Vicky Ferguson was 1st place in the Secondary School Young Handler class. She is pictured with her Reserve Champion Ram Lamb.Vicky Ferguson was 1st place in the Secondary School Young Handler class. She is pictured with her Reserve Champion Ram Lamb.
Vicky Ferguson was 1st place in the Secondary School Young Handler class. She is pictured with her Reserve Champion Ram Lamb.

Matt’s Jellybean hits the sweet spot at Irish Beltex National Show

Matt’s Jellybean from Matthew Burleigh’s Kinawley-based Matt’s Flock won the Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders Club’s National Show, held at Omagh Show on Saturday, 6 July

The Shearling Ewe hit the spot for Lancaster judge Nick Brown, coming first in large class of sixteen and taking Female Champion, before being tapped out as Overall Champion. Sired by the 16,000gns Muirton High and Mighty, she is homebred out of Matt’s Glassware. From a winning family, her great-grandmother, Matt’s Curious, picked up the same title in 2018. Matthew has had a brilliant run, claiming his sixth National Show Championship win with Matt’s Jellybean, at his only show of the season. The Champion Shearling Ewe will be heading to Carlisle for the Beltex Beauties Sale at the end of August.

In Reserve Champion spot was Andrew McCutcheon’s Ram Lamb, born between 1 January and 29 February. Bodoney King was sired by Matt’s Hellboy, a private purchase for the flock as a lamb in 2022, and he is out of Ardstewart Arrogento. There were multiple titles amassed on the day for Bodoney Flock’s Reserve Champion including Champion Ram Lamb, Champion Lamb and Male Champion. The McCutcheons also got first place rosettes for their Ram Lamb (born after 1 March) and Pair of Lambs, as well as coming second in the Group of Three, Shearling Ram and Aged Ewe classes.

Elizabeth McAllister also had a successful outing, winning both Reserve Male and Reserve Female Champion with her Aged Ram and Ewe Lamb (born between 1 Jan and 29 Feb) respectively. The Reserve Champion Female already had picked up Champion Ewe Lamb and Reserve Champion Lamb. The Arnagullion Flock also came first in the Ewe Lamb (born after 1 March) class and Group of Three, as well as second in the Shearling Ewe class.

Other notable wins included John and Victoria Ferguson, Vicky’s Flock, taking home Reserve Champion Ram Lamb, first place in the Aged Ewe class, and second in the Ewe Lamb (born after 1 March) and Pair of Lambs classes. As well as Bobby Porter, Major’s Bridge Flock, winning the Shearling Ram class and placing second in the Ram Lamb (born after 1 March) class.

The National Show was very well supported with a brilliant entry of Beltex sheep competing and showcasing the breed. Judge Nick Brown was impressed, commenting: “The size and quality of classes made judging difficult, especially the shearling ewe class. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, there were super sheep, a warm welcome and great hospitality.”

His wife, Charlotte, also entered the showring and aptly judged the young handlers, saying: “It was brilliant to see the enthusiasm and skill of the young handlers, the older ones were evidently experienced stockmen and women. They were all a credit to the Irish Beltex Club.”

The Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders Club would like to extend their gratitude to Omagh Show, as well as sponsors Abbey Autoline, P&M McKenna, Shortts Feeds and Eco Eggshell.

The next Club events are the Show and Sale at Beatties Pedigree Centre, Omagh, on Saturday 10 August, followed by the Premier Show and Export Sale on Monday 26 August at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart. More details can be found on the Club’s Facebook page.

Irish Beltex National Show Results 2024:

Judge Nick Brown, Bronic Flock, Lancaster

Aged Ram - 1st Elizabeth McAllister LIZ F005; 2nd Kenny Preston AST G009

Shearling Ram - 1st William Porter MBP J016; 2nd Andrew McCutcheon JAM J038; 3rd William Porter MBP O158; 4th Kenny Preston; 5th Hugh O’Neill; 6th Cathaoir O’Connor

Ram Lamb, born between Jan 1 and Feb - 1st Andrew McCutcheon JAM K016; 2nd John Ferguson VIC K010; 3rd John Ferguson VIC K058; 4th Elizabeth McAllister; 5th Kenny Preston; 6th John Harbinson

Ram Lamb, born on or after 1 March 2024 - 1st Andrew McCutcheon JAM K057; 2nd William Porter MBP K004; 3rd William Porter MBP K009; 4th John Ferguson; 5th John Harbinson

Aged Ewe - 1st John Ferguson VIC J015; 2nd William Porter MBP K004; 3rd John Ferguson TRE E005; 4th Elizabeth McAllister; 5th William Porter

Shearling Ewe - 1st Matthew Burleigh MAT J102; 2nd Elizabeth McAllister LIZ J030; 3rd Matthew Burleigh MAT J120; 4th John Ferguson; 5th Elizabeth McAllister; 6th Kenny Preston

Ewe Lamb, born between Jan 1 and Feb 29 2024 - 1st Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K008; 2nd Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K003; 3rd John Harbinson FHG K15; 4th Andrew McCutcheon; 5th Kenny Preston; 6th John Ferguson

Ewe lamb, born on or after 1 March 2024 - 1st Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K021; 2nd John Ferguson VIC K021; 3rd Joshua Keys JHK K046; 4th Andrew McCutcheon; 5th William Porter; 6th William Porter

Pair of Lambs - 1st Andrew McCutcheon; 2nd John Ferguson; 3rd Elizabeth McAllister

Group of Three - 1st Elizabeth McAllister; 2nd Andrew McCutcheon; 3rd Kenny Preston

Champion Ram Lamb - Andrew McCutcheon JAM K016

Reserve Champion Ram Lamb – John Ferguson VIC K010

Champion Ewe Lamb - Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K008

Reserve Champion Ewe Lamb - Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K021

Overall Champion Lamb - Andrew McCutcheon JAM K016

Reserve Champion Lamb - Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K008

Overall Female Champion - Matthew Burleigh MAT J102

Reserve Female Champion - Elizabeth McAllister LIZ K008

Overall Male Champion - Andrew McCutcheon JAM K016

Reserve Male Champion - Elizabeth McAllister LIZ F005

Overall Beltex Champion - Matthew Burleigh MAT J102

Reserve Beltex Champion - Andrew McCutcheon JAM K016

Pre-School Young Handlers – 1st Michael McLaughlin; 2nd Robbie McKelvey; 3rd Jessica Burleigh

Primary School Young Handlers – 1st Holly Burleigh

Secondary School Young Handlers – 1st Victoria Ferguson; 2nd Sophie McAllister; 3rd Jaden McCutcheon; 4th Leah Preston; 5th Johnny Porter