A record 18 high-performing Holstein herds have qualified for Master Breeder status this year - one of the most prestigious recognitions of a breeder's efforts.

Master Breeder status rewards Holstein members whose herds achieve a high standard in both classification and production and, therefore, breed productive, trouble-free, long-living cows that display desirable traits and conformation.

Cows and heifers in each herd are allocated points according to set criteria.

Only animals carrying the member prefix, and which are recorded as having produced a lactation within the last two years, are eligible for inclusion in the calculation.

Herds must achieve an average score of four points or more and a total point score of 150 or more, to qualify as a Master Breeder.

The Master Breeder Winners 2019

This year, a total of 18 breeders from across the UK qualified. They are as follows:

  • ALIANN, J.D. & J.A. Holgate, North Yorkshire;
  • ARDS, H. Patton & Sons, Co. Down, Northern Ireland;
  • BANNISTREE, D. & E. Monk, Lancashire;
  • CLANDEBOYE, Clandeboye Estate Co. Ltd, Co. Down, Northern Ireland;
  • CLWCH, W.J. & H. Williams, Gwynedd;
  • ENCHMARSH, J. & G. Allsop, Shropshire;
  • HAVENDALE, T.H. Flower & Sons, Derbyshire;
  • HAYVALLEY, D.W. & G.N. Renfree, Cornwall;
  • HILLTARA, S.M. McCormick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland;
  • KILLINGTON, J. & R. Waller, Lancashire;
  • LAN, R. & E. Bowen, Carmarthenshire;
  • MOORSHARD, R.K. & S.G. Miller & Sons, Somerset;
  • MOREE, R.J.V. & A.R.J. Kelso, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland;
  • NEWBIRKS, A. Lawson & Son, West Yorkshire;
  • PENNINE, Drinkall Bros, Lancashire;
  • SAINTCLEAR, P.E. & D.M. Thomas, Dyfed;
  • STEVEACRE, Cox Farming Company, Staffordshire;
  • WORMANBY, Wormanby Farms Ltd., Cumbria.

More than 120,000 type classifications have been completed in the last 12 months, highlighting the continued popularity of this service as a tool for identifying cows which thrive in modern production systems.

Most classifications are carried out for private farmers but many are also undertaken on behalf of the AI industry to progeny test UK Holstein sires.

Sue Cope, chief executive officer for Holstein UK, said: “The Holstein UK Master Breeder is an important status which carries credibility and desirability.

It demonstrates the breeders’ strengths in rearing and progressing cattle to an outstanding standard and offers the herd a level of superior ranking and greater value.

"Congratulations to the 2019 Master Breeders, who I look forward to meeting during the year as we present the certificates and plaques at their nominated events.”