For almost twenty years Simmental breeders have been competing on the provincial show circuit for points towards the prestigious Male and Female of the Year Awards sponsored by Danske Bank.
As the curtain fell on the 2016 show season, Danske Bank representatives John Henning, Rodney Brown and Matthew Johnston, gathered at Fermanagh County Show to congratulate the winners and present the crystal awards and commemorative rosettes.
Claiming the Female of the Year title with a maximum score was the April 2014 born Raceview King daughter Ranfurly Lady Diana 24 th bred by David Hazelton, Dungannon. She was unbeaten in her class, and scooped the breed’s female and supreme overall championship awards at Ballymena, Lurgan, Armagh, Clogher Valley and Enniskillen. Reserve breed champion at Castlewellan and Omagh, she is in-calf to Omorga Murray, and is catalogued for the Ranfurly Herd’s joint production sale at Dungannon on September 3.
Runner-up was Castlemount Bianca 2, a September 2014 born Slievenagh Bon Jovi daughter bred by Duncan McDowell, Newtownards. She was a first prize winner at Lurgan and Armagh, and was placed second in her class at Castlewellan and Enniskillen. Bianca took the supreme breed championship at Saintfield, and the reserve female title at Armagh.
Brothers Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo, secured the Male of the Year award with Coolcran Gladiator. This January 2015 born bull was sired by former stock sire Kilbride Farm Ahoghill, and is a full brother to the 7,000gns Coolcran Dazzler – intermediate Stirling champion in February 2014. Gladiator was male champion at Balmoral Show in May, supreme champion at Castlewellan, and reserve overall champion at Lurgan, Armagh and Clogher.
Taking the reserve male award was Bridgewater Farm Gilroy, a March 2015 born Dermotstown Delboy son bred by Nigel Glasgow from Cookstown. He was reserve male champion at Balmoral, Ballymena, Lurgan, Armagh and Omagh.
The winners were determined using a points system collated at various nominated shows.
“Prizes mean points,” explained club secretary Robin Boyd. “Points are awarded to the individual animals; and the higher the animal’s accolade in the show ring, the bigger the points it earns.”
John Henning, head of agricultural relations at Danske Bank, said: “The points system ensures keen competition amongst exhibitors, and helps to encourage Simmental entries at local summer shows. We are delighted to offer our long-standing support to this hotly contested Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club competition.”