Last week’s Balmoral Show, Belfast, may be the earliest Royal of the season, but as Northern Ireland’s premier show its top tickets are highly contested by the province’s stockmen and a few raiders from south of the border, too.
In each of the main sections is was Ulster breeders who reigned supreme, with the beef, sheep, dairy and pig titles all going to Northern Irish exhibitors. But in both the beef and sheep lines it was stock bred on the mainland which took the top accolades.
Heading the beef entries under interbreed judge Alan Fotheringham, Perth, was the Charolais champion, 55,000gns bull Sportsmans Columbo, exhbited by Gilbert Crawford and owned by himself in partnership with Joe Wilson.
Columbo, bred by Messrs Boden and Davies, Cheshire, was bought at Perth in February for a joint centre-record price and is by 55,000gns sire Thrunton Voldemort and out of Sportsmans Regal, a Ugie Legend daughter.
Taking the reserve honours here was the Limousin champion, Guards Boomer from Paul Brown, Loughgilly. Bred by Messrs Little, May 2006-born Boomer is by Rocky and out of Ardbrack Special.
Interbreed beef champion was the Charolais leader 55,000gns bull Sportsmans Columbo from Gilbert Crawford and Joe Wilson
In the commercial cattle classes the championship honours went to John Miller with his August 2007-born Charolais x British Blonde heifer, Sasha Bad Girl. Reserve spot here was taken by Eoin Loughran with a July 2008-born steer Laddy.
In the sheep lines, it was the turn of the Suffolks to take the overall honours, with Norman Robinson’s aged ewe leading the way under another Scottish judge, John Morrison, Coupar Angus. This one was bred by Robbie Wilson, Strathisla, and is by 30,000gns sire Glenho Gurka and out of a Strathisla ewe. She was bought privately as a shearling ewe.
In second spot was the Bluefaced Leicester champion, a shearling tup from Stewart Hammond, Cookstown, Co Tyrone. This homebred entry is by a Mossvale tup.
Clinching the overall sheep honours was Norman Robinson with his Suffolk ewe, a Glenho Gurka daughter
Among the dairy entries, Malcolm Huxtable from Devon found his interbreed champion in the Jersey lines, with the highest-rated cow in the UK, Potterswalls Paramount Glamour.
Rated Ex96 just a few weeks ago, she is by Rockella Paramount and Glamour has averaged 8286 in four lactations and her son, Potterswalls Glams Comerica by Bridon Remake Comerica has just been released on progeny test with Genus. Bred and owned by the Fleming family, she was described by Mr Huxtable as the perfect example of all that is good about a modern Jersey.
Standing reserve here was the Holstein champion, Malcolm McLean’s Relough Goldwyn Danna. By Goldwyn Regancrest, second calved Danna gave 9324 in her first lactation and is now giving 51 litres a day. She is rated Ex95 and is one of 280 cows milked by the McLean family at home in Co Tyrone.
The pig championship meanwhile, went to Alfred Martin’s Large White junior boar from his unit at Aldergrove, while the reserve overall ticket was clinched by William Moore-Bowman with his junior gilt from the traditional breeds classes, Springvale Nocturnal.
SHOW STOPPERS Reserve interbreed beef Paul Brown’s Limousin bull Reserve interbreed sheep Stewart Hammond’s Bluefaced Interbreed dairy Potter Family’s Jersey cow Reserve interbreed dairy Malcolm McLean’s Holstein cow
Reserve interbreed beef
Paul Brown’s Limousin bull
Reserve interbreed sheep
Stewart Hammond’s Bluefaced
Potter Family’s Jersey cow
Reserve interbreed dairy
Malcolm McLean’s Holstein cow
- Full results and more pictures from this show and coverage of this week’s Devon show and Beef Expo event see Taking Stock