Pedigree Calf Fair returns to Balmoral

Pictured at the launch of Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo 2016 are organising chairman David Connolly, and secretary Ann Orr, with sponsors, back row, from left: Lesley Pim, MSD Animal Health; Mark Crawford, Topstock; William Thompson, Bank of Ireland. Front row, from left: Jack Hogan, Devenish Nutrition; Gareth George, Hudson Trailers; and Paul Elwood, HVS Animal Health. Picture: Julie Hazelton
Pictured at the launch of Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo 2016 are organising chairman David Connolly, and secretary Ann Orr, with sponsors, back row, from left: Lesley Pim, MSD Animal Health; Mark Crawford, Topstock; William Thompson, Bank of Ireland. Front row, from left: Jack Hogan, Devenish Nutrition; Gareth George, Hudson Trailers; and Paul Elwood, HVS Animal Health. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event organisers of the Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo have announced that the 2016 event will take place at the Balmoral Showgrounds on Saturday 19th November.

The one-day industry forum is organised in partnership with the Livestock and Meat Commission, and has attracted sponsorship from Bank of Ireland, Topstock, Hudson Trailers NI Ltd, Gormley Isuzu, Bovipast RSP, Devenish Nutrition and HVS Liquid Gold.

Boasting a prize fund in excess of £15,000, the schedule features classes for ten beef breeds, both native and continental, and also includes showmanship classes for handlers aged 12 to 21-years-old.

The showmanship winners will receive specially embroidered jackets from FarmWardrobe.

Judging will commence at 10.00am, and with three showrings operational throughout the day, and separate judges for each breed, the event will reach a climax with a parade of champions at 3.30pm.

Exhibitors will also have a chance to compete for the Show Team Award sponsored by Genus ABS. This will be determined on a points system, with individual herds receiving points for their various class placings.

The entry fee is £18 (including VAT), and each breed is staging six classes for calves born between 1st September 2015 and 1st April 2016. The showmanship entry fee is £5, and the closing date for entries is Saturday 22nd October.

Representatives from the 20-strong stakeholder organising committee met with sponsors at the King’s Hall venue to launch the forthcoming event.

Chairman David Connolly said: “It’s all about showcasing the Northern Ireland beef industry. Last year we succeeded in providing a high-profile platform on which to display our superior genetics. Focusing on the ethos of ‘Beef Strategy 2020’ we want to highlight important issues within the beef sector, and let visitors see, how the sector is being primed for future growth.

“Last year’s show attracted more than 300 pedigree beef calves, and was widely praised by exhibitors, judges, sponsors and spectators.”

David Connolly continued: “The majority of our trade exhibitors are returning, and we are pleased to reveal that 30% extra space has been made available this year. Trade exhibitors will be running promotions throughout the day, offering discounts on a wide variety of products and services.”

Also taking centre-stage in the trade area is a seminar suite with an interesting line-up of speakers scheduled throughout the day.

Organisers are encouraging visitors to come along and support the event. Free parking is available on site, and the admission fee is £10 per adult, with children under 16 free.

Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Bank of Ireland’s head of agriculture, William Thompson said: “We are delighted to be involved, and look forward to the Pedigree Calf Fair on 19th November.

”It’s been a tough year for all sectors of the local farming industry, but hopefully the green shoots of recovery are on the horizon. Farming has always been a volatile business, and farmers must continue to focus on efficiency.”

Entry forms and schedules can be downloaded from the website: www.pcf-beef-expo.co.uk. Details are also available from local pedigree breed club secretaries.