant difference to others through their support of the Holstein National Show. The Holstein UK Show & Sale Committee were delighted to select Carl Smith as the winner of this wonderful accolade. Carl from Preston, Lancashire, has been involved in farming from a very young age and understands the dairy sector inside and out

The seven regional winners are:

Northern Ireland - McLean Family of the Priestland Herd

Wales - W P & E G Williams of the Waliswood Herd

Eastern - Messrs Winter of the Corringham Herd

Scotland - S W Roan of the Colvend Herd

Western - R T Tudor & Son of the Hallon Herd

Northern - H Wright & Son of the Berryholme Herd

Southern - R D Horton & Son of the Hinton Herd

Michael Smale, Holstein UK Chairman, concluded: “On behalf of the Society, I would like to congratulate H Wright & Son who have been awarded the esteemed title of 2019 Premier Herd. This is a wonderful achievement, especially with such as fantastic line-up of contenders.”

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